Residents petition for water change

A petition calling for Coliban Water to stop its chlorination trial, which began in October, has so far attracted a total of 204 signatures.
Lead petitioner Vivienne Hamilton said she began the petition as she was offended by the strength and nasty quality of the smell and taste of the water since the treatment change.
“I have given Coliban Water my feedback but noticed that there were a lot of people who felt the same way,” Ms Hamilton said.
“I started the petition just to let Coliban Water know that it is not just one or two customers who are experiencing this.”
The petition urges Coliban Water to revert to its previous disinfection method and to investigate other processes such as UV or ozone treatment to disinfect the water, thereby eliminating chlorine altogether.
The water authority has advised it would be holding a community information session for Castlemaine customers to provide an update on the current change to the drinking water treatment process.
Coliban Water’s executive general manager of water quality David Sheehan confirmed that the way the Castlemaine drinking water supply system was treated was changed late last year, and the first three-month review of the planned 12-month trial period had recently been completed.
“The change was made to improve disinfection and maintain chlorine levels across the entire Castlemaine water supply network,” he said.
“Maintaining chlorine levels throughout the water supply network is important. It protects against contamination as the water travels through our water mains to customers’ properties after being treated at our Castlemaine Water Treatment Plant.”
Mr Sheehan said the chlorination treatment method itself was not a trial.
“Chlorination is a tried and tested treatment method which is widely used across Australia and internationally.”
He said results to date indicated that improvements were being seen across the network, with some adjustments to dosing being made.
“However we are aware that some customers in areas of our supply network have experienced a strong chlorine taste and odour.
“We are making adjustments to the treatment dosing to ensure the seasonal fluctuations do not have a greater impact on our customers, while ensuring safe levels are maintained throughout the network.
“The water continues to be safe and meets the requirements of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines,” Mr Sheehan said.
The information session will be held on Tuesday January 22 at the Ray Bradfield Room in Forest Street, Castlemaine from 4pm-8pm.
For further information call 1300 363 200 or visit


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