'It just smells dirty': Why your tap water is brown

UNPLEASANT: Chenoa James said the dirty water had been coming out of her taps for a number of days.
UNPLEASANT: Chenoa James said the dirty water had been coming out of her taps for a number of days. Inge Hansen

TURNING on her shower, Chenoa James noticed the water pooling at its base was dirty before she had even stepped in.

Turning the shower off and checking other taps around the house, she realised it wasn't just dirty pipes affecting the water quality.

"I checked every other tap in the house and noticed it wasn't just the shower," she said.

"I asked my neighbour and she had the same thing happening."

The discoloured water was not just affecting her home in Torquay either, but others throughout Hervey Bay.

Reports of dirty water have come from areas including Torquay, Urangan, Scarness, Point Vernon and Kawungun but was believed to be more widespread.

Despite a less than welcoming appearance, Wide Bay Water and Waste Services director Peter Care said residents "need not be concerned".

"Due to high water demand one of the Hervey Bay processing plants was unable to remove as much manganese from the water as we would like," Mr Care said.

"Manganese is a naturally occurring mineral present in water (and) as a result the water has a slight brown tinge, but is fine to drink."


Although safe to drink, Ms James and her mother decided to buy bottled water and have avoided using any water from their taps, not just because of the colour, but the smell was unpleasant too.

"It just smells dirty or like sandy water," she said.

"I noticed on my Facebook post that others were experiencing the same thing but some people were getting sick from it."

Mr Care said the level of discolouration was still below the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines for water colour and Queensland Health were also notified.

"Wide Bay Water samples are regularly tested to ensure they meet the appropriate standards," he said.

"Residents may experience discoloured water coming from their taps for a few more days as the water is flushed from the pipes."

Topics:  dirty water fccommunity fccouncil fraser coast regional council

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