How Does Melbourne's Tap Water Compare

How Does Melbourne Tap Water Compare? [2022 Update]

Have you ever thought that your Melbourne tap water tastes funny? Or perhaps it’s been looking a little cloudy. You might even be wondering if it is safe to drink tap water in Melbourne or are you safer sticking to bottled water?

Metropolitan Plumbing is your expert plumber in Melbourne. So, we’re going to run you through everything you need to know about Melbourne’s drinking water so you can keep yourself and your family safe.

Is Melbourne Tap Water Drinkable?

International water tasting competition criteria

Yes – Melbourne tap water is absolutely safe to drink. In fact, it’s among the best tap water in the world and even got second place in ‘best municipal water’ category at the International Water Tasting Competition for both 2016 and 2019!

This competition pitted water from across the world against each other to find the world’s best water. Ten judges sampled tap water and determined the winners based on several factors:

  • taste
  • appearance
  • aroma
  • mouthfeel
  • aftertaste

More than just safe to drink, Melbourne water is some of the highest quality in the world. Move over bottled water, Melbourne water is a two-time winner of the International Water Tasting Competition!

What is in Melbourne’s Tap Water?

person filling up water bottle at kitchen sink

Melbourne is one of only two cities in the world that sources its water from protected catchments. Up in the Yarra Ranges, native forests act as a natural filter, meaning we only need to disinfect Melbourne water.

Sponge-like soil in these ranges holds rainwater which is slowly released into water reservoirs. These water catchments also have very limited public access, so little treatment is required to clean it.

Water is kept in these reservoirs for up to five years which is plenty of time for any impurities present to break down.

Water from natural reservoirs still undergoes treatment to ensure it meets strict drinking water quality guidelines. Protected catchments are disinfected in at least one of three ways:

  • Small amounts of chlorine added
  • UV irradiation treatment
  • Membrane filtrations

Fluoride is also added to protect our teeth and keep them strong. Post-treatment, Melbourne tap water is perfectly safe to drink!

Water Contamination Melbourne 2021

After devastating storms in June 2021, Yarra Valley Water issued a directive not to use their tap water after it was contaminated. The affected suburbs were Kallista, Sherbrooke and The Patch. Residents were supplied with bottled water and were able to collect water in their own containers but were instructed that boiling their tap water would not remove the contaminants.

Only a month later, over 100 suburbs were left with contaminated water after another storm. Over 200,000 households were impacted and had to boil their water before consuming it.

Water quality alerts are released in real-time by the Environmental Protection Authority Melbourne.

How is Melbourne Tap Water Quality Tested?

Melbourne water quality criteria

Melbourne’s tap water goes through rigorous testing before it reaches our taps. Public health is always the top concern for Melbourne’s water supply authorities.

Melbourne’s water supply is tested for a number of factors to ensure its high quality:

  • mineral content/water hardness
  • pH
  • chlorine and fluoride concentrations
  • bacteria
  • contaminants such as pesticides and fuel
  • radiological quality

Every year, Melbourne water authorities test samples from over 160 sites to ensure the quality of our tap water.  Over 3,000 microbiological and 800 physical/chemical samples are collected and tested annually.

Aesthetic components of our tap water are also tested:

  • colour
  • smell
  • clarity
  • mouthfeel

Melbourne’s water supply authorities are dedicated to maintaining our exceptional water quality.

Is there Chlorine in Melbourne Tap Water?

Small amounts of chlorine are added to open catchments to disinfect the water. According to Melbourne Water, the amount of chlorine added can vary but it is typically less than one milligram per litre of water, or 0.0001%.

Chlorine is added to prevent the growth of disease-causing bacteria in our drinking water.

Melbourne Tap Water Hardness

Melbourne Water also tests for water hardness. This is a measure of the dissolved minerals in water – the higher the concentration of minerals, the harder the water is. While you won’t get sick from hard water, it can make everyday tasks more difficult.

Thankfully, Melbourne tap water hardness is not a problem. In 2020-201 it was found to be relatively soft, with concentrations varying from 11 to 38 grams per litre.

Improve the Quality of Your Melbourne Drinking Water

two glasses of water

Melbourne’s tap water meets all national water regulations and tastes great to boot too, so most people feel no need to improve their water quality. That said, many people like to install water filters to be doubly sure about the quality of their drinking water supply.

Metropolitan Plumbing can install a water filter system in your Melbourne home today. We’ve been in the plumbing industry for over 25 years and can even provide a same day service to improve your drinking water with filters. We can even be at your home in just 1 hour*!

For a plumbing service that you can trust, contact us today!

Want to see how your city’s water compares to the rest? Read more about the quality of tap water in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Published: 1 Feb, 2021

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What Our Happy Customers Have to Say

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Metropolitan Plumbing are proud winners of 2021 and 2020 Product Review awards in the plumbing category. These awards highlight our dedication to outstanding customer service. Product Review provides a platform for real-life experiences. Check out some of our customers' reviews below:
5 stars rating

Trent was brilliant, arrived on time and did a great job replacing our kitchen mixer tap on a Saturday evening after our existing tap fell apart. Hoping we don’t need emergency services again, but would definitely use them again!

Marc - VIC
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Metropolitan arrived at my door quickly and promptly. Joel diagnosed a gas leak coming from the fittings to my freestanding cooktop and sorted the issue fast. He had my gas back up and running again in no time.

Adrian - WA
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Metropolitan was the first to respond to me as I had a leaking shower. They were quick to send out a plumber within the hour. Jake phoned before arriving and he gave plenty of options. The service was quick and easy.

Carlene - QLD
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