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Bushfires - Your water supply and financial assistance available

East Gippsland Water

Current water supply impacts due to bushfires

Our staff involved in the recovery phase following the bushfires remain as committed as ever to ensure high quality services are maintained for impacted communities – whether it’s repairing damaged infrastructure or ensuring the continuity of normal day-to-day operations.

Terrific progress has been made at Orbost to ensure there is enough high quality water being produced to meet the needs of local customers, as staff – supported by a team from Goulburn Valley Water in Shepparton – treat the very dirty bushfire-tainted water that continues to wash down the Brodribb River.

Likewise great work is being undertaken in relation to Buchan to ensure the local community continues to receive high quality water despite the current state of the Buchan River.


 

 

Financial assistance for customers directly impacted by bushfires

The State Government has announced a range of financial relief measures to help communities, including East Gippsland Water customers, directly impacted by the recent bushfires.

With a number of homes and businesses lost within the East Gippsland Water service area, and significant disruption caused, the aim is to assist our impacted customers by easing some of the financial pressure they may be experiencing at a very difficult time.

With this in mind, East Gippsland Water has delayed its latest billing cycle for all customers by a month to provide some respite, with 35 days allowed for payment instead of the normal 28 days. The billing period will be the same as usual at 90 days.

For customers directly affected by fire damage or service disruption measures include:

  • Waiving water and sewerage bills for 12 months for a customer’s home or business destroyed or made uninhabitable by bushfire, effective from this bill.
  • Rebates for customers affected by water service interruptions due to the bushfires. This includes Mallacoota, Omeo and Buchan, where customers were temporarily advised to not drink the water.

Customers experiencing financial hardship, and those with special circumstances, should contact the Customer team on 1800 671 841 to discuss support available, including eligibility for any rebates.

* Drop-in sessions cancelled *

Drop-in sessions scheduled for customers directly impacted by the bushfires have been cancelled in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Sessions will no longer take place at Bruthen (2 April), Swifts Creek (3 April), Buchan and Nowa Nowa (14 April), Mallacoota (15 April) or Cann River (16 April).

We apologise for any inconvenience. Customers wishing to discuss support available should contact us on 1800 671 841. Thank you for our cooperation.

Bushfires and your water supply

While East Gippsland Water has comprehensive measures in place to maintain drinking water supplies wherever possible in the event of bushfires, including back-up generators at critical sites, customers should not rely solely on mains water to protect against a major bushfire situation. They should consider how they might manage without that supply.

This is because town water systems are designed to cater for everyday domestic drinking water needs and may not cope with bushfire events. Excessively high levels of water consumption and any possible damage to the water supply network during a severe fire event will mean the town water supply is operating under extreme load.

In addition, situations may prevent our staff from entering a bushfire zone to get to our infrastructure, which in turn may prevent us from maintaining normal drinking water pressure, quality or an uninterrupted supply to every household

Here is a short video prepared with the CFA in Gippsland on how to prepare to defend your property and having an alternative water supply.

Emergency telephone numbers:

 

Emergency 000
VicEmergency hotline 1800 226 226
VicRoads Closure information 13 11 70
State Emergency Services 13 25 00

 

Emergency warnings

For emergency warnings about bushfires visit the website: www.emergency.vic.gov.au.

Bushfire community information:

For information regarding relief centers, water tanks and council services visit the website: www.eastgippsland.vic.gov.au/Bushfire_information or call the East Gippsland Shire Council on 5153 9500.

Preparing for bushfires

Visit the CFA website cfa.vic.gov.au for free information and advice about preparing for a bushfire, or call the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.