Responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Yarra Valley Water have a strong response in place for managing the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure we continue to provide essential water and sewerage services for our customers.
We’re continually monitoring the spread and impact of COVID-19 and we’ll share updates on our planning and actions here on our website.
Victoria's water is safe to drink and use
There is no evidence that drinking water will be affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) or that it is transmitted by drinking water.
The Department of Health and Human Services regulates the safety of drinking water supplied in Victoria under a comprehensive regulatory framework that aims to ensure a consistent, reliable supply of safe, good quality drinking water.
Information on drinking water and public health is available on the Victorian Health website.
Your concession entitlements
If you have a valid pension or concession card you are entitled to a concession on your water and sewerage charges.
Register your valid pension or concession card today on your water and sewerage charges.
If you are experiencing financial pressure
If you’re concerned about being unable to pay your bills, we are here to help.
We can offer extra support and flexibility to suit your situation. Give us a call on 1800 994 789 for a confidential chat or take a look at options available.
Contacting Our Office
At Yarra Valley Water we care deeply about our customers, staff, partners and our community.
In line with actions being taken across water sector agencies, our face to face Reception service in Lucknow Street has been closed from 23 March 2020 until further notice.
We are taking these steps to help minimise the risk of the virus spreading, and our Reception staff can still be contacted by phone on 9872 1699.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.
Our Customer Care Team can be contacted Monday to Friday from 8am-6pm on 1300 853 811.
Faults and emergencies can be reported 24 hours a day on 13 27 62.
Managing Interruptions To Your Water Supply
During this time, we may need to interrupt your water supply to perform emergency repairs and critical preventative maintenance. We also put a tap on the hydrant in affected streets, so customers can access water during the interruption, and we provide bottled water where needed.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Yarra Valley Water doing in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency?
Can I catch Coronavirus from drinking water?
Should I buy bottled water?
There is no need to buy bottled water for drinking. Safe, clean tap water will continue to be supplied directly to your home every day.
How is Yarra Valley Water protecting the water supply?
Melbourne Water and Yarra Valley Water have stringent hygiene measures in place at water treatment plants. In addition, there is almost no human contact in the process of treating water for drinking. Existing water treatment and disinfection processes, including use of chlorine, are effective in removing viruses from water supplies.
What if workers are quarantined at home, will water still be supplied?
Water is an essential service and we are well prepared to manage our response to Coronavirus. We have existing emergency response plans and are continuing to update them in response to the most current available information. In general, water treatment plants are secure, have back up power and require few staff to operate them and some water treatment plants can be operated remotely.
Does your sewerage system pose a bigger risk for spreading Coronavirus?
How to help prevent the spread of coronavirus?
I have been asked to self-isolate, do you need to know this?
Yes, it is very important that we know this information as it helps our staff and contractors take necessary precautions if they need to come to your house/property. This lets us play our part in limiting the spread of the virus.
We will use the information to place a temporary flag in our systems, which tells our field staff they need to make a different type of risk assessment if they need to work at your property. The flag will be taken off after the self-isolation period has passed.
How will your staff carry out work at my property if I’m self-isolating?
A lot of work can be performed without coming on to your property. If we can do the work without accessing your property we will do that. If we do need to access your property or your home our team will assess whether the work is urgent or whether it can be deferred. Where the work can be deferred until you are no longer self-isolating, we will do that. If it is urgent our team will assess whether they can do the work safely using protective clothing. We will keep you informed about our assessment and next steps.
I don’t have any toilet paper as it has all been sold. What can I flush down the loo?
We understand it is a complex time and it is hard to get hold of toilet paper. The only things that can be safely flushed down the toilet are pee, poo and paper. Tissues, hand towel and wipes need to be put in the bin.
If things other than pee, poo and paper are flushed it can lead to expensive blockages in internal plumbing and our sewer pipes, which can then lead to sewer spills.
Supermarkets are continuously restocking, so you will be able to get toilet paper soon.
Why is Yarra Valley Water still carrying out Planned (non-emergency) works?
We’re continuing to operate business as usual to keep delivering essential services to the community, including the planned maintenance of our water and sewer pipes. This keeps our water and sewer network functioning efficiently and it would be detrimental to the network and the contractors we employ to stop doing this work.We care deeply about the health and safety of our customers and community and we always work to keep water interruptions to a minimum.
With the heightened focus on hygiene and handwashing due to coronavirus, we’re currently reviewing how we can best deliver planned maintenance services, including how we might be able to provide another supply mode so that water isn’t interrupted while we undertake routine works. Customers can be assured that wherever we need to turn water off, access to water from an alternative source will be made available.
How do I access water during Planned (non-emergency) works?
The way we work is to give our customers 7 days’ notice when we need to interrupt their water supply to do planned maintenance, giving them time to organise extra containers or bottles of water to cover the period when the water is temporarily off – which is within a four - five hour window, and usually a shorter interruption than this. We also put a tap on the hydrant in affected streets so customers can access water during the interruption, and we provide bottled water where needed.
We take the health and wellbeing of our staff and all our Customers seriously. We are continuously reviewing the evolving Coronavirus situation and will modify our response accordingly, taking direction from Australian Government agencies and associated Health organisations. We thank you for your understanding and are committed to providing you with updated information.
We encourage you to follow the instructions and recommendations by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website on Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to get the most up to date information.
The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) has also developed a fact sheet to provide facts about drinking water services and COVID-19.