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Untreated water

Some properties that are not serviced by our reticulation water network have an opportunity to access a water supply from a nearby Melbourne Water aqueduct or pipeline/conduit.

Property owners must enter into an agreement with Yarra Valley Water and Melbourne Water to access this supply. Property owners must also request permission from Yarra Valley Water and Melbourne Water to install a siphon and/or private main (known as a trunk service), which would be built and paid for by the property owner.

Water in the aqueduct or pipeline/conduit is untreated, which means this water supply is not suitable for drinking or food preparation. Yarra Valley Water does not guarantee its quality or the continuity of supply. If you own a property connected to an untreated supply from a Melbourne Water aqueduct or pipeline, you must take all proper and appropriate steps to notify any tenant, lessee, occupant, licensee or visitor to the property that the water supply is not disinfected and is not suitable for drinking or for food preparation, regardless of whether the supply is used as your main source of supply or as a second source of supply. The water is untreated and may contain harmful bacteria or other organisms.

Do

  • Tell any visitor to your property that your untreated water supply is not disinfected, and is therefore not safe to drink or to use for preparing food.
  • Have an available on-site storage tank(s) filled with at least four weeks water supply, for use during periods of supply interruption.
  • Engage a plumber if your private main leaks or experiences a burst.
  • Maintain and record as built drawings of your private main, ensure a copy is provided to Yarra Valley Water.
  • Call Yarra Valley Water on 13 2762 if you experience an unexpected interruption to your untreated water supply.
  • Call Melbourne Water on 13 1722 to request permission to enter their land (five days notice is required).

Don't

  • Do not use your untreated water supply for drinking purposes or food preparation.
  • Do not interfere with any meters.
  • Do not rely on a continued water supply during Melbourne Water maintenance works on aqueducts or pipelines/conduits.
  • Do not contact Yarra Valley Water or Melbourne Water about maintenance of your private main.

Interruptions to your water supply

Melbourne Water is required to complete occasional maintenance works on sections of their aqueducts and pipelines/conduits. During periods of maintenance works, these aqueducts or pipelines could be closed for up to four weeks. The normal flow is likely to be interrupted, and customers should not rely on the water supply being available for the duration of the specified maintenance period. 

In the event of an unscheduled asset failure, the supply interruption could be longer than four weeks. Where possible, Yarra Valley Water will notify customers five days before any planned water supply interruptions. In the case of an emergency or unplanned interruption it is not possible to provide advance notification.

Yarra Valley Water does not guarantee the continuity of supply. We strongly recommend that you have an alternate supply of water to use as a contingency during periods when your untreated supply is interrupted. 
For customers who do not have an alternate supply (e.g. a connection to Yarra Valley Water’s reticulation system) we recommend that you have on-site storage tank with enough water supply to last for four weeks. This recommendation is in accordance with the Customer Water Supply Agreement you have with Yarra Valley Water.

Water supply pricing

As with all other customers of Yarra Valley Water, properties connected to the untreated water supply via a private main will incur charges for the water used. The property owner/tenant is responsible for paying for the water they use. All water supplied to a property must be measured by a meter. The price of untreated water is fixed to the lowest tier of the drinking water tariff. Unlike drinking water, you will not be charged a Water Supply System service charge for your untreated water supply, and the price you pay for untreated water will not increase with the amount you use.

Ownership of private mains

A private water main consists of the direct connection to the Melbourne Water asset, the service pipe, and a separate branch connecting each property. Private mains connecting properties to Melbourne Water’s assets are to be built and owned by the property owner(s). Owners are also responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement of the private water main and any works required to connect the property to the private water main.

Property owner(s) own all of the installation, including the direct connection, private main (trunk service) and associated fittings, except the meter. Yarra Valley Water is responsible for maintaining the meter on each connected property, known as a 'property meter'.

Maintenance of a private main

Yarra Valley Water sometimes becomes aware of bursts and leaks on private water mains. This is often the result of private mains being poorly maintained. If the burst or leak is causing a hazard, we may need to temporarily turn off the supply to the private main. When the private main supply is turned off, we will issue a notice to the owner(s) of the private main requiring that they repair the main. If repairs are not completed in accordance with the notice’s requirements, then Yarra Valley Water will complete the repairs and issue the owner(s) with a bill for the works.

Responding to bursts and leaks

If a private main bursts or leaks, the owner(s) will need to engage and pay for a plumber to repair the main. If you are unsure if your private main is shared with other properties, Yarra Valley Water may be able to assist in identifying the other connected properties. This is achieved by shutting off the private main at the ferrule to determine which customers are impacted.

Accessing Melbourne Water Property

To access Melbourne Water's property, you must obtain permission from Melbourne Water. Only authorised Yarra Valley Water Customer Service Officers are permitted to access Melbourne Water property, for the purpose of inspecting and reading meters.

Please contact Melbourne Water on 13 1722 to request permission to access their property. Melbourne Water requires five days notice to provide permission, however in the event of an emergency, contact Yarra Valley Water on 13 2762.