The Public Health Act and Regulation requires our potable water quality assurance program to comply with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. This means we test our tap water every week for a vast range of chemical and microbiological particles, ensuring that it is always safe to drink.

Clean Drink Water Strategy - Domestic Filter Units

Council has resolved to undertake short-term measures which are aimed to reduce the impact and incidence of coloured water.

Short term improvement measures include:

  • routine and on call hydrant flushing when customers report coloured water; and
  • installation of domestic filter units with replaceable cartridge filters in the worst affected areas, with four (4) washable filter cartridges supplied.

These units will be installed on the property side of the meter and become the responsibility of the property owner once installed. These systems have been tested over the past few months with those property owners being very happy with the results.

Council will supply the filter unit and four washable filter cartridges and they will be installed on the house side of the water meter by Council, or a selected contractor, at no cost to the property owner.

The filter cartridges need cleaning around every four to six weeks, which will be the responsibility of you or the occupants. Full maintenance instructions will be provided at the time of installation of the units. Each filter cartridge should last for around six months.

Once the filtration units are installed, they will become the responsibility of the property owner and any repairs or replacement filters will be borne by the same.

It should be noted that the treatment will ensure the water entering the property has reduced discolouration, however there will be several older properties with cast iron water pipes which may still experience discoloured water at times.

Formal consent is required, as the proposed installation of the domestic filter units:

  • requires access and works to your property; and
  • the acceptance that replacement cartridge filters and any future repairs will be the responsibility of the property owner.

To enquiry about a filtration unit please see details at the bottom of the page to contact the Water Sewer team.

Dirty Water Causes and Solutions


Potential  causes

Corrective measures

Chlorine taste/odour

  • Chlorine is common in most treated water supplies and is used to ensure drinking water does not cause health problems.
  • Tap water should have a faint chlorine taste/odour. This is to ensure the safety of the water all the way to the customer.
  • If you are experiencing abnormally high levels of chlorine taste or odour. contact Council


Sewage-like taste/odour

  • Over time, organic matter (such as hair, soap, and food waste) can accumulate on the walls of the drain and bacteria can grow on these organic deposits. The bacteria can produce a gas which is disturbed when water is used.
  • Sulphur compounds in the water supply.
  • Clean and/or flush the drain.
  • If the problem persists, contact Narrandera Shire Council


Earthy, mouldy, fishy taste/odour

  • Certain types of harmless algae, fungi, and bacteria growing in the water supply, especially during warm weather.
  • If you wish to remove this type of smell from your water then you can fit a carbon treatment device to your tap.
  • If the problem persists or is a regular occurrence, contact Council.


Metallic taste/odour

  • Naturally occurring iron and manganese.
  • Not harmful to health.
  • If the water is visibly discoloured, flush taps until water runs clear.
  • If the problem persists or is a regular occurrence, contact Council.


Milky, white or cloudy water

  • Air bubbles in water caused by a sudden change in water flow or direction in the pipes.
  • Not harmful to health.
  • Leave sit for 2-3 minutes and they should disappear.
  • If the problem persists or is a regular occurrence, contact Council.


Brown, red, orange or yellow water

  • Sediment (iron, manganese) in the pipe or water main which can be stirred .when there is a sudden increase or change in direction of water in the pipes
  • Not harmful to health.
  • Council will flush a main after a repair. However, dirty water may still be present in some instances
  • Residents should flush taps until water runs clear and avoid doing laundry as the water may stain clothes. See Discoloured Water - How to Clean Stained Clothes
  • If the problem persists contact Narrandera Shire Council


Council does not currently add fluoride to our water, as the naturally occurring fluoride is close to the recommended dosage for improved dental health.

NSW Health promotes the use of water fluoridation to prevent dental decay.  NSW Health says it is a safe, effective way of providing benefits to individuals of all ages in the community.  They say extensive research supports water fluoridation as an effective measure in preventing and reducing tooth decay.

More information on the fluoridation of water can be found at NSW Health.

How to Clean Stained Clothes from Dirty Water

The staining of your laundry from discoloured water is due to particles of sediment lodged in the fabric. The stain usually only becomes permanent if the laundry is allowed to dry. It is therefore essential to keep stained laundry immersed in water and call Council for a Cleaning Kit. Do not use bleaching agents. They will only fix the stain and make it worse.

The staining is caused by iron and manganese. The stain is best removed by an acid based cleaning agent. There are several commercial rust removers that are available in the supermarket and hardware stores that work quite well. Citric Acid, which can be purchased from the baking section in the supermarket also works. Follow the instructions provided and always check for colourfastness before use.

Water and Sewer Manager
02 6959 5510

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