Melbourne households are unable to drink tap water today morning after electrical damage during a destructive storm overnight, which caused untreated water to enter the supply system.
In the overnight storm, three people died, including a four-year-old boy.
The State Emergency Service (SES) received nearly 2000 calls for help, mostly from Melbourne’s east and south-east, and 95,000 residents complaining about a power outage.
Yarra Valley Water officials warned households about the contaminated water, which has affected 88 suburbs across the city.
The water corporation said in a statement, “We’ve become aware of a potential water quality issue affecting 88 suburbs due to electrical damage caused by storms overnight.”
“The storm damaged a chlorinator which has resulted in untreated water entering the system,” it added
Brett Sutton, Chief Health Officer, Victoria, has advised people to boil their water before consuming it.
He said, “We do ask households to bring their water to a rolling boil and to use it for all consumption, whether you’re drinking it, using it for brushing teeth, making ice, just make sure that that water is boiled to a rolling boil before it is used and obviously let it cool down to make it safe for kids as well.”
“The Silvan Reservoir is back up in terms of its disinfection procedures but there will be some water in the system that needs to move through, so that will be updated as soon as that boiled water advisory can be lifted.”
Yarra Valley Water said the initial issue had been addressed, but “undisinfected water is still within some areas.”
People residing in the affected suburbs who drink the tap water could be at risk of developing a potential gastrointestinal illness. The officials said the water supply is expected to return to normal later today.