Everything You Wanted To Know About Canberra’s Water Supply

Lake Burley in Canberra, water management

Australia’s “Bush Capital,” Canberra, might seem far removed from vast water sources. But it still boasts a reliable and high-quality water supply, thanks to a well-managed system and a commitment to sustainability. Let’s take a look into the fascinating journey water takes, from the picturesque mountains to your kitchen tap. As your local Canberra plumber, we understand the importance of this journey and are committed to ensuring the integrity of your water supply every step of the way.

From Pristine Catchments to Reservoirs: The Source of Life

The story of Canberra’s water begins in the breathtaking Brindabella Ranges. This mountain range acts as a natural catchment area where rainwater collects and feeds several dams crucial to the city’s water supply. Icon Water, the independent statutory authority responsible for water services in the ACT, meticulously oversees these catchments, ensuring their health and sustainability. Key players in this network include Corin Dam, Bendora Dam, Cotter Dam, and Googong Dam. All storing and supplying water to Canberra’s residents, businesses, and other water users.

Beyond these surface water sources, Canberra also taps into the hidden reserves of the Namadgi and Jerrabomberra Aquifers, drawing vital groundwater resources. This multi-pronged approach ensures a reliable and diverse water supply for the city.


water management ph testing strips being used in beaker of water

The Science of Clean: Unveiling the Water Treatment Process

To transform raw water into the clean and refreshing liquid we rely on, Canberra utilises two main water treatment plants. These are Mount Stromlo Water Treatment Plant and the recently upgraded Googong Water Treatment Plant. These marvels of modern engineering employ a multi-step process to guarantee the safety and quality of the water we drink.

The journey begins with coagulation and flocculation. Here, tiny particles in the water are coaxed together to form larger clumps. Imagine a gentle social gathering for water impurities! By mixing and circulating the water, these larger particles rise to the surface, creating a frothy layer that’s easily removed.

In some cases, dissolved air flotation comes into play. This clever technique involves saturating the water with air, causing suspended matter like oil or solids to rise to the surface, making filtration even more efficient.

Next up is the star of the show: filtration. Water is pumped through layers of specialised filters made from anthracite coal and sand. These meticulous filters act like tiny sieves, effectively removing any remaining impurities and ensuring crystal-clear water reaches the next stage.

But the journey doesn’t end there. To help strengthen our dental defences, fluoride is added to the water, mimicking the role of fluoride in toothpaste and promoting healthy teeth.

The water’s pH level is also meticulously adjusted using lime. This crucial step ensures the water is safe for consumption (potable) and helps reduce water hardness, further enhancing overall quality.

The final act involves disinfection, a two-pronged approach ensuring the water is free from harmful microorganisms. Ultraviolet light, a powerful weapon against bacteria, viruses, and other unwanted guests, takes centre stage. Additionally, chlorine is added to eliminate any residual bacteria, leaving the water sparkling clean and safe for consumption.

Safety First: Rigorous Testing for Peace of Mind

Before that refreshing glass of Canberra water reaches your tap, it undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it meets the strictest safety and quality standards. This multi-step testing process verifies that the water is free from contaminants and poses no health risks. It’s a final quality check, guaranteeing peace of mind whenever you turn on the tap. As your trusted Canberra plumber, we value your safety and well-being, which is why we take every precaution to ensure the water in your home or business is of the highest quality.

Conserving Our Precious Resource: A Commitment to the Future

Canberra recognises the importance of water as a precious resource. To ensure its sustainability, the ACT Government and Icon Water work hand-in-hand on various programs and initiatives promoting water efficiency, reduced consumption, and improved water quality.

One such initiative was the “Love Water” program in previous years, a friendly nudge to households and businesses to embrace water-saving practices. From shorter showers to fixing leaky faucets, these efforts translate to cost savings and a positive environmental impact.

Furthermore, Canberra aligns with national sustainability goals through the COAG Urban Water Reform package. This framework emphasises water metering, water-saving strategies, water recycling for non-potable purposes, and responsible catchment management.

These combined efforts ensure the long-term sustainability of Canberra’s water supply. As well as contribute to the health of the upper Murrumbidgee River, a vital ecological artery for the region. As a dedicated Canberra plumber, we share in this commitment to the future by promoting water-saving practices and ensuring the efficient use of this precious resource.


water treatment filtration system

Looking Ahead: Innovation and Collaboration for a Sustainable Future

The ACT Government remains committed to continuous improvement and addressing community concerns related to water management. Collaborative efforts with the Australian and NSW governments aim to enhance water quality, review Snowy Hydro’s operations for a sustainable future, and strike a balance between hydroelectric power generation and the needs of downstream communities, the environment, and local economies.

The innovative ACT Healthy Waterways program exemplifies this commitment. The program aims to enhance the water quality in lakes and ponds by employing nature-based solutions such as wetlands and biofiltration systems. Which in turn benefits the entire Murrumbidgee River system.

This holistic approach to water management recognises the interconnectedness of the ecosystem and ensures a healthy water cycle for all. As your local Canberra plumber, we support these initiatives and are committed to playing our part in ensuring a sustainable future for Canberra’s water supply and the environment.

Securing Our Water Future: Advocacy and Collaboration

When it comes to the long-term security of Canberra’s water supply, everything hinges on the health of the upper Murrumbidgee River and maintaining adequate river flow. The ACT Government prioritises protecting this iconic river and collaborates with stakeholders to safeguard its ecological integrity. Ongoing advocacy efforts ensure this vital resource remains healthy and provides sufficient reliable water for Canberra’s needs.

A Toast to Teamwork: A City Built on Collaboration

Canberra’s water supply system is a testament to effective collaboration between various entities. Icon Water’s dedicated water management, meticulous treatment processes implemented by the treatment plants, as well as the ACT Government’s commitment to sustainability all play crucial roles in this process. By working together, these entities ensure residents and businesses have access to a reliable, high-quality, and sustainable water resource.

The Final Sip: A Shared Responsibility for a Water-Secure Future

Canberra’s reliable water story is one of innovation, collaboration, and a deep respect for this precious resource. By understanding the journey water takes, from mountain catchments to our taps, we gain a newfound appreciation for its value. The future of Canberra’s water supply is bright. With ongoing investment in sustainable practices, innovative solutions, and a commitment to responsible consumption, Canberra can ensure a thriving and water-secure future for future generations.

Remember, every drop counts! So, let’s all play our part by using water wisely and appreciating the remarkable journey it takes to quench our thirst. As your local Canberra plumber, we are committed to promoting responsible water usage. And ensuring a sustainable water supply for our future generations.


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Lake Burley in Canberra, water management

Everything You Wanted To Know About Canberra’s Water Supply

Australia’s “Bush Capital,” Canberra, might seem far removed from vast water sources. But it still boasts a reliable and high-quality water supply, thanks to a well-managed system and a commitment to sustainability. Let’s take a look into the fascinating journey water takes, from the picturesque mountains to your kitchen tap.

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