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Residents Advised Against Using Tap Water In Elmore

The small northern Victorian town of Elmore is grappling with a water crisis as residents enter the fourth day without access to safe tap water. 

The issue arose after a fault at the local Elmore Water Treatment Plant on Christmas Day.

Coliban Water, the local water authority, confirmed that an alarm fault at the treatment plant caused it to cease operations. 

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The plant is now in the process of being restored, with officials indicating that it will take some time to resume normal operations.

A health alert remains in effect while the plant is back online, preventing residents from using tap water for drinking, preparing beverages, washing or preparing food, brushing teeth, or making ice. 

Authorities are particularly concerned about the potential presence of E. coli, and residents are urged to adhere to the advisory until water sample test results from the Department of Health confirm the safety of the water.

Elmore businesses have been significantly impacted, with some forced to close their doors due to the contaminated water. 

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The Elmore Bakery, facing its busiest days of the year, has remained shut as it is unable to use tap water for any food production.

Nathan Bowes, the owner of Elmore Bakery said: “We can’t wash fruit and vegetables, so it’s caused a real issue. In the 14 years I’ve been here, this is a first.”

Coliban Water has mitigated the impact by installing water tanks at the bakery and local hotel. Bottled water is also available for residents at the Elmore Treatment Plant.

 Danny McLean, Chief assets and operations officer at Coliban Water, said: “We need two clear samples for the water quality.”

“We’re testing for E. coli, so we can understand the health of the system. We’ll work with the Department of Health to make sure the water is safe to drink.”

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