Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ

Here’s answers to common questions about our essential services in the community as we all work together to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have any other questions for us, please let us know.

General FAQs

Is my water safe to drink?

There is currently no evidence about the survival of coronavirus (COVID-19) in drinking water.

Melbourne has some of the best drinking water in the world, and we will continue to supply this to your home every day. There is no need to buy bottled water for everyday use.

If you do have concerns with drinking water quality, please call us on 13 44 99, 24 hours a day.

What can I flush down the toilet?

The only things that can be safely flushed down the toilet are the three P’s - pee, poo and (toilet) paper.

Tissues, hand towel and wipes need to be put in the bin. If other materials are flushed, it can lead to blockages in internal plumbing and our sewer pipes, which can then cause sewer spills.

What is City West Water doing to help reduce the risk of transmission?

The health and wellbeing of our people and customers is our priority. We have made important changes to the way we will work with you when we need to carry out work on our water and sewer networks, consistent with government health advice.

We continue to prioritise our work program based on need and have introduced enhanced regular cleaning and sanitisation processes.

We are practicing physical distancing, which means we will leave at least 1.5 metres distance between you and our staff and contractors.

We understand that this will impact on some of the ways in which we would usually engage with you and are encouraging more opportunity for contact via phone and email.

Works FAQs

What happens if you require access to my property?

Sometimes we will be required to enter your property to maintain or repair our assets.

There may also be times in which water needs to be safely disconnected to ensure these repairs can be undertaken. We will work hard to ensure any interruption is minimised.

What you can expect:

  • we may make direct contact via phone or email (if time permits) if we need to access your property, though we may also knock on your door in an emergency
  • if we require immediate access to your property, we will approach wearing a face covering and maintaining a 1.5 metre physical distance
  • we will show our identification and let you know the reason for our visit
  • we may ask the best way to access the area of your property where works are required.

What can I use if the water main must be shut off for emergency repairs?

We understand your increased reliance on water to maintain hygiene and will make every effort to provide an alternative water supply.

When undertaking emergency repairs, please be understanding that there are times when water will need to be reduced or stopped to safely conduct repairs. We consider all options, with shut off being the last resort.

Before the water supply is interrupted, we suggest that you:

  • store water in containers for cooking and drinking
  • fill your sink/bathtub with water for washing
  • fill a bucket with water for flushing the toilet
  • turn off all taps and appliances that use water (this stops air getting into the pipes)

We plan outages to reduce customer impact as best we can, and remain focused on minimising the length of time of any water outage.

How will you carry out work at my property if I’m self-isolating?

A lot of work can be performed without coming on to your property. If we do need to access your property or your home, our team will assess whether the work is urgent and can be done safely in line with a COVIDSafe Plan and current COVIDSafe settings. We will keep you informed about our assessment and next steps.

If we need to contact you to discuss details of works impacting your property, our team will usually contact you directly on site. We will always approach your home with safety our first priority, and following current COVIDSafe settings.

Please cooperate with our team and share any information we should know to help us carry out works safely for everyone.

Do I have to let you enter my property?

In accordance with the Water Act 1989, you are required to allow us to enter your property under certain circumstances. In the case of an emergency, notice to enter your property is not required. We will always carry appropriate identification and let you know why we are there. You can learn more about our obligations when entering and leaving your property in our Customer charters.

I’m concerned about noisy works and heavy machinery operating when I’m at home.

We understand that construction can be noisy and unpleasant when you are at home all day.

Our team will do their best to keep impacts to a minimum, to cause as little inconvenience as possible.

Why are you doing these works now?

Our works program has been carefully considered to ensure that the most critical work is completed at this time. This includes planned upgrades and maintenance of our water and sewer networks, as well as support for current major infrastructure projects happening across our city.

The risk of not doing this work now may include unplanned water outages and bursts, or blockages in our sewerage network.

This proactive, planned work is necessary to maintain safe and reliable services to you.

If you enter my property, will you clean the areas you touch?

We have implemented measures to minimise touchpoints on our work sites. Our teams also wear appropriate protective equipment on site and carry sanitising equipment for use when required.

Do you keep a record of who is working on site?

We keep records of our staff and contractors attending our work sites to help with any future contact tracing.

I am connected to a temporary water source (above ground pipe) is this still safe?

The water from the temporary source is the same quality as that from your tap. It may be warmer than normal, particularly in hot weather, and you also may notice lower pressure than normal.

If you are connected to an alternative water supply, it is our priority to connect you to a permanent source as soon as we can.

Should I be concerned about a sewer spill?

There is no evidence that coronavirus (COVID-19) is transmitted through via sewerage networks. However, sewage always poses a range of health risks and our works will continue to be carried out safely and with the highest attention to hygiene.

It is always important to take measures to avoid direct contact with sewage, which must only be handled with appropriate protective clothing.

Areas impacted by sewage spills are thoroughly washed and disinfected to reduce health and environmental risks, in accordance with our current work practices.

Should I be concerned if you are working on a sewer line in my property or street?

Sewage always poses a range of health risks and our works will continue to be carried out safely and with the highest attention to hygiene. Our contractors are required to follow strict health and safety procedures when working in the sewerage system. Areas impacted by sewage spills are thoroughly washed and disinfected to reduce health and environmental risks, in accordance with our current work practices.

Who can I speak with if I have more questions?

For questions about this project, please contact the representative listed on our previous works notifications to you.

  • For general customer service, call us on 13 44 99, Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5pm.
  • For Translation Service, please contact 03 9313 8989.
  • For 24 hour faults and emergencies or water quality concerns, please call 13 44 99.
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