Water Quality

Canberra's water quality

The quality of water from the catchment to consumers is evaluated through physical, chemical, and microbiological analysis of water samples from the dams, treatment plants, service reservoirs, and garden taps of Canberra residents.

All sampling and analytical work is performed by a NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities) registered laboratory. The ACT drinking water quality code of practice and the Australian drinking water guidelines (ADWG, 2011) are the basis for ACTEW Water's water quality operations and monitoring.

ACTEW Water publishes an Annual Drinking Water Quality Report which is a valuable resource for information on the Canberra drinking water supply system and for recent data on the physical and chemical composition of Canberra's drinking water.

Typical physical and chemical composition of Canberra drinking water

Parameter

 

 

 

Units

 

 

 

ADWG Health Value

 

 

 

Minimum Concentration

 

 

 

Maximum Concentration

 

 

 

Mean Concentration

 

 

 

pH*

 

 

 

pH units

 

 

 

6.5-8.5*

 

 

 

6.6

 

 

 

9.0

 

 

 

7.7

 

 

 

Alkalinity

 

 

 

mg/L as CaCO3

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

89

 

 

 

38

 

 

 

Colour (true)*

 

 

 

Pt-Co

 

 

 

15*

 

 

 

<1

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

Turbidity*

 

 

 

NTU

 

 

 

5*

 

 

 

0.11

 

 

 

2.7

 

 

 

0.34

 

 

 

Fluoride

 

 

 

mg/L

 

 

 

1.5

 

 

 

0.3

 

 

 

0.9

 

 

 

0.8

 

 

 

Hardness*

 

 

 

mg/L

 

 

 

200

 

 

 

30

 

 

 

64

 

 

 

41

 

 

 

Iron*

 

 

 

mg/L

 

 

 

0.3*

 

 

 

<0.02

 

 

 

0.16

 

 

 

<0.02

 

 

 

Manganese

 

 

 

mg/L

 

 

 

0.5

 

 

 

<0.0005

 

 

 

0.077

 

 

 

0.004

 

 

 

Aluminium (acid soluble)*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

200*

 

 

 

18

 

 

 

110

 

 

 

33

 

 

 

Copper

 

 

 

mg/L

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

<0.001

 

 

 

0.490

 

 

 

0.02

 

 

 

Lead

 

 

 

mg/L

 

 

 

0.01

 

 

 

<0.2

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

0.2

 

 

 

Note: These values are based on water quality data reported in 2013-14.
*Aesthetic value only, no current ADWG health value - no guideline value set