Water Quality

Hunter Water provides safe and reliable drinking water to over half a million customers in the lower Hunter. We take a holistic approach to managing our water quality from source to tap, ensuring we deliver high quality water to our customers while protecting the environment.

Our drinking water systems are aligned to "The Framework for Management of Drinking Water Quality" that is part of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines - the national reference document for drinking water quality. The framework emphasises a preventive multiple barrier approach to protecting drinking water quality from catchment to tap. Drinking water supplied by Hunter Water is consistently of a very high standard and well within the requirements of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

Under our operating licence we are required to comply with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. Quality is ensured by specifying health-based and aesthetic criteria as well as maintaining preventive measures to protect water quality from catchment to tap.

Learn more about our drinking water guidelines.

We also work closely with NSW Health through the Memorandum of Understanding to ensure that all current and emerging issues associated with drinking water quality are identified and assessed.


Geosmin in Chichester Dam 

Low levels of blue green algae in Chichester Dam have contributed to an increase in the naturally occurring compound geosmin, which can cause water to have an earthy taste or odour. There are no adverse health effects associated with geosmin.

The presence of blue green algae is not uncommon, and is generally caused by environmental factors including warm temperatures and calm, stable water conditions.

To improve geosmin removal, Hunter Water is establishing a temporary facility north of Dungog, which will dose the water with powdered activated carbon (PAC). PAC is non-toxic and will be removed at the Dungog Water Treatment Plant. Our tap water remains safe to drink.

Hunter Water has notified 18 customers who are located downstream of the facility but upstream of Dungog Water Treatment Plant. We will also be providing drinking water to four of those customers who have a direct connection to the Chichester Trunk Gravity Main (CTGM) and are not yet connected to a rainwater tank or alternate supply.

Learn more about Geosmin


Find our latest water quality monitoring summary in 'Helpful Information' below.        

  • Drinking Water Fact Sheets and Information