Dirty or Discoloured Water

Are you experiencing dirty or discoloured water coming from your tap? Common causes of dirty or discoloured water include routine maintenance, mains break, internal plumbing and new service works. All instances require further investigation by Council before further water use.  

If you are experiencing changes only to the taste and smell of your drinking water, this may be as a result of the recently increased levels of naturally occurring taste and odour compounds – MIB and Geosmin.  To read more about taste and odour issues, visit here.  

Remember – when in doubt, reach out. 

Dirty or discoloured water frequently asked questions

What do I do if I have dirty or discoloured water?

If you are experiencing dirty or discoloured water and have not been notified of maintenance works via mailbox, please halt use until the issue is identified or resolved. Please lodge a report here and we will assess the issue as soon as possible.

Dirty or discoloured is a separate event to the earthy taste and odour issue we are seeing occur as a result of the increased levels of naturally occurring compounds, MIB and Geosmin. For more information on taste and odour issues, please visit here.

If in doubt, please contact us.

Is dirty or discoloured water safe to use?

It is advisable not to use dirty water until the issue has been identified and is resolved.

Why is the water coming from my tap dirty?

The presence of dirty water could be due to various factors, such as maintenance work in our water distribution mains. Other reasons include sediment build-up, mains break, testing of fire hydrants, ageing pipe infrastructure in the system or individual properties and more. 

Council is also making a significant investment in our water infrastructure. Over the last five years, we’ve conducted extensive routine maintenance – known as ‘ice pigging’ - to clean our water mains.  

This initiative is ongoing. We let residents know about maintenance work ahead of schedule, so if you have been notified clear instructions will be in your mailbox.   

If you are unsure, have not received a notification with clear instructions, or have any concerns, please contact Council or via the Report an Issue Form.  

Remember, when in doubt, reach out.

Why might dirty or discoloured water occur during the annual maintenance works program and is it common?

Encountering dirty or discoloured water during annual maintenance works is not uncommon.  

When water works are conducted and the main pipes are turned off, the water flow is reduced or stopped.  

This can cause sediment to build up, so that when the flow resumes, it takes this sediment with it to the tap – resulting in dirty or discoloured water. 

Who should I contact if I notice dirty water from my taps and I am not aware of maintenance in my area?

Please report the issue to Port Macquarie Hastings Council.  

This helps us to keep a record of occurrences, as well as to let you know next steps.  

Providing detailed information about the location, time and nature of the problem will assist the Council in investigating and resolving the issue more effectively.

If I report it, how long will it take to resolve or fix the issue?

The resolution time can vary depending on the cause of the issue.  

When reported, we will triage and assess the situation and work to address the problem as quickly as possible.

I have more questions, where can I get answers?

To report an issue to Port Macquarie Hastings Council, visit here.
If you have more questions, we're here to help. There are a number of ways you can contact us here.