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- Surface water includes rivers and streams.
- Untreated river water is not recommended for drinking or cooking.
- The risk of illness is low for most people. It is higher for people with lower immune response, such as very young children, older people, and people with a chronic illness.
- These people should always boil water used for drinking, cooking and washing food.
How to ensure surface water is safe?
- To be certain that your water is safe, you may choose to have your water tested.
- Seek advice on collection, timing and the number of water samples from your local council.
- A fee may be charged for this service.
- 'One off' samples can be misleading.
- Untreated river water should always be boiled before using for drinking, cooking and washing food.
- Install water filters at your kitchen tap.
How can surface water get contaminated?
Surface waters are subject to biological and chemical contamination which may come from:
- stock access
- native/feral animals
- septic tanks
- dairies and piggeries
- stormwater run-off
- pesticides and fertilisers from farmland and forestry operations.
Where to get more information on surface water quality