Cleaner water on the horizon thanks to TasWater’s 24 Glasses

24 GLASSES: Three Northern Midlands towns do not have access to clean drinking water.
24 GLASSES: Three Northern Midlands towns do not have access to clean drinking water.

Despite running tap water being seen as an inalienable right for most Australians, there is still 1 per cent of Tasmanians without access to clean drinking water in 24 towns across the state.

According to Taswater, the quality of water in these towns are not up to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines standard.

Taswater’s 24 Glasses initiative, however, aims to provide these towns with access to clean drinking water by August 2018.

You can't own a white shirt, because when you wash it, it will go brown.

Northern Midlands councillor Leisa Gordon

So far, the campaign has delivered for 12 of the targeted areas.

Three Northern Midlands sites –  Conara, Epping Forest and Rossarden – are among the towns still waiting for water treatment upgrades.

Northern Midlands councillor, and Conara resident, Leisa Gordon said the water in Conara is "undrinkable".

"You can't own a white shirt, because when you wash it, it will go brown," she said.

"Sometimes there will be a lot of chlorine in it, and it will do the opposite and bleach your clothes.

"Your skin is extremely dry and itchy.

"I feel for sorry for children in the community, because its the kids who suffer.”

Plans to install a waste water treatment plant at Conara are currently being advertised with the Northern Midlands Council.

At this time 100 per cent of TasWater customers will have water which meets Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

TasWater spokesman

The application was submitted by Launceston company pitt&sherry, with the plant scheduled to provide water to Conara and Epping Forest residents by August next year.

In the meantime, Cr Gordon said many Conara residents now have access to a TasWater-provided tank.

A spokesman for TasWater said a further five systems have been added to the original 24 towns, meaning 100 per cent of Tasmanians will have access to clean drinking water by 2018.

“The second 12 [towns] are in stage two along with the remaining five systems, and these are on schedule to meet the timeframe of August 31, 2018,” he said.

“At this time 100 per cent of TasWater customers will have water which meets Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. 

“They will be able to safely drink the water straight from the tap following the removal of all permanent public health alerts.”