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Bushfire water relief program

Bushfire water relief program

Emergency water relief for bushfire affected residents

If you’re in a Victorian bushfire affected area and without drinking and domestic water supply due to tank contamination, Melbourne based water corporation, South East Water, will be your single point of contact to call for help.

How to get in touch

Anyone seeking emergency water help from the bushfire affected areas should call South East Water on 13 18 51 and press 9.

What help is available?

Eligible permanent residents initially in the declared bushfire affected areas will be provided with a tank water flush and top-up of 5,000 litres.

The program doesn't include a tank clean. 

Who’s eligible in north-east Victoria?

Residents, schools and health facilities (not on reticulated water) in:

  • Majority of Towong Shire
  • Some communities in Alpine Shire, Rural City of Wangaratta and Indigo Shire.

For more information you can view a relief drinking boundary map on the South East Water website. The map is current as of Wednesday 15 January 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information please read the Emergency water relief program FAQs via the South East Water website.


Tank water affected by smoke or ash?

If water tanks outside the affected area are affected by smoke or ash, it’s unlikely to be a health concern. However, if the rainwater tastes, looks or smells unusual, we advise that the customer uses bottled water for drinking, food preparation, brushing teeth and feeding to animals, however continue to use the tank water for all other uses.

For more information visit Better Health Channel’s Bushfires and your private drinking water supply web page.


More information

You can also read a media release on the program from Minister for Water, Lisa Neville here.

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