Council fielded a number of enquiries from the community regarding a change in taste of drinking water from our town supply over the weekend.

The change in taste is temporary and is due to a higher proportion of dam water being used. Naturally occurring chemicals in dam water due to catchment runoff and microbial activity can give the water an earthy taste.

To improve the aesthetic nature of the water, Council Operations staff have reduced the flow to the Water Treatment Plant from the dam and have increased the flow from the bores to dilute the taste causing compounds.

Parkes' drinking water is assured under a Drinking Water Management System, required under the NSW Public Health Act 2010, that requires continual monitoring of drinking water production at the new Parkes Water Treatment plant. From Friday 12 February 2021 through until Monday 15 February 2021, there was no exceedance on any of the real-time monitored indicators and all water samples taken in the reticulation passed bench-top testing.

The aesthetic quality of the water, taste and odour, are not monitored as they are subjective, meaning that members of the community taste in different ways and at different concentrations, and cause no harm. Council utilises the following diagram from the Water Services Association of Australia to categorise potential taste and odour compounds based on the subjective feedback from customers, to help identify the source and potential compounds for testing.

Water chart


For more information about our water supply, visit