The north east of Victoria is currently affected by bushfires, and we recognise that you may be impacted by the bushfire emergency currently unfolding.
Below is some information you may find useful – we will keep this page updated with relevant information, and you can phone us on 1800 013 357 with any queries.
Changes in water quality
Water users in and downstream of fire-affected areas should be aware of potential changes in water quality in streams following storms or rainfall events.
Rainfall can wash ash, nutrients, organic matter, pathogens and sediment into streams and dams in and downstream of fire-affected areas, and can trigger a large flow of poor quality water into rivers or water storages.
If you’re drawing water directly from streams, monitor your supply source and make alternative arrangements if water quality deteriorates.
Information on water quality and health can be found on the state government's Better Health channel.
If you have any questions or concerns, please phone us on 1800 013 357. See below for more information about emergency water relief and supply points.
Remember, water supplied by GMW is unfit for human consumption, directly or indirectly, without first being properly treated.
These changes in water quality are also impacting fish health. If you see any fish dealths, please contact EPA Victoria on 1300 372 842.
For more information on fish deaths click here.
Lake Buffalo closed
GMW will be closing all access to Lake Buffalo, including recreation use, at the request of emergency services.
We urge people to continue visiting our website and social media to stay informed about access to our storages.
General storage information
Please note that some GMW storages may be in areas that are under Vic Emergency alerts and warnings. Before travelling to our storages or to any potentially fire-affected areas, please check:
Information for GMW customers
To assist you during this time, we have made a number of changes to our services:
- All GMW potentially fire impacted customer account payments have been temporarily placed on hold (this includes already established payment plans). If you are potentially impacted, you will receive a letter from us.
- Customers who have fire damaged GMW infrastructure should directly contact Customer Service Manager Stephen Gemmill on (03) 5723 3230.
- Established a dedicated team of Call Centre staff to specifically handle incoming enquiries from fire-impacted customers. Please call us on 1800 013 357 and select "4" for the bushfires option.
- Established this webpage dedicated to resource information specific to the north east Victorian bushfire emergency, including support agencies and recovery information.
We will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds, however in the interim, if you have any questions or concerns please call us on 1800 013 357.
Emergency water relief for bushfire affected residents
South East Water, based in Frankston, will be providing bushfire aid on behalf of the Victorian water industry to tank water users in the north east Victoria and east Gippsland regions.
Anyone seeking emergency water assistance from the bushfire affected areas should contact South East Water on 131 851.
More information is available here.
Emergency water supply points
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) oversees a network of about 300 emergency water supply points, which provide water for emergency stock and domestic purposes during severe dry seasonal conditions, surface water scarcity, and bushfires. Some sites are also equipped to supply water to firefighting vehicles.
A map of all emergency water supply points is available at the DELWP website.
Farm recovery after bushfire
Agriculture Victoria has information and resources on protecting water supplies, soils, pastures and livestock following bushfires. Find out more at their farm and land recovery webpage.
Where to find up-to-date emergency information
Vic Emergency is responsible for emergency information and will always have the most up-to-date information available. You can also download their app on your mobile phone.
Department of Health fact sheets
The Department of Health has developed a number of fact sheets to assist communities in the event or aftermath of a fire.
These fact sheets are available from the health.vic website.