Unitywater consistently meets national water quality targets, as detailed in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011. You can read more about water quality by downloading our latest Drinking Water Quality Management Plan Annual Report.

This is what's in your water

Seqwater, the State Government bulk water supply authority, adds fluoride to the water at their water treatment plants, under the direction of councils. Unitywater does not add fluoride to the water supply.

Under the Water Fluoridation Act 2008, local councils in Queensland are able to choose to fluoridate the water supply. All three councils in Unitywater's service area (Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and Noosa) have elected to fluoridate.

For health information, visit the Queensland Health website, read the Changes to Water Fluoridation Act 2008 – Frequently Asked Questions or Seqwater’s fluoride factsheet.


Chlorine is commonly used around the world to disinfect drinking water supplies.

Chlorine is a simple, reliable, effective, relatively inexpensive and, above all else, safe way to disinfect drinking water supplies to protect against contamination by microbiological organisms.

When used at levels that comply with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, chlorine is effective against virtually all micro-organisms that could pose a threat to your health.

Normal chlorine concentrations in our drinking water pipeline systems will range from 0.5mg/L to 1.5 mg/L.

Chloramination is a disinfection process which involves adding controlled doses of chlorine and ammonia to the water supply.

  • Chloramines stay in the water supply system for longer periods.
  • This is a major advantage for a water network as large as ours because it preserves the high microbiological quality of water supplies that travel over long distances.

However, chloramines are toxic to pet fish. To make the water safe for fish, you will need to:

  • seek advice from your local aquarium
  • test the water to determine chloramine and pH concentration
  • treat the water with products from your local aquarium (if necessary)
  • age tap water in a container overnight before adding to a fish tank
  • replace less than one-third of the total volume of water in the tank at any one time.

What is pH?

  • pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14.
  • A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

How is pH used? 

  • One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in our pipes and fittings. When pH is below 6.5 or above 11, the water may corrode plumbing fittings and pipes.
  • Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5. Our 2015-16 Drinking Water Quality Performance Report shows the average pH results from various locations across our service area were between 7.4 and 7.7.

Hard water

Hardness in drinking water is mainly the result of the presence of large amounts of two minerals - calcium and magnesium.

  • Hard water requires more soap than soft water to obtain a lather.
  • It can also cause scale to form on hot water pipes and fittings.

Soft water

Soft water contains small amounts of calcium and magnesium.

It may lead to greater corrosion of pipes, although this will depend on other factors such as pH, alkalinity and dissolved oxygen concentration.

Drinking water in the Sunshine Coast and Noosa regions is generally soft (less than100mg/L), whereas in the Moreton Bay region it is neither hard nor soft (less than 200 mg/L).

Useful things to know in relation to soft water:

  • Leave your water-using appliances on factory settings
  • You do not need to add salt to the water
  • If a dishwasher supplier quotes results in mmol/L, then 1mmol/L = 100mg/L

Degrees of hardness

Degrees of hardness are described in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011 as:

Amount Description of hardness
Less than 60 mg/ L CaCO3 (Calcium Carbonate) Soft but possibly corrosive
60-200 mg/L CaCO3 Good quality
200-500 mg/L CaCO3 Hard, with increasing scaling problems
Greater than 500 mg/L CaCO3 Hard with severe scaling

 

 

You might also be interested in

Mother washing lettuce at kitchen sink

Search for water quality information by your postcode

You can find out more about your water, including its hardness and quality, using our postcode checker. 
Dirty brown water running into a sink

Are you concerned about water quality?

There are a number of reasons why your water might look, taste or smell unusual. Learn more about how to resolve the issue.
Washing vegetables in kitchen sink

International accreditation for Food Management

Unitywater has become the first distributor-retailer in south east Queensland to be certified for the international food safety certification ISO 22000.
Girl drinking glass of water

Drinking Water Quality Annual Reports

Unitywater publishes Drinking Water Quality Annual Reports, which contain additional information you may find useful.