If you've had tap water from anywhere in WA other than Esperance than you'd know that there was something a little off by it. It's difficult to describe but aesthetically, it doesn't taste write.
A Facebook poll earlier this week revealed that 80% of Esperance residents prefer not to drink the water (of a sample size of around 1200 people).
That's an alarmingly high amount of people. Where most people prefer rainwater from a tank installed around the home, there are a small amount of people that had to succumb to purchased bottle water if they wanted to quench their thirst.
Despite the shocking taste the Water Corp assures the Esperance community that the water is safe to drink and use.
A statement from Water Corporation Great Southern Regional Manager, Adrian Stewart, read:
"Water for our customers in Esperance is sourced from naturally occurring local groundwater, a source suitable for safe drinking water. Each year we supply around 1.6 billion litres of water to around 5,000 properties in Esperance.
Once water is abstracted from the ground, we then treat the water with chlorine, calgon and add fluoride, before it is distributed to the community.
Chlorine is used as a disinfectant which provides lasting, effective protection from the water treatment plant to your tap. Fluoride is added to improve dental health, as directed by the Department of Health. Calgon is added to assist with water hardness, a characteristic associated with schemes like Esperance that are sourced from groundwater.
The aesthetic aspects of drinking water, such as taste, odour and hardness, can be attributed to a number of factors. In Esperance, the groundwater has naturally high levels of calcium carbonate, or ‘hardness’, common in many coastal towns in Western Australia. We understand this to be of particular interest to the community as an aesthetic characteristic of the water; however it does not have health impacts.
Again, I reassure the Esperance community their water is safe for use and meets all health related requirement as set out by the Department of Health."
Mr. Stewart went on to say that although it was unfortunate that the water tasted the way it did, it would be difficult to achieve a specific taste that would suit everybody drinking the tap water, and to the extra treatment put into the water to get it up to an acceptable drinking standard would be too expensive for the community.
The question is, would you pay extra in your water bill for better tasting drinking water?