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The Victorian Desalination Plant complements this high quality with a range of water quality standards specified by the water authorities. As well as these specifications, the water also meets the requirements of:

These water quality parameters were put into the contract between the state and AquaSure.

Water from the desalination plant meets all the relevant standards at the plant site, so it’s not necessary for it to be blended with catchment water to achieve water quality requirements.

Water quality is measured before the water leaves the plant site and at the delivery points along the transfer pipeline. Water quality testing is undertaken by an independent water quality laboratory as well as through online testing conducted by AquaSure and monitored by DEECA and water authorities.

Boron: water quality testing in action

The Australian Drinking Water Guideline recommendation for boron is just one of the many water quality specifications that every water supply must meet.

Boron levels for the Victorian Desalination Project must meet the target specification of less than or equal to 0.5 mg/L at all times, which is 1/8 of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines requirements of 4 mg per litre and 1/5 of the World Health Organization level of 2.4 mg/L.

This was confirmed during the commissioning of the project via laboratory test results.

Water quality and distribution

Our water’s taste has been highly regarded around the world. In 2023, water from the Victorian Desalination Plant was named Victoria’s best tasting tap water by the Water Industry Operators Association.

The Victorian Desalination Plant can supply up to 150 billion litres of water each year to Melbourne, Geelong, areas in South Gippsland and Western Port.

Water from the desalination plant meets all the relevant standards at the plant so it is not necessary for it to be blended with catchment water to achieve water quality requirements.

DEECA, water authorities and AquaSure continuously monitor water quality. It is measured before it leaves the plant site and at delivery points along the plant’s transfer pipeline.

How is desalinated water created?

The desalination process substantially removes salts and minerals from seawater. The salt and minerals from seawater are removed by 2 passes through reverse osmosis membranes at the plant site.

The desalinated water is then remineralised so it is more like our catchment supplies. Fluoride is also added as required by state health legislation. Discover how the desalination plant works.

What are the water specifications?

Melbourne receives water from a range of catchment sources with their own levels of trace elements and mineral profiles. Every water supply has different levels of these elements.

The water quality specifications for the Victorian Desalination Project have been carefully chosen to closely match the water in Melbourne’s catchments while still meeting stringent health requirements.

Read the detailed specifications for desalinated water by finding the following technical document at Victorian Desalination Projects Buying for Victoria.

  • Scroll down to find Desalination Project - Project Deed Annexure 3.
  • Schedule A summarises water quality parameters on pages 143 to 153.

Which areas get desalinated water?

Water from the Victorian Desalination Plant can enter the network through Cardinia Reservoir and from offtakes on the plant’s transfer pipeline.

In Cardinia Reservoir it mixes with catchment supplies and water can be transferred through Silvan Reservoir to the broader network, depending on how storages are managed.

Westernport Water’s offtake connects into the network near Candowie Reservoir and South Gippsland Water’s connection is near Wonthaggi and connects to Lance Creek Reservoir.

Customers will receive water at their homes and businesses through the existing water network.

For information on water in your area, contact your water corporation.

Page last updated: 25/10/23