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Managing Data In A Boil Water Alert

Managing operational information, time-stamped data, and assets after a boiling water alert.

In November 2019, Mid-Western Regional Council (MWRC) were required to issue a boiling water alert (BWA) due to a storm causing a raw water turbidity event in a very short period. The raw water inundated the WTP which lead to the issuing of the BWA. While the operators were busy jar testing and drop testing, the council also had other assets that it needed to lock down such as bubbler’s and bulk water filling stations, so the public could not access them. As the event continued, the operators began to get fatigued and reverted to manually recording data in log sheets.

In 2019, MWRC installed WaterOutlook to digitise their compliance and operational data reporting. After the BWA event, MWRC underwent an internal review to evaluate how they could handle raw water quality events in the future. As part of the review, it was noted that WaterOutlook could have been used more extensively in managing data and assets. Post review the following has been implemented in WaterOutlook.

Post-incident improvements:

  • Create a dedicated GIS layer for Water Quality locations to form part of the DWMS document.

  • GPS all public access points.

  • Avdata (Bulk water filling stations).

  • Bubbler’s.

  • Sample locations.

  • Operational & Verification of data.

  • Ensure WaterOutlook is used for quick escalation of results.

In February 2020, MWRC received another raw water quality event with another storm passing through causing high turbidity (210 NTU). However, with the process in place from the November 2019 event, the staff and operators were able to manage the raw water and treat it at the plant. MWRC also installed in turbidity meters after the 2019 event which gave them more operational data to handle the incoming turbidity.

In July 2020, Rod Morton engaged SAFEgroup Automation to provide a weather station in the upper catchment as part of further improvements from the 2019 BWA event.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can manage your data in a boil water alert event with WaterOutlook, contact our WaterOutlook Product Manager, Adam Simpson or get in touch with the SGA team today!


Rod Morton Treatment Supervisor at Mid-Western Regional Council. This application note is based on Rods presentation at WIOA Virtual Water. You can replay the presentation by visiting Search: Response to Boil Water Alert to Prevent Subsequent Incidents.


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