Operating Tomago Sandbeds

The Tomago Sandbeds are an important part of the Hunter Water supply scheme. They provide a safe and reliable source of water from the ground that can be called on to supply water at any time.

The Sandbeds can provide a large portion of our region’s drinking water for short periods, and are an important source of water during droughts.

Tomago Sandbeds Fact Sheet


Learn more about why we operate the Sandbeds, and how we ensure the safety and quality of this important water source.

One of the reasons we don’t operate the Sandbeds continuously is due to the high cost of treating the water. Customers may notice some changes in the appearance of their water when the Sandbeds are operational due to naturally occurring Iron and Manganese present in the water. This is not a health concern, but it can discolour the water.

Water quality monitoring

We have an extensive ‘catchment to tap’ water quality monitoring program in place to ensure the safety of our drinking water. We test for PFAS, including PFOS, PFOA and PFHxS, at all six of our drinking water treatment plants, at Campvale Canal and at 74 locations across the entire drinking water network. To date, there have been no detections of the chemicals in our water supply above the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.