Yass council has claimed a victory in its battle to clean up the town's water supply, saying it has reached a ''turning point'', but some residents are yet to be convinced.
In a statement on Monday, the Yass Valley Council said a new trial had proved successful in removing manganese from the town's water supply. The element has caused the water to discolour since the construction of the new Yass dam.
Directer of operations Simon Cassidy said beginning in May, the manganese had been slowly removed by adding chlorine and soda ash to the water before it was filtered.
''Results of the trial show manganese levels in the water have been reduced from as high as 0.4mg/L in the raw water from the Yass dam to about 0.15mg/L,'' he said.
''This has coincided with a large reduction in complaints received from residents, which indicates that the removal of manganese has had an impact on the water quality being provided to the community.''
Mr Cassidy said the council would also be posting weekly updates on its website of water testing at the treatment plant, including the water's pH, colour, temperature and turbidity.
Yass resident Dimity Smith said she was happy that the council was listening to the community's concerns and taking steps to reduce the brown colour in the water.
''We're yet to see whether the smell and taste improve as well – that's another issue. The brown was one issue, but the taste is there constantly, and that's something of more concern to me because we can't drink the water we pay for,'' she said.
''I believe they'll try to do something, but whether it's a cop-out because they need to put out a press statement, I don't know.''
Long-time resident Brenda Jaggers, whose fish were killed after she used Yass water in her tank, said she was yet to be convinced about the safety of the town's supply.
''Seeing is believing, hearing is deceiving,'' she said. ''I must admit that since the meeting, I've only had one day with soiled water; every [other] day it's run clear. But I'm still buying water. I'm not game enough to drink it.''
Mrs Jaggers said that after years of poor-quality water, it would be a long time before she trusted the council's word again.
''It will be a long time for me to even contemplate using it in the kettle. I don't care how much it costs me to buy water, at least I know it's safe,'' she said.