Water Education

Choose Tap

When it comes to drinking water – tap water is the best choice for your health, the environment and your hip pocket.

We all know drinking water is a better choice for our body than sugary beverages – but did you know the water that comes from our taps is some of the highest quality water around?

For customers in the MidCoast region, the choice is made easier by the knowledge the water is not just safe quality water – it is also award winning! The water produced by the Bootawa Water Treatment Plant, which is supplied from Crowdy Head in the north to Tarbuck Bay in the south, has been named the best tasting water in NSW and Queensland.

We have invested millions of dollars in recent years improving water treatment for our customers, with new water treatment plants for the Manning and Tea Gardens schemes. Improvements have also been made to water treatment in our smaller areas and work is currently underway on an upgrade to the Gloucester treatment plant.

The quality of tap water is highly regulated and there are a number of quality control processes in place to ensure it is of the highest quality.

However the quality isn’t the only reason to choose tap water – with bottled water up to 2,000 times dearer than tap water it makes financial sense to turn on a tap when you are thirsty.

Choosing tap water over bottled water not only has some great health and cost benefits for our community, it also delivers some real benefits for the environment.

Every year Australians spend more than $680 million on bottled water and at least 20 percent of the plastic bottles end up as landfill or litter. Using tap water, and refillable bottles when you are on the move, is one way of reducing this impact.

So … tap water – why don’t you give it a go?

Choose Tap at Schools

Here are some resources to help you Choose Tap at school!

Preschool resources

Primary School resources

High School resources

External Links

Choosing tap water over bottled water and sugary drinks is better for your health, the environment, and your hip pocket. Here are some additional resources dealing with these issues.


That Sugar Film: Explore the health impacts of sugary drinks and find resources for schools wanting to cut down on sugar consumption.

Take 3: Spreading awareness about plastic pollution in our oceans and inviting us to pick up three pieces of litter and come up with ways to stop pollution before it happens. They do visit this area for school presentations and activities.

Schools Clean Up Day: Litter clean up activities and curriculum-linked resources


It doesn't make sense to buy bottled water: Yarra Valley Water (YouTube link)

The Story of Bottled Water: From the US-based The Story of Stuff Project

What would happen if you didn't drink water?: TED-Ed

Choice articles:

Tap water vs bottled water

Spinning the bottle

Is bottled water worth the cost?

Want to find tap water on the go?

Looking to fill up your water bottle? There are bottle refill stations across our area in public spaces. See the list below and also find them through the Choose Tap app. Scroll down for more info.

  • Boomerang Beach, northern end
  • Bulahdelah showground
  • Forster, Boronia Park soccer club rooms
  • Forster, Main Beach at the pool
  • Forster, Little Street Baths
  • Gloucester, outside Denison St public toilets
  • Hawks Nest, Providence Park
  • Old Bar, next to Main Beach toilets
  • Pacific Palms Surf Club
  • Taree, Recreation ground building
  • Taree, River walk at Pultney St (just past the play equipment)
  • Taree, River Walk at the old pool
  • Taree, Little Athletics sportsfield clubhouse (end of Bligh St)
  • Tea Gardens, Marine Drive
  • Tinonee Recreation Grounds, soccer clubhouse
  • Tuncurry, John Wright Park
  • Tuncurry, South Street sports complex
  • Tuncurry Memorial Park
  • Tuncurry rock pool
  • Wingham, Central Park playground
  • Wingham sportsground

Choose Tap app

Download the Choose Tap app to find tap water on the go!

It is great for finding local spots to fill up your water bottle, or with sites across NSW and Victoria, perfect when you're travelling too.

  • Browse and locate nearby taps on a map and get directions
  • Filter by features including dog bowls, refill stations, BBQ's and public toilets
  • Search by suburb
  • Report the location of a new tap
  • Share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter

This app was created by Yarra Valley Water. Consider their privacy statement before installing the Choose Tap App.

Whizzy the Waterdrop

School Programs

We run free sessions as both incursions and excursions with schools within our service region. 

Whizzy the Waterdrop visits for preschools

Whizzy and friends usually visit preschools across the region each year to celebrate National Water Week during October, but they are also happy to make a special visit throughout the year pending availability.

Whizzy's helper usually reads children a story which looks at things we can do to save water around our homes. Then the fun really starts - Whizzy arrives and has a sing and play with the children, before leaving them with some important tips on how they can be water-savers!

Preschools receive an expression of interest form in term 3 each year for visits during term 4. If you don't receive it, or for visits at other times of the year, contact community@midcoast.nsw.gov.au

Whizzy the Waterdrop visits: early primary

Whizzy the Waterdrop loves to spread his water wise and Choose Tap message - and loves to visit our local primary schools. 

Whizzy and friends usually visit the primary schools in our region each year during October in celebration of National Water Week, but are also happy to make a special visit throughout the year. Expression of interest forms for term 4 visits are sent out in early term 3 each year.

For more information contact community@midcoast.nsw.gov.au


School excursions

Many of our water treatment facilities are able to be visited by school groups, including the state of the art Bootawa Water Treatment Plant, our sewage treatment plants and recycled water treatment plants. Chemistry students are also able to have a tour of the laboratory, located on site at the Bootawa Water Treatment Plant.

These tours are provided free to schools in the region (excluding any transport, catering, or teacher relief costs).

To book an excursion contact us on 1300 133 455 or email community@midcoast.nsw.gov.au to discuss your individual needs.

Bootawa Water Treatment Plant and laboratory

Bootawa Water Treatment Plant offers students the chance to walk through the drinking water treatment process. It is our largest treatment facility, servicing around 85% of our customers, and was judged as producing the best tasting water in NSW and Qld thanks to its membrane filtration technology. It has a large auditorium space with projector, toilet facilities and kitchenette if groups have activities additional to the tour that they would like to incorporate.

The Laboratory is on the same site and is open for tours to senior groups.

Tours are run by our extremely knowledgable treatment plant operators and lab staff. They very much appreciate students who are there to learn and who ask a lot of questions. As the site is operational it is important that students can follow instructions not to wander off or touch the equipment.

Tours of the treatment plant take approximately 1-1.5 hours (depending on how much detail you are interested in) and tours of the lab take half an hour (or longer for interested chemistry classes).

Tours and activities do not include going to the dam, which does not have public access.

Other water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants, and recycled water treatment plants

We operate a number of other treatment plants, some of which are available for tours on request. These include the Tea Gardens and Gloucester water treatment plants, the Dawson (Taree), Hawks Nest, and Forster sewage treatment plants, and the Tuncurry recycled water treatment plant. Let us know your area of interest when you contact us.