5.28PM: WANGARATTA and Glenrowan residents have been urged to cut back on water use.
North East Water today said a "slug of dirty water" is moving down the Ovens River after heavy rain in Bright last week pushed bushfire-affected water into the system.
Operations manager John Day asked customers to only use water for "essential" purposes in a bid to help the purifying process.
“We have been monitoring the dirty water moving down the river over the past few days which has now reached Wangaratta”, Mr Day said.
“The capacity of the treatment plant to produce clean water is greatly reduced due to the very muddy water that’s now flowing past Wangaratta.”
“Supplies are being supplemented with ground water, and along with the existing stored water, we are aiming to supply Wangaratta and Glenrowan through this period without imposing water restrictions.”
“To help us through this period, we are asking residents to now reduce their usage to essential needs in an effort to ease demand on the system.”
“Last week we saw a great community response from our customers in Harrietville and Bright to heed the call to reduce usage during the same situation, and we hope those in Wangaratta and Glenrowan will also do their bit.”
“It’s hoped the water will clear sufficiently over the coming days to help fully restore our capacity to produce clean water, and we’ll keep customers updated and informed of the situation.”