POWER and water suppliers have defended how their respective systems coped with Code Red conditions on Thursday.
More than 22,000 homes and businesses in the Bendigo region experienced power outages.
The region experienced almost a third of the more than 500 faults on the power network in Victoria's west.
We understand how difficult it is to be without electricity, particularly in these conditions, and our crews are on the ground working to get power back on safely and quickly. Thanks to everyone for your patience.— Powercor Australia (@PowercorAust) November 21, 2019
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Powercor said some of the 157 faults were due to falling trees and other debris damaging assets.
"The safety protection devices on our network activated exactly how they were designed to, and that is to cut power immediately if a fault occurs to reduce the risk of power lines starting fires," a spokesperson said.
"These different devices are designed for exactly like we experienced on Thursday and are about protecting communities.
"On Code Red days we take extra safety precautions before switching power back on and this means outages can be longer than usual."
They said people should always be prepared for power outages ahead of extreme weather events.
We ask customers to minimise non-essential water use, particularly in #Heathcote, #Tooborac & #Trentham. We suggest customers put a supply of drinking water aside. We are experiencing high demand and power outages which is putting pressure on our water network across our region. pic.twitter.com/AqgKewqcBq— Coliban Water (@ColibanWater) November 21, 2019
Coliban Water said its contingency plans proved resilient to the widespread power outages.
The water corporation asked on Thursday evening that customers minimise non-essential water use and put a supply of drinking water aside, with high demand and power outages putting pressure on the water network.
Customer operations manager Steve Dunlop said Coliban Water's emergency management system was enacted and its incident management team was deployed to coordinate response activities.
"During Code Red days the supply and demand for water is unpredictable. Power outages and bushfires can affect the water supply," Mr Dunlop said.
"We encourage customers to put a supply of drinking water aside during extreme events.
"Customers' fire plans should not rely on town water. Customers need to be prepared with an alternative source of water in the event of a bushfire."
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