1997-99: Iwantja/Indulkana (South Australia) – Total Dissolved Solids, Iron, Radionuclides

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Iwantja  (SA) – Total Dissolved Solids

1997-99: Iwantja (SA)

Bore I-25 has been the greatest and most consistent water supplier, and overall
has supplied over half of the community’s water usage. Other bores have
contributed to the water supply at times, such as I-19 and I-19A between
January and March 1998. Two bores in the Indulkana Range, IR-1 and IR-2, came
on line in the winter of 1999 but were not fitted with monitoring equipment until

The available yield and water quality of the Iwantja bores is (Clarke, 2000):
I -19 ……. 1110 mg/L TDS
I -19A …..780 mg/L TDS
I-25 ……. 1500 mg/L TDS
I-26 …….1000 mg/L TDS
I-27 ……. 3000 mg/L TDS
IR-1 ….. 1900 mg/L TDS
IR-2 ….. 1500 mg/L TDS


“No specific health guideline value is provided for total dissolved solids (TDS), as there are no
health effects directly attributable to TDS. However for good palatability total dissolved solids
in drinking water should not exceed 600 mg/L.

Total dissolved solids (TDS) consist of inorganic salts and small amounts of organic matter that are dissolved in water. Clay particles, colloidal iron and manganese oxides and silica, fine enough to pass through a 0.45 micron filter membrane can also contribute to total dissolved solids.

The salinity of two Iwantja bores sampled in the 1997 water quality survey was
780 and 1110 mg/L TDS, with nitrate concentrations of < 1mg/L and fluoride
concentrations of 0.4 mg/L. There were high iron (3.9-5. 7 mg/L) and radionuclide
concentrations in these groundwaters (Fitzgerald et al., 2000) and also high
iodide concentrations in two bores. These groundwaters are marginal to
unacceptable in terms of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (1996).