1997/99 +2014/22: Pukatja (South Australia) – E.coli, Total Dissolved Solids, Fluoride, Hardness

Pukatja (South Australia) – E.coli
10 February 2014: Pukatja Town Supply at CEDS Treatment Shed (South Australia) 100cfu/100mL

Thermotolerant coliforms are a sub-group of coliforms that are able to grow at 44.5 ± 0.2°C. E. coli is the most common thermotolerant coliform present in faeces and is regarded as the most specific indicator of recent faecal contamination because generally it is not capable of growth in the environment. In contrast, some other thermotolerant coliforms (including strains of Klebsiella, Citrobacter and Enterobacter) are able to grow in the environment and their presence is not necessarily related to faecal contamination. While tests for thermotolerant coliforms can be simpler than for E. coli, E. coli is considered a superior indicator for detecting faecal contamination…” ADWG

2012/16 – Pukatja (South Australia) – Hardness

2012/16: Hardness average 223.8mg/L (5 detections out of 5 above guideline)


“To minimise undesirable build‑up of scale in hot water systems, total hardness (as calcium
carbonate) in drinking water should not exceed 200 mg/L.

Hard water requires more soap than soft water to obtain a lather. It can also cause scale to form on hot water pipes and fittings. Hardness is caused primarily by the presence of calcium and magnesium ions, although other cations such as strontium, iron, manganese and barium can also contribute.”

Pukatja (South Australia) – Total Dissolved Solids

26/8/19: Pukatja Total Dissolved Solids 622mg/L

“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.

Pukatja (Ernabella)

The salinity of the Pukatja groundwaters ranges from 420 to 860 mg/L TDS with
nitrate concentrations of 5-16 mg/L and fluoride concentrations of 1.4-1.8 mg/L.
These parameters are generally within the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines
(1996) although fluoride is marginal.


7/3/22: Pukatja (South Australia) Fluoride 1.6mg/L (max), (1.26mg/L av. 2021/22)

“Fluoride occurs naturally in seawater (1.4 mg/L), soil (up to 300 parts per million) and air (from volcanic gases and industrial pollution). Naturally occurring fluoride concentrations in drinking water depend on the type of soil and rock through which the water drains. Generally, concentrations in surface water are relatively low (<0.1–0.5 mg/L), while water from deeper wells may have quite high concentrations (1–10 mg/L) if the rock formations are fluoride-rich.” 2011 ADWG. Health Guideline: 1.5mg/L