2004/20: New Norcia (Western Australia). Nitrate, pH, Total Dissolved Solids, Chloride, Sodium, Hardness

New Norcia (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2016/17 New Norcia (Western Australia) Nitrate 54.37mg/L (max), 49.5mg/L (mean)

2017/18 New Norcia (Western Australia) Nitrate 52.8mg/L (max), 48.31mg/L (mean)

2018/19: New Norcia (Western Australia) Nitrate 57.2mg/L (max), 49.3mg/L (mean)

“…According to the Water Corporation (2013) in 1996, the Western Australian Department of Heath exempted the following remote towns from meeting the water quality guidelines regarding excessive nitrate levels in drinking water: Cue, Meekatharra, Mount Magnet, Nabawa, New Norcia, Sandstone, Wiluna, Yalgoo, Laverton, Leonora, and Menzies. These exemptions are still current. Community health nurses are instructed to provide bottled water free to nursing mothers, at no cost…” Unsafe drinking water quality in remote Western
Australian Aboriginal communities Geographical Research 184 • May 2019 • 57(2), 178–188

“Cue, Meekatharra, Mount Magnet, New Norcia, Sandstone, Wiluna and Yalgoo have been granted an exemption from compliance with the nitrate guideline by the Department of Health. The water supplied is harmless to adults and children over the age of 3 months of age. Carers of infants younger than three months should seek advice from the Community Health Nurse regarding the use of alternative water sources for the preparation of bottle feeds. The Water Corporation provides bottled water free of charge for this purpose.” Water Corporation WA 2004/5 Annual Water Quality Report

Nitrate: ADWG Guideline 50mg/L. Nitrate is the product of oxygenated nitrogen created from the breakdown of organic matter; lightning strikes; inorganic pesticides; or explosives. The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines recommend that nitrate levels between 50-100mg/L are a health consideration for infants less than three months, although levels up to 100mg/L can be safely consumed by adults. Mainly a problem in Northern Territory and some communities in Western Australia.

New Norcia (Western Australia) – pH (acidic)

2007 July-2008 June: New Norcia (Western Australia) 6.48 pH units

2015/16 New Norcia (Western Australia) pH 6.44 (av)

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings. Corrosion can be reduced by the formation of a protective layer of calcium carbonate on the inside of the pipe or fitting, and the formation of this layer is affected by pH, temperature, the availability of calcium (hardness) and carbon dioxide. If the water is too alkaline (above pH 8.5), the rapid deposition and build-up of calcium carbonate that can result may eventually block the pipe.

New Norcia – Western Australia – Total Dissolved Solids

2008/09: New Norcia (Western Australia) – Total Dissolved Solids 695mg/L (max), 643mg/L (mean)

2009/10: New Norcia (Western Australia) – Total Dissolved Solids 748mg/L (max)

2010/11 New Norcia (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 794mg/L (max), 749mg/L (mean)

2011/12 New Norcia (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 918mg/L (max), 867mg/L (mean)

2013/14 New Norcia (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 1100mg/L (max), 1013mg/L (mean)

2014/15 New Norcia (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 1193mg/L (max), 1100mg/L (mean)

2015/16 New Norcia (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 1239mg/L (max), 1134mg/L (mean)

2016/17 New Norcia (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 1269mg/L (max), 1190mg/L (mean)

2017/18 New Norcia (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 1227mg/L (max), 1145mg/L (mean)

2018/19: New Norcia (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 1241mg/L (max), 1145mg/L (mean)

2019/20: New Norcia (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 1176mg/L (max), 1083mg/L (mean)


“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.

New Norcia (Western Australia) – Chloride

2013/14 New Norcia (Western Australia) Chloride 570mg/L (max), 502mg/L (mean)

2014/15 New Norcia (Western Australia) Chloride 615mg/L (max), 554mg/L (mean)

2015/16 New Norcia (Western Australia) Chloride 630mg/L (max), 570mg/L (mean)

2016/17 New Norcia (Western Australia) Chloride 655mg/L (max), 602mg/L (mean)

2017/18 New Norcia (Western Australia) Chloride 655mg/L (max), 573.6mg/L (mean)

2018/19: New Norcia (Western Australia) Chloride 620mg/L (max), 578mg/L (mean)

2019/20: New Norcia (Western Australia) Chloride 600mg/L (max), 550mg/L (mean)

“Chloride is present in natural waters from the dissolution of salt deposits, and contamination from effluent disposal. Sodium chloride is widely used in the production of industrial chemicals such as caustic soda, chlorine, and sodium chlorite and hypochlorite. Potassium chloride is used in the production of fertilisers.

The taste threshold of chloride in water is dependent on the associated cation but is in the range 200–300 mg/L. The chloride content of water can affect corrosion of pipes and fittings. It can also affect the solubility of metal ions.

In surface water, the concentration of chloride is usually less than 100 mg/L and frequently below 10 mg/L. Groundwater can have higher concentrations, particularly if there is salt water intrusion.

Based on aesthetic considerations, the chloride concentration in drinking water should not exceed 250 mg/L.

No health-based guideline value is proposed for chloride.” 2011 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

New Norcia (Western Australia) – Sodium

2013/14 New Norcia (Western Australia) Sodium  295mg/L (max), 278mg/L (av)

2014/15 New Norcia (Western Australia) Sodium 325mg/L (max), 303mg/L (mean)

2015/16 New Norcia (Western Australia) Sodium 355mg/L (max), 317mg/L (mean)

2016/17 New Norcia (Western Australia) Sodium 355mg/L (max), 336mg/L (mean)

2017/18 New Norcia (Western Australia) Sodium 345mg/L (max), 323.6mg/L (mean)

2018/19: New Norcia (Western Australia) Sodium 360mg/L (max), 323mg/L (mean)

2019/20: New Norcia (Western Australia) Sodium 330mg/L (max), 298.3mg/L (mean)

“Based on aesthetic considerations (taste), the concentration of sodium in drinking water
should not exceed 180 mg/L….The sodium ion is widespread in water due to the high solubility of sodium salts and the abundance of mineral deposits. Near coastal areas, windborne sea spray can make an important contribution either by fallout onto land surfaces where it can drain to drinking water sources, or from washout by rain. Apart from saline intrusion and natural contamination, water treatment chemicals, domestic water softeners and
sewage effluent can contribute to the sodium content of drinking water.” ADWG 2011

New Norcia – Western Australia – Hardness

2013/14 New Norcia (Western Australia) Hardness 220mg/L (max), 202mg/L (mean)

2014/15 New Norcia (Western Australia) Hardness 240mg/L (max), 223mg/L (mean)

2015/16 New Norcia (Western Australia) Hardness 250mg/L (max), 228mg/L (mean)

2016/17 New Norcia (Western Australia) Hardness 250mg/L (max), 238mg/L (mean)

2017/18 New Norcia (Western Australia) Hardness 250mg/L (max), 234mg/L (mean)

2018/19: New Norcia (Western Australia) Hardness 260mg/L (max), 232mg/L (mean)

2019/20: New Norcia (Western Australia) Hardness 230mg/L (max), 213mg/L (mean)


“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.”

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011