2004/18: Sandstone (Western Australia). Nitrate, Hardness, Total Dissolved Solids, Chloride, Sodium

Sandstone (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2016/17 Sandstone (Western Australia) Nitrate 58.34mg/L (max), 54.81mg/L av

2017/18 Sandstone (Western Australia) Nitrate 58.08mg/L (max), 54.3mg/L (av)

“…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.

Sandstone – Western Australia – Hardness

2007/08: Sandstone (Western Australia) – Hardness 368mg/L (Highest Detection Only)

2008/09: Sandstone (Western Australia) – Hardness 360mg/L (max), 348mg/L (mean)

2009/10: Sandstone (Western Australia) – Hardness 370mg/L (max)

2010/11 Sandstone  (Western Australia) Hardness 370mg/L (max), 344mg/L (av)

2011/12 Sandstone (Western Australia) Hardness 340mg/L (max), 333mg/L (av)

2013/14 Sandstone (Western Australia) Hardness 330mg/L (max), 310mg/L (av)

2014/15 Sandstone (Western Australia) Hardness 320mg/L (max), 315mg/L (mean)

2015/16 Sandstone (Western Australia) Hardness 310mg/L (max), 305mg/L (mean)

2016/17 Sandstone (Western Australia) Hardness 330mg/L (max), 320mg/L (mean)

2017/18 Sandstone (Western Australia) Hardness 340mg/L (max), 330mg/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

Sandstone – Western Australia – Total Dissolved Solids

2008/09: Sandstone (Western Australia) – Total Dissolved Solids 1060mg/L (max), 1028mg/L (mean)

2009/10: Sandstone (Western Australia) – Total Dissolved Solids 1030mg/L (max)

2010/11 Sandstone (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 1068mg/L (max), 1027mg/L (av)

2011/12 Sandstone (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 1026mg/L (max), 1009mg/L (av)

2013/14 Sandstone (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 964mg/L (max), 940mg/L (av)

2014/15 Sandstone (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 979mg/L (max), 962mg/L (mean)

2015/16 Sandstone (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 948mg/L (max), 945mg/L (mean)

2016/17 Sandstone (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 981mg/L (max), 957mg/L (mean)

2017/18 Sandstone (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 974mg/L (max), 955mg/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.

Sandstone (Western Australia) – Chloride

2013/14 Sandstone (Western Australia) Chloride 330mg/L (max), 324mg/L (av)

2014/15 Sandstone (Western Australia) Chloride 350mg/L (max), 343mg/L (mean)

2015/16 Sandstone (Western Australia) Chloride 330mg/L (max), 328mg/L (mean)

2016/17 Sandstone (Western Australia) Chloride 345mg/L (max), 333mg/L (mean)

2017/18 Sandstone (Western Australia) Chloride 325mg/L (max), 315mg/L (av)

“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

Sandstone (Western Australia) – Sodium

2013/14 Sandstone (Western Australia) Sodium  185mg/L (max), 180mg/L (av)

2014/15 Sandstone (Western Australia) Sodium 185mg/L (max), 180mg/L (mean)

2015/16 Sandstone (Western Australia) Sodium 185mg/L (max), 183mg/L (mean)

2016/17 Sandstone (Western Australia) Sodium 185mg/L (max), 183mg/L (mean)

2017/18 Sandstone (Western Australia) Sodium 190mg/L (max), 185mg/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