2004/18 – Borroloola (Northern Territory) – E.coli, Radioactive, pH

Borroloola – E.coli

Borroloola 1 ecoli detection 13 January 2016 1MPN 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

Borroloola (Northern Territory) Radiation

2009/10: The result for Borroloola is based on a small data set. Only one of the four valid samples exceeded the total annual radiation dose of 1.0 mSv/year. The reported value is the maximum value calculated.

2009/10: Borroolooola Radiological 1.06 mSv/year

Borroloola (Northern Territory) – pH (acidic)

2006/07: Borroloola pH 6.3

2007/08: Borroloola pH 6.3

2009/10: Borroloola pH 6.3

2010/11: Borroloola pH 6.5

2011/12: Borroloola pH 6.4

2012/13: Borroloola pH 6.4

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.

Delivering for the Bush: $6.4 Million Investment in a New Water Treatment Plant for Borroloola

16 October 2018


The Territory Labor Government has invested $6.4 million in a new water treatment plant to deliver high quality drinking water for the people of Borroloola.

The new water treatment plant officially opened today in Borroloola, one of the most remote towns in Northern Australia. Groundwater is the town’s only water source, drawing from the Abner Sandstone Aquifer through five bores.

While the previous water supply met Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, the potable water had slightly corrosive tendencies, which can contribute to deterioration of old lead based pipes, pumps and tanks.

The new water treatment plant improves the overall mineral balance and enhances the disinfection of water before it goes to Borroloola homes and businesses. The system is designed to supply up to 3 mega litres of improved drinking water per day in peak demand.

The new water treatment plant underwent assembly and extensive testing in Darwin before installation in Borroloola by Power and Water. To overcome the geographical and logistical challenges, the upgraded water treatment plant was delivered through an innovative containerised solution.

This upgrade will secure Borroloola’s water supply system for the next 30 years and also incorporates the ability to service Garawa town camps into the future.

Quotes from Minister for Renewables & Essential Services, Dale Wakefield

“The Territory Labor Government is creating brighter futures for Territorians in remote communities. This $6.4 million investment in a new water treatment plant will benefit the people of Borroloola and ensure that their quality of water is of a high standard.

“Water is a precious resource and as part of this upgrade, we have been working with the Borroloola community to raise awareness around the health benefits of drinking water as well as the conservation of water.”

Quotes from Member for Barkly, Gerry McCarthy

“This is a great innovation and will go towards improving the quality of the town’s water supply as we move towards building new houses through our $1.1 billion housing program, and delivering high quality essential services to the Borroloola town living area.”