2007/21: Ali Curung/Warrabri (Northern Territory). E.coli, Nitrate, Fluoride, Lead, Hardness, Total Dissolved Solids, Iodine, Chloride, Sodium

Ali Curung/Warrabri (Northern Territory) – E.coli

2008/9: Ali Curung (Northern Territory) – 3 E.coli detections.

“Coliforms are Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, rod-shaped bacteria that are capable of aerobic and facultative anaerobic growth in the presence of bile salts or other surface active agents with similar growth-inhibiting properties. They are found in large numbers in the faeces of humans and other warm-blooded animals, but many species also occur in the environment.

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 2011

Ali Curung/Warrabri (Northern Territory) – Nitrate

2007/08: Ali Curung Nitrate 75mg/L

2008/09: Ali Curung Nitrate 76.9mg/L

2009/10: Warrabri Nitrate 80mg/L

2010/11: Warrabri Nitrate 81mg/L

2013/14: Ali Curung Nitrate 77mg/L

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. “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.”

Ali Curung/Warrabri (Northern Territory) – Fluoride

2007/08: Ali Curung Fluoride 1.96mg/L

2008/09: Ali Curung Fluoride 1.9mg/L

2009/10: Warrabri Fluoride 2.1mg/L

2010/11: Warrabri Fluoride 2.1mg/L

2013/14: Ali Curung Fluoride 2mg/L

2016/17: Ali Curung Fluoride 1.5mg/L

Fluoride: ADWG Guideline: non-fluoridated water 1.5 milligrams per litre of drinking water
Fluoridated water 1.0 milligrams per litre of drinking water (rolling annual average). In Victoria, the Health (Fluoridation) Act 1973 states that the annual average for fluoride in drinking water shall not exceed a level of 1mg/L. It can be added to water supplies through the ‘Flurodose’ process. Fluoride is added to water either as fluosilicic acid (sometimes known as hydrofluosilicic acid) or sodium silicofluoride. It is sourced from superphosphate and is soluble.
Naturally occurring fluoride is almost insoluble and is known as calcium fluoride.

2020/21 – Ali Curung (Northern Territory) – Lead

2020/21: Ali Curung (Northern Territory) – Lead 0.01mg/L (max).

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 0.01mg/L

“… Lead can be present in drinking water as a result of dissolution from natural sources, or from household plumbing systems containing lead. These may include lead in pipes, or in solder used to seal joints. The amount of lead dissolved will depend on a number of factors including pH, water hardness and the standing time of the water.

Lead is the most common of the heavy metals and is mined widely throughout the world. It is used in the production of lead acid batteries, solder, alloys, cable sheathing, paint pigments, rust inhibitors, ammunition, glazes and plastic stabilisers. The organo-lead compounds tetramethyl and tetraethyl lead are used extensively as anti-knock and lubricating compounds in gasoline…ADWG 2011

Ali Curung/Warrabri – Northern Territory – Hardness

2007/08: Ali Curung Hardness 250mg/L

2008/09: Ali Curung Hardness 249mg/L

2009/10: Warrabri Hardness 245mg/L

2010/11: Warrabri Hardness 246mg/L

2013/14: Ali Curung Hardness 229mg/L


“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

Ali Curung/Warrabri – Northern Territory – Total Dissolved Solids

2007/08: Ali Curung Total Dissolved Solids 1011mg/L

2010/11: Warrabri Total Dissolved Solids 968mg/L

2013/14: Ali Curung Total Dissolved Solids 909mg/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.

Total dissolved solids comprise: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, sulfate, bicarbonate, carbonate, silica, organic matter, fluoride, iron, manganese, nitrate, nitrite and phosphates…” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011

Ali Curung/Warrabri – (Northern Territory) – Iodine

2007/08: Ali Curung Iodine 0.4mg/L

2008/09: Ali Curung Iodine 0.358mg/L

2009/10: Warrabri Iodine 0.28mg/L

2010/11: Warrabri Iodine 0.31mg/L

2013/14: Ali Curung Iodine 0.27mg/L

Iodide: Based on health considerations, the concentration of iodide in drinking water should
not exceed 0.5 mg/L.
Iodine: No guideline value has been set for molecular iodine.
The element iodine is present naturally in seawater, nitrate minerals and seaweed, mostly in the form of iodide salts. It may be present in water due to leaching from salt and mineral deposits. Iodide can be oxidised to molecular iodine with strong disinfectants such as chlorine.
Molecular iodine solutions are used as antiseptics and as sanitising agents in hospitals and laboratories.
Iodine is occasionally used for the emergency disinfection of water for field use but is not used for disinfecting larger drinking water supplies. Iodide is used in pharmaceutical and photographic materials. Iodine has a taste threshold in water of about 0.15 mg/L.
Iodide occurs in cows’ milk and seafood. Some countries add iodide to table salt to compensate for iodide-deficient diets.

Tara (Northern Territory) – Chloride

2007/08: Tara Chloride 337mg/L

2008/09: Tara Chloride 355mg/L

2013/14: Tara Chloride 435mg/L

2015/16: Tara Chloride 357mg/L

“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

Ali Curung/Warrabri (Northern Territory) – Sodium

2007/08: Ali Currung Sodium 228mg/L

2008/09: Ali Curung Sodium 235mg/L

2009/10: Warrabri Sodium 208mg/L

2010/11: Warrabri Sodium 211mg/L

2013/14: Ali Curung Sodium 203mg/L

“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

Warrabri (Ali Curung) Northern Territory – Radioactivity

Highest radioactivity levels recorded recently (2010) in the Northern Territory are; 0.95mSv/yr Laramba (Napperby) 0.9mSv/yr Binjari, 0.828258mSv/yr Willowra, 0.81mSv/yr Warrabri (Ali Curung).
“Naturally occurring uranium concentrations above the guideline value have been identified in the drinking water supply at Ti Tree and Pmara Jutunta. The community has been informed and the Department of Health and Community Services has stated that there is no immediate threat to public health. A new groundwater supply has been developed close to Pmara Jutunta that has both uranium and total dissolved solids below guideline values. Power and Water is in
the process of building a pipeline that will connect the new bore water supply to Ti Tree/Pmara Jutunta. The new borewater supply will be operational in 2004-2005.”

Power And Water Quality Report 2004