2008/11 – Meredith (Victoria) – Fluoride, Hardness, Total Dissolved Solids, Colour

Meredith (Victoria) 2008-2010.

“BARWON Water’s gift of water to supply Ballarat has run out.The authority’s 750 megalitre share of Lal Lal Reservoir is now being sent back to Meredith. Last year the authority generously gave its share to Ballarat to help the city’s critical water shortages. Water was then trucked to Meredith from the Moorabool water treatment plant to supply the town. But the agreement has now lapsed, meaning the water can be released from the reservoir into the Moorabool River to supply Meredith downstream…Mr Bicknell said as releases from the reservoir begin, Meredith residents would notice a difference in the water taste, due to the river water’s increased salt content. But he assured residents it was safe to drink and abided by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.”
https://www.thecourier.com.au/story/529997/barwon-waters-gift-dries-up/ December 1 2008.

“Residents of Meredith, north of Geelong complain their town water is so salty it is making some of them sick. The local water authority says a new pipeline will make a big difference next year. In the meantime locals just have to put up with the bad taste in their mouths. After consulting a doctor, Carol Broadhurst is convinced she is allergic to Meredith’s drinking water. She gets weepy eyes and skin irritations whenever she takes a shower. “I had seven sties in five weeks, irritation all the time, weeping discharge out of both ears and the top of my eyelids are slimey, that’s the nicest word to use,” she said. “It really is a bit of a joke that you can’t turn the tap on.” She now relies on rainfall to fill her tank. Other residents have told ABC News they suffer chronic stomach cramps. One local egg farmer, Vincent Colla, carried out independent water testing which also revealed a high level of carbon. He says that is affecting the health of his hens. “You keep checking with other farms and you think there’s something not right here,” he said. He complained to Barwon Water “All they said was it’s not killing them. That tells me there’s something in there that shouldn’t be there.” The water is sourced from the Moorabool river and services 370 households.”

Meredith (Victoria) – Fluoride

2009/10: Meredith (Victoria) – Fluoride 2.1mg/L (Highest Level)

Based on health considerations, the concentration of fluoride in drinking water should not exceed 1.5 mg/L.

“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

Meredith – Victoria – Hardness

2008/9: Meredith (Victoria) – Hardness 347mg/L (average for year)

2009/10: Meredith (Victoria) – Hardness 338mg/L (average for year) (High level 400mg/L)

2010/11: Meredith (Victoria) – Hardness 280mg/L (average for year) (High level 380mg/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

Meredith – Victoria – Total Dissolved Solids

2008/9: Meredith (Victoria) – Total Dissolved Solids (by EC) ~718mg/L 1437 (μS/cm) – Maximum

2009/10: Meredith (Victoria) – Total Dissolved Solids (by EC) ~950mg/L 1900 (μS/cm) – Maximum

2010/11: Meredith (Victoria) – Total Dissolved Solids (by EC) ~850mg/L 1700 (μS/cm) – Maximum


“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

Meredith  (Victoria) – Colour

2010/11: Meredith (Victoria) – Colour Apparent 17 HU (Highest Level Only)

Based on aesthetic considerations, true colour in drinking water should not exceed 15 HU.

“… Colour is generally related to organic content, and while colour derived from natural sources such as humic and fulvic acids is not a health consideration, chlorination of such water can produce a variety of chlorinated organic compounds as by-products (see Section 6.3.2 on disinfection by-products). If the colour is high at the time of disinfection, then the water should be checked for disinfection by-products. It should be noted, however, that low colour at the time of disinfection does not necessarily mean that the concentration of disinfection by-products will be low…