2008/18 – Nabawa (Western Australia) – Total Dissolved Solids, Chloride, Sodium, Nitrate

Nabawa – Western Australia – Total Dissolved Solids

2008/9: Nabawa (Western Australia) – Total Dissolved Solids 1040mg/L (max), 1016mg/L (mean)

2009/10: Nabawa (Western Australia) – Total Dissolved Solids 1037mg/L (max)

2010/11 Nabawa (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 862mg/L (max), 838mg/L (av)

2011/12 Nabawa (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 851mg/L (max), 821mg/L (av)

2013/14 Nabawa (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 847mg/L (max), 829mg/L (av)

2014/15 Nabawa (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 822mg/L (max), 817mg/L (mean)

2015/16 Nabawa (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 840mg/L (max), 832mg/L (mean)

2016/17 Nabawa (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 833mg/L (max), 832mg/L (mean)

2017/18 Nabawa (Western Australia) Total Dissolved Solids 818mg/L (max), 811mg/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.

Nabawa (Western Australia) – Chloride

2013/14 Nabawa (Western Australia) Chloride 395mg/L (max), 393mg/L (av)

2014/15 Nabawa (Western Australia) Chloride 390mg/L (max), 383mg/L (mean)

2015/16 Nabawa (Western Australia) Chloride 385mg/L (max), 383mg/L (mean)

2016/17 Nabawa (Western Australia) Chloride 380mg/L (max), 380mg/L (mean)

2017/18 Nabawa (Western Australia) Chloride 365mg/L (max), 365mg/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

Nabawa (Western Australia) – Sodium

2013/14 Nabawa (Western Australia) Sodium  255mg/L (max), 240mg/L (av)

2014/15 Nabawa (Western Australia) Sodium 245mg/L (max), 240mg/L (mean)

2015/16 Nabawa (Western Australia) Sodium 255mg/L (max), 250mg/L (mean)

2016/17 Nabawa (Western Australia) Sodium 250mg/L (max), 250mg/L (mean)

2017/18 Nabawa (Western Australia) Sodium 250mg/L (max), 247.5mg/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
1996-2018 Nabawa (Western Australia) – Nitrate

“…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

The most significant chemical issues for water quality come from nitrates and uranium, which occur naturally and are common in the Goldfields and Pilbara. Excessive nitrates in the diet reduce blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this can cause the potentially life-threatening Blue Baby Syndrome, where the skin takes on a bluish colour and the child has trouble breathing. Housing provides bottled water for infants under three months in communities with high nitrates. Long term solutions would likely include asset replacements or upgrades or finding new water sources, or a combination of these.

In 2013-14, fourteen of 84 communities in the Program recorded nitrates above the safe health level for bottle-fed babies under three months. Two communities had readings above the standard for adults (Figure 5).

Child Heath Levels Nitrate: 50mg/L. Adult Heath Levels Nitrate: 100mg/L