2008/22 – Nyirripi (Northern Territory) – E.coli, Fluoride, Hardness, Iodine, Silica, Total Dissolved Solids

Nyirripi (Northern Territory) – E.coli

2008/09: Nyirripi E.coli  2 Number of e.coli detections. 9 – 14 April, 2009 Incident: High levels of E. coli were detected from the production bore and three distribution system samples.

“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

Nyirripi (Northern Territory) – Fluoride

2007/08 Nyirripi Fluoride 1.8mg/L (mean)

2008/09 Nyirripi Fluoride 1.6mg/L (av.?)

2009/10: Nyirripi Fluoride 1.6mg/L (av.)

2010/11: Nyirripi Fluoride 1.5mg/L

2011/16: Nyirripi Fluoride 1.7mg/L (av.)

2013/14: Nyirripi Fluoride 1.6mg/L

2015/16: Nyirripi Fluoride 1.7mg/L

2016/17: Nyirripi Fluoride 1.9mg/L (95th %)

2017/18: Nyirripi Fluoride 1.9mg/L (95th %)

2018/19: Nyirripi Fluoride 1.9mg/L (95th %)

2019/20: Nyirripi Fluoride 2.4mg/L (95th %)

2020/21: Nyirripi Fluoride 1.6mg/L (av.)

2021/22: Nyirripi Fluoride 1.7mg/L (max), 1.6mg/L (av.)

“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. Health Guideline: 1.5mg/L

Nyirripi – Northern Territory – Hardness

2007/08: Nyirripi Hardness 242mg/L

2008/09: Nyirripi Hardness 244mg/L

2009/10: Nyirripi Hardness 231mg/L

2010/11: Nyirripi Hardness 246mg/L

2013/14: Nyirripi Hardness 241mg/L

2015/16: Nyirripi Hardness 231mg/L

2016/17: Nyirripi Hardness 250mg/L

2021/22: Nyirripi Hardness 300mg/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

Nyirripi – (Northern Territory) – Iodine

2007/08: Nyirripi Iodine 0.23mg/L

2009/10: Nyirripi Iodine 0.18mg/L

2013/14: Nyirripi Iodine 0.15mg/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.

Nyirripi (Northern Territory) – Silica

2016/17: Nyirripi (Northern Territory). Silica 81mg/L

To minimise an undesirable scale build up on surfaces, silica (SiO2) within drinking waters should not exceed 80 mg/L.
Silica present in water is usually referred to as amorphous silica (i.e. lacking any crystalline structure). When silica is dissolved within water it forms monosilicic acid:
SiO2 + 2H2O à Si(OH)4
When the concentrations of monosilicic acid increase, polymerisation of the silica occurs, forming polysilicic acids followed by formation of colloidal silica. Monosilicic acid and polysilicic acids are the forms of silica analysed when determining dissolved silica content.
The deposition of silica from solutions can occur via various mechanisms. The deposition of silica that can cause the most problems for the water industry is via silica’s ability to deposit on solid surfaces that have hydroxyl (OH) groups present. Surfaces that commonly have hydroxyl groups present are glass and metallic surfaces. For example, dissolved silica will react with the surfaces of glass and begin to form a white precipitate. The silica forms silicates on the surface, resulting in silica build-up. In cases where customer complaints occur due to scale build-up, water hardness and silica concentrations should be investigated to determine the cause.
Silica can be a problem in water treatment due to its ability to cause fouling of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes (Sheikholeslami and Tan, 1999, Ning 2002, Sahachaiyunta and Sheikholeslami 2002). This occurs when the dissolved silica of the concentrate becomes super-saturated, causing silicates to form in the presence of metals, and these deposit on the membrane surface. The silicate then dehydrates, forming hard layers on the membrane that reduce the effectiveness of the process… 2011 ADWG

Nyirripi (Northern Territory) Total Dissolved Solids

2021/22: Nyirripi (Northern Territory) Total Dissolved Solids 700mg/L (max), 620mg/L (av.)


“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