Bowen water still unsafe to drink
18 Feb 2010
IT has been more than a week since E Coli was found in the Bowen water supply, making it unsafe to drink.
Now, as residents continue to boil drinking water – the E Coli has gone but it is still unsafe for consumption – Liberal National Party candidate for Dawson George Christensen has called on the Federal Government for funding.
Whitsunday Regional Council placed partial blame for the E Coli on recent rainfall but Mr Christensen said the situation was unacceptable and a new water treatment plant was needed.
“Years of negotiation with the Labor State Government has got the Whitsunday Regional Council nowhere,” Mr Christensen said.
“This project is more deserving than a lot of the other rubbish the Federal Government has funded… people’s health depends on it.”
Mayor Mike Brunker said although E Coli had been eliminated, the water would not be safe until chlorine levels were raised.
“We are currently in the process of increasing the chlorine level,” Cr Brunker said.
The water is safe for showering and washing dishes and clothes.
But for consumption, water should be brought to a rolling boil for three minutes.
It should then be allowed to cool and stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigerated.
Cooled, boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, cooking, washing raw foods, making ice, cleaning teeth and for pet’s drinking water.
More information about the Bowen water supply is available from Whitsunday Regional Council by calling 4761 3600.
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
Bowen water turns brown
Problems have struck the water supply at Bowen in north Queensland for the second time this year.
The town’s water supply is a murky brown colour due to manganese in the supply, but the Whitsunday Regional Council says the water is safe to drink.
Earlier this year, residents were forced to boil their water for two weeks after E.coli was found in the water.
The Whitsunday Regional Council has apologised to Bowen residents for the continuing problems.
Manganese: ADWG Guidelines 0.5mg/L. ADWG Aesthetic Guideline 0.1mg/L
Manganese is found in the natural environment. Manganese in drinking water above 0.1mg/L can give water an unpleasant taste and stain plumbing fixtures and laundry.