2011/15 – Yeelirrie (Western Australia) – Uranium

Yeelirrie (Western Australia) – Uranium

The area of Yeelirrie has tested positive for uranium in both surface and groundwater. Uranium
has been detected in exceedance, recording 0.439 mg/L1 in surface water (URS Australia
Pty Ltd, 2015) where the health based limit is 0.017 mg/L1; that is, 25 times higher, whereas
in the groundwater levels as high as 2.4 mg/L1 (140 times higher) were reported (URS Australia
Pty Ltd, 2011). Nitrates were present but levels were within guideline values. The surface water
sources reported here were ephemeral and not considered suitable for drinking water supply, stock watering, or irrigation. Many of the groundwater
bores in the Yeelirrie catchment are pastoral wells, monitoring wells, and production wells.Most pastoral wells have fallen into disuse in recent times, but at least one well in the area continued to be used as a water supply source.

Unsafe drinking water quality in remote Western
Australian Aboriginal communities Geographical Research 184 • May 2019 • 57(2), 178–188

“Based on health considerations, the concentration of uranium in drinking water should not exceed 0.017 mg/L.” ADWG 2011