Kunawarritji (Western Australia) – Nitrate
2012/14: Kunawaritji (Western Australia) – Nitrate Levels: ~50mg/L-~65mg/L
20 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014
22 tests above ADWG Guideline 2018-2020
32 tests (100%) above ADWG Guideline 2017-2019
2017: ~70mg/L (highest). ~60.1mg/L (average)
2018: ~66mg/L (highest). ~61.4mg/L (average)
2019: ~70mg/L (highest). ~61.5mg/L (average)
One in five communities exceeded safe levels for nitrates or uranium
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