2012/14 + 2018/20: Yulga Jinna (Western Australia). Nitrate, E.coli

Yulga Jinna (Western Australia) – Nitrate


1 test above ADWG Child Guideline 2012-2014

4 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2018-2020

6 tests (~24%) above or equal to ADWG Child Guideline 2017-2019

Nov 2018 + Jul 2019: 54mg/L (highest)

Average 2017-2019: ~47.3mg/L

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

Yulga Jinna (Western Australia) – E.coli


2 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

1 test above ADWG Guideline 2018-2020


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