2013-17: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – E.coli, Cyanobacteria, Algae, Lead, Colour, Iron, pH, Temperature, Turbidity

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Ringarooma (Tasmania) – E.coli

July 14 2015: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 34.5 MPN100/mL

August 11 2015: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 5.1 MPN100/mL

September 15 2015: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 8.6 MPN100/mL

October 13 2015: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 1299.7 MPN100/mL

November 10 2015: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 547.5 MPN100/mL

December 15 2015: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 82 MPN100/mL

January 27 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 13.5 MPN100/mL

February 9 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 56.3 MPN100/mL

March 8 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 35 MPN100/mL

March 30 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 2 MPN100/mL

April 19 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 1 MPN100/mL

April 26 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 4.1 MPN100/mL

May 10 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 38.4 MPN100/mL

May 17 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 2 MPN100/mL

May 17 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 131.4 MPN100/mL

May 24 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 517.2 MPN100/mL

May 31 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 43.2 MPN100/mL

June 15 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 26.2 MPN100/mL

June 15 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 2 MPN100/mL

2016/17: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – 12 E.coli exceedences. Poor microbiological performance can be attributed to a lack of barriers and the susceptibility to changes in quality from the Ringarooma River. The risk to public health is mitigated through the communication of the Permanent BWA to customers.

Escherichia coli should not be detected in any 100 mL sample of drinking water. If detected
in drinking water, immediate action should be taken including investigation of potential
sources of faecal contamination.

“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

Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Cyanobacteria

17/5/2016 Aphanothece sp 160 Cell/mL

Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Algae

17/5/2016 Dictyosphaerium sp 190 Cell/mL

17/5/2016 Oocystis sp 120 Cell/mL

19/4/2016 Sphaerocystis sp 320 Cell/mL

17/5/2016 Total BGA (Confirmed) 160 Cell/mL

Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Lead

2016/17: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Lead 0.0095mg/L (max)

“Ringarooma also recorded levels of lead above the ADWG in February 2014. RTI data showed that Ringarooma averaged 3.58μg/L over the year. DHHS tests averaged almost 4 times that amount, 14μg/L.”

A Snapshot of Tasmanian Non-Microbiological Detections in Drinking Water July 2013-June 2014. Selected Breaches of Australian Drinking Water Guidelines Friends of the Earth Australia

“… Lead can be present in drinking water as a result of dissolution from natural sources, or from household plumbing systems containing lead. These may include lead in pipes, or in solder used to seal joints. The amount of lead dissolved will depend on a number of factors including pH, water hardness and the standing time of the water.

Lead is the most common of the heavy metals and is mined widely throughout the world. It is used in the production of lead acid batteries, solder, alloys, cable sheathing, paint pigments, rust inhibitors, ammunition, glazes and plastic stabilisers. The organo-lead compounds tetramethyl and tetraethyl lead are used extensively as anti-knock and lubricating compounds in gasoline…

Lead can be absorbed by the body through inhalation, ingestion or placental transfer. In adults,
approximately 10% of ingested lead is absorbed but in children this figure can be 4 to 5 times higher. After absorption, the lead is distributed in soft tissue such as the kidney, liver, and bone marrow where it has a biological half-life in adults of less than 40 days, and in skeletal bone where it can persist for 20 to 30 years.

In humans, lead is a cumulative poison that can severely affect the central nervous system. Infants, fetuses and pregnant women are most susceptible. Placental transfer of lead occurs in humans as early as the 12th week of gestation and continues throughout development.

Many epidemiological studies have been carried out on the effects of lead exposure on the intellectual development of children. Although there are some conflicting results, on balance the studies demonstrate that exposure to lead can adversely affect intelligence.

These results are supported by experiments using young primates, where exposure to lead causes significant behavioural and learning difficulties of the same type as those observed in children.

Other adverse effects associated with exposure to high amounts of lead include kidney damage, interference with the production of red blood cells, and interference with the metabolism of calcium needed for bone formation…” ADWG 2011

Ringarooma –  (Tasmania) – Colour

August 25 2015: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Colour Apparent 54 PCU

November 19 2015: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Colour Apparent 31 PCU

March 22 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Colour Apparent 77 PCU

April 19 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Colour Apparent 87 PCU

May 17 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Colour Apparent 83 PCU

June 15 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Colour Apparent 291 PCU

June 21 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Colour Apparent 17 PCU

2016/17: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Colour 45 HU (max), 25 HU (mean)

“… Colour is generally related to organic content, and while colour derived from natural sources such as humic and fulvic acids is not a health consideration, chlorination of such water can produce a variety of chlorinated organic compounds as by-products (see Section 6.3.2 on disinfection by-products). If the colour is high at the time of disinfection, then the water should be checked for disinfection by-products. It should be noted, however, that low colour at the time of disinfection does not necessarily mean that the concentration of disinfection by-products will be low…” ADWG 2011

Ringarooma – Tasmania – Iron

March 22 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Iron 663ug/L

March 30 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Iron 1260ug/L

March 30 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Iron (Dissolved) 940ug/L

April 19 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Iron 1310ug/L

April 19 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Iron (Dissolved) 1150ug/L

May 17 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Iron 626ug/L

May 17 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Iron (Dissolved) 517ug/L

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

Ringarooma (Tasmania) – pH (acidic)

Average pH: 2015 July-2016 June: 6.033 pH units

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings. Corrosion can be reduced by the formation of a protective layer of calcium carbonate on the inside of the pipe or fitting, and the formation of this layer is affected by pH, temperature, the availability of calcium (hardness) and carbon dioxide. If the water is too alkaline (above pH 8.5), the rapid deposition and build-up of calcium carbonate that can result may eventually block the pipe.

Ringarooma – Tasmania – Temperature

January 27 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Temperature 23.4C

February 9 2016: Kings Meadows (Tasmania) – Temperature 20.3C


“No guideline is set due to the impracticality of controlling water temperature.
Drinking water temperatures above 20°C may result in an increase in the number of

Temperature is primarily an aesthetic criterion for drinking water. Generally, cool water is more palatable than warm or cold water. In general, consumers will react to a change in water temperature. Complaints are most frequent when the temperature suddenly increases.

The turbidity and colour of filtered water may be indirectly affected by temperature, as low water temperatures tend to decrease the efficiency of water treatment processes by, for instance, affecting floc formation rates and sedimentation efficiency.

Chemical reaction rates increase with temperature, and this can lead to greater corrosion of pipes and fittings in closed systems. Scale formation in hard waters will also be greater at higher temperatures…

Water temperatures in major Australian reticulated supplies range from 10°C to 30°C. In some long, above-ground pipelines, water temperatures up to 45°C may be experienced…

The effectiveness of chlorine as a disinfectant is influenced by the temperature of the water being dosed. Generally higher temperatures result in more effective disinfection at a particular chlorine dose, but this may be counterbalanced by a more rapid loss of chlorine to the atmosphere (AWWA 1990).

Ringarooma – Tasmania – Turbidity

December 15 2015: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Turbidity 12.7 NTU

January 27 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Turbidity 6.15 NTU

February 9 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Turbidity 41.8 NTU

March 8 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Turbidity 16.2 NTU

May 24 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Turbidity 5.03 NTU

June 15 2016: Ringarooma (Tasmania) – Turbidity 5.33 NTU

2016/17: Ringarooma (Turbidity) – 23.5 NTU (max), 1.77 NTU (mean)

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.
Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap.