2013-18: Rosebery (Tasmania). E.coli, Lead, Trichloroacetic Acid, Dichloroacetic Acid, Aluminium, Colour, Fluoride, Iron, Manganese, Silicon, Turbidity, Mercury, Taste & Odour

Rosebery (Tasmania) – E.coli

September22 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Howard St – 1 MPN100/mL

December30 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Murchison St – 5.2 MPN100/mL

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

Rosebery – Tasmania – Lead

July 7 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Rear of Hospital – Lead 13.9ug/L

July 7 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Rear of Hospital – Lead (Dissolved) 10.2ug/L

July 28 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Stitt Bridge – Lead 49.8ug/L

December 1 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Howard St – Lead 10.1ug/L

December 1 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Howard St – Lead (Dissolved) 9.9ug/L

2016/17: Rosebery (Tasmania) – Lead 0.15mg/L (max)

Rosebery Tasmania – Ongoing Lead Problems 2013-14

For some Tasmanian towns however current and past mining activities and local geology are likely to contribute to lead problems in drinking water. During 2013-14 Rosebery sourced their drinking water from a): the Stitt River (which is disinfected at Stirling Valley WTP) and b): filtered water from Mountain Creek. The TasWater data reveals that there are 6 sampling points in the town of Rosebery, yet only three sampling sites were provided in the RTI information. The Lead sample of 182μg/L (18.2 times over the ADWG) from the Stitt River, was sampled by DHHS in August 2013. Rosebery’s water supply is located in an uncovered storage, which may also be susceptible to airborne particulates. The intake for the Rosebery’s drinking water is directly below the main drainage zone for the AMD (acid mine drainage) from the open cut at the mine. According to the TasWater Annual Report, of the 15 detections of lead above Australian Drinking Water Guidelines at Rosebery, 14 came from the Stitt River and 1 from Mountain Creek (The Taswater Annual Report which contradicts itself later by saying all detections were from the Stitt River).

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

Rosebery (Tasmania) – Chloroacetic Acids

Trichloroacetic Acid: 0.105mg/L (Average 2013-14 DHHS)

Dichloroacetic Acid: 0.15mg/L (Average 2013-14 DHHS)

April 5 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Murchison Hwy – Dichloroacetic Acid 0.110 mg/L

May 3 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Blackwood St – Dichloroacetic Acid 0.130 mg/L

June 7 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Blackwood St – Dichloroacetic Acid 0.120 mg/L

“Chloroacetic acids are produced in drinking water as by-products of the reaction between chlorine and naturally occurring humic and fulvic acids. Concentrations reported overseas range up to 0.16mg/L and are typically about half the chloroform concentration.
The chloroacetic acids are used commercially as reagents or intermediates in the preparation of a wide variety of chemicals. Monochloroacetic acid can be used as a pre-emergent herbicide, dichloroacetic acid as an ingredient in some pharmaceutical products, and trichloroacetic acid as a herbicide, soil sterilant and antiseptic.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Council…

There are no epidemiological studies of TCA carcinogenicity in humans. Most of the human health data for chlorinated acetic acids concern components of complex mixtures of water disinfectant by-products. These complex mixtures of disinfectant by-products have been associated with increased potential for bladder, rectal, and colon cancer in humans [reviewed by Boorman et al. (1999); Mills et al. (1998)].” Ref: tmp/Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) CASRN 76-03-9 IRIS US EPA.htm

Rosebery (Tasmania) – Aluminium

May 3 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Murchison Hwy – Aluminium 0.546 mg/L

May 3 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Rear of Hospital- Aluminium 0.506 mg/L

May 10 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Howard St- Aluminium 0.559 mg/L

May 10 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Rear of Hospital- Aluminium 0.531 mg/L

According to the ADWG, no health guideline has been adopted for Aluminium, but that the issue is still open to review. Aluminium can come from natural geological sources or from the use of aluminium salts as coagulants in water treatment plants. According to the ADWG “A well-operated water filtration plant (even using aluminium as a flocculant) can achieve aluminium concentrations in the finished water of less than 0.1 mg/L.

The most common form of aluminium in water treatment plants is Aluminium Sulfate (Alum). Alum can be supplied as a bulk liquid or in granular form. It is used at water treatment plants as a coagulant to remove turbidity, microorganisms, organic matter and inorganic chemicals. If water is particularly dirty an Alum dose of as high as 500mg/L could occur. There is also concern that other metals may also exist in refined alum.

While the ADWG mentions that there is considerable evidence that Aluminium is neurotoxic and can pass the gut barrier to accumulate in the blood, leading to a condition called encephalopathy (dialysis dementia) and that Aluminium has been associated with Parkinsonism dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the NHMRC, whilst also acknowledging studies which have linked Aluminium with Alzheimer disease, has not granted Aluminium a NOEL (No Observable Effect Level) due to insufficient and contradictory data. Without a NOEL, a health guideline cannot be established. The NHMRC has also stated that if new information comes to hand, a health guideline may be established in the future.

In communication with Aluminium expert Dr Chris Exley (Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry
The Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire UK) in March 2013 regarding high levels of Aluminium detected in the South Western Victorian town of Hamilton
“It is my opinion that any value above 0.5 mg/L is totally unacceptable and a potential health risk. Where such values are maintained over days, weeks or even months, as indeed is indicated by the data you sent to me, these represent a significant health risk to all consumers. While consumers may not experience any short term health effects the result of longer term exposure to elevated levels of aluminium in potable waters may be a significant increase in the body burden of aluminium in these individuals. This artificially increased body burden will not return to ‘normal’ levels when the Al content of the potable water returns to normal but will act as a new platform level from which the Al body burden will continue to increase with age.

Rosebery –  (Tasmania) – Colour

August 6 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Murchison Hwy – Colour Apparent 20 PCU

August 6 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Blackwood St – Colour Apparent 25 PCU

November 3 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Murchison Hwy – Colour Apparent 15 PCU

2016/17: Rosebery (Tasmania) Colour 19 HU (max), 11.3 HU (mean)

Based on aesthetic considerations, true colour in drinking water should not exceed 15 HU.

“… 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

Rosebery – (Tasmania) – Fluoride

December 8 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Murchison Hwy – Fluoride 1.85 mg/L

December 8 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Blackwood St – Fluoride 2.29 mg/L

Based on health considerations, the concentration of fluoride in drinking water should not exceed 1.5 mg/L.

“Fluoride occurs naturally in seawater (1.4 mg/L), soil (up to 300 parts per million) and air (from volcanic gases and industrial pollution). Naturally occurring fluoride concentrations in drinking water depend on the type of soil and rock through which the water drains. Generally, concentrations in surface water are relatively low (<0.1–0.5 mg/L), while water from deeper wells may have quite high concentrations (1–10 mg/L) if the rock formations are fluoride-rich.” 2011 ADWG

Rosebery – Tasmania – Iron

August 6 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Murchison Hwy – Iron 335ug/L

August 6 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Huon Crt – Iron 516ug/L

August 6 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Stitt Bridge – Iron 867ug/L

August 11 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Agnes St – Iron 415ug/L

August 11 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Agnes St – Iron  (Dissolved) 372ug/L

November 24 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Rear of Hospital – Iron 315ug/L

February 16 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Murchison Hwy – Iron 568ug/L

February 16 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Rear of Hospital – Iron (Dissolved) 384ug/L

February 16 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Howard St – Iron 345ug/L

February 16 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Blackwood St – Iron 343ug/L

February 16 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Rear of Hospital – Iron 557ug/L

March 1 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Rear of Hospital – Iron 363ug/L

March 1 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Rear of Hospital – Iron (Dissolved) 343ug/L

April 5 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Rear of Hospital – Iron 315ug/L

May 3 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Howard St – Iron 300ug/L

May 10 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Howard St – Iron 361ug/L

May 10 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Rear of Hospital – Iron 317ug/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

Rosebery (Tasmania) – Manganese

August 6 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Huon Crt – Manganese 0.106mg/L

February 16 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Murchison Hwy – Manganese 0.115mg/L

April 12 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Howard St – Manganese 0.111mg/L

April 12 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Howard St – Manganese (Dissolved) 0.110mg/L

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 plumbling fixtures and laundry.

Rosebery (Tasmania) – Silicon

August 6 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Huon Crt – Silicon 1660mg/L

August 6 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Rear of Hospital – Silicon 1770mg/L

August 6 2015: Rosebery (Tasmania) Stitt Bridge – Silicon 1910mg/L

Rosebery – Tasmania – Turbidity

February 2 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Murchison Hwy – Turbidity 8.47 NTU

February 16 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Rear of Hospital – Turbidity 5.55 NTU

May 10 2016: Rosebery (Tasmania) Rear of Hospital – Turbidity 5.41 NTU

2016/17: Rosebery (Tasmania) Turbidity 5.84 NTU (max), 1.03 NTU (mean)

2017/18: Rosebery (Tasmania) Turbidity 6.38 NTU (max), 1.52 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.

Rosebery – Tasmania – Mercury

29/9/17: Routine sampling detected 0.00114 mg/L of Mercury at 174RBSP0401 – resampled with results below the ADWG health limit.

Mercury: Australian Drinking Water  Guideline 0.001mg/L

Mercury, if it enters the ecosystem can transform into the more toxic methylmercury where it can bioaccumulate. Methylmercury is highly toxic to human embryos, fetuses, infants and children. Mercury has numerous sources including old gold mines, where mercury was used in gold recovery process. It has been estimated that 950 tonnes of
mercury was deposited into Victorian soil, rivers and streams during the various gold rushes.

Rosebery residents fed up with constant flow of water problems


May 8 2017

Janine Britten complained to TasWater in April about the brown water that had been coming into her home for almost a month.

TasWater acknowledged that residents had had discoloured water for some time and apologised. The company said it had changed the town’s water supply from Stitt River to Mountain Creek.

However at about the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency got a complaint that the MMG Mining Ltd tailings dam was leaking into the Stitt River.

On Tuesday May 2, the EPA asked MMG to urgently inspect the dam for leaks. The company said it could not see any leaks.

The same day, Greens leader Cassy O’Connor tabled an anonymous letter about the alleged leak in parliament. On Wednesday, the EPA announced it would collect its own water samples for testing, given the potential effect on a public water supply.

But by Thursday last week, Ms O’Connor claimed that the agency had still not tested the water, although the EPA said its media release confirmed that it would be testing.

“Exposure to lead is harmful to human health,” said Ms O’Connor. “Rosebery residents have long been worried about the historical contamination of lead and other heavy metals in their town.

Meantime, Janine Britten is very suspicious about TasWater’s attitude to her water supply.

“We reckon they are not treating the water,” she said. “They get onto it if you complain,” she said. “I complained on  Anzac Day then on Monday (May 1) and by Tuesday and Wednesday it was getting clearer.”

She believed that if TasWater could clean it up so quickly after a complaint, they were not maintaining it properly. “They’re either cost-cutting or not doing their jobs properly.”

“They’re charging us for this dirty water. The bottom of my shower is dirty brown and I’ve had to flush out the hot water cylinder. And they can’t blame the pipes.”