2014/18 – Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Lead, Iron, Turbidity, Fluoride, Thallium

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2014/15: Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Lead
Torrens Creek Incident: Incident Description:Initial incident occurred at a Private (outside) tap in the Torrens Creek reticulation network. A reading of 0.031mg/L was recorded on the 26/02/2014. Additional tests at the bore and within the network revealed readings below the health limit.
p29. 3 lead samples listed as breaching water quality criteria. highest reading of 0.24mg/L (av. 0.012mg/L
Flinders Shire Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2014/15

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 0.01mg/L

“… 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…ADWG 2011

Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Iron

2016/17: Torrens Creek (Queensland)  – Iron 2.6mg/L (max)

2017/18: Torrens Creek (Queensland)  – Iron 14mg/L (max), 2.8225mg/L (av.)

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

2016/17 – Torrens Creek – Turbidity

2016/17: Torrens Creek – Turbidity 18NTU (max), 6.27NTUav.

2017/18: Torrens Creek – Turbidity 91NTU (max), 16.625NTU av.

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

Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Fluoride

2017/18: Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Fluoride 32mg/L (max), 4.075mg/L (av.)

[these fluoride levels seem excessively high. perhaps a misprint in the DWQMP?

“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. Health Guideline: 1.5mg/L

Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Thallium

2017/18: Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Thallium 0.0008mg/L, 0.000263mg/L

Thalium is a naturally occurring metal released into the environment from metal smelting and coal burning. It was also used in rat poison. Exposure to too much thallium can cause hair loss, liver damage, reduced sperm motility and nervous system impairment. No guideline for Thallium exists in Australia. The US Guideline is 2ug/L (0.002mg/L). The Californian Public Health Goal is 0.1ug/L (0.0001mg/L).