2014/18 – Condamine (Queensland) – E.coli, Trichloroacetic Acid, Chlorate, Colour, Turbidity, Trihalomethanes

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2017 November Condamine (Queensland) – E.coli

https://www.dalbyherald.com.au/news/boil-drinking-water-at-chinchilla/3346393/

On November 4, Condamine residents were told to boil water. That notice was lifted 11 days later.

Last month, Miles residents had to boil drinking water after quality issues were discovered at the town water treatment plant.

Cr McVeigh said there had been a “run” of issues in Western Downs communities but stated the council was doing a good job detecting problems.

Reaction to the announcement on social media was less than positive, with many frustrated at another such notice.

Many on the council Facebook paged questioned how the water quality could be classified as undrinkable, less than a year after the completion of the multi-million dollar upgrade of the Chinchilla water treatment plant.

The water is expected to be given the all-clear to drink by Queensland Health in the next three days.

“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

Condamine (Queensland) – Trichloroacetic Acid

2014 April: Condamine (Queensland)  ~0.255mg/L Trichloroacetic Acid (av. 2013/17 0.140mg/L)

DWI-7-480-00085 Condamine 9/05/2018 Disinfection by Products – Dichloraecetic and Trichloroacetic Acids OPEN A routine disinfection by product sample was in exceedance 26/04/18.

Australian Guidelines Trichloroacetic Acid 0.100mg/L, Dichloroacetic Acid 0.100mg/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

2014 December: Condamine (Queensland) – Chlorate ~3.2mg/L (highest level) – (av 2014/17 ~0.5mg/L)

Each of these plants normally had sufficient stocks of hypochlorite to last about 3 months. At irregular intervals each plant would receive a tanker delivery of about 500 litres. The hypochlorite tanks were generally protected from sunlight but were stored at ambient temperature. Chlorate detections tended to peak in the summer time and be less frequent in cooler months. Hypochlorite solution breaks down with time but at an increased decay rate in higher temperature.
To address this staff developed a procedure where a small quantity of hypochlorite was hauled at frequent intervals to the plants from larger facilities. Warra and Bell are serviced by Jandowae and Condamine from Miles. This helps to ensure that the hypochlorite is regularly refreshed and has a much lower average life. It also assists the larger facility to turn over its s tocks more regularly

http://www.wdrc.qld.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Drinking-Water-Quality-Management-Plan-Annual-Report-2015-2016.pdf

Chlorite: ADWG Health 0.3mg/L.

Chlorite and chlorate are disinfection by-products of chlorine dioxide disinfection process.

“… industry are having serious problems meeting chlorite/chlorate limits that were proposed in the new Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, especially for disinfection in long distance pipelines that are dosed with sodium hyptochlorite” pers comm 18/5/11.

“Chlorite occurs in drinking water when chlorine dioxide is used for purification purposes. The
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that chlorite is not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans and is listed in the Group 3 category. Changes in red blood vessels due to oxidative stress are a major concern with excessive levels of Chlorite in drinking water. According to the US EPA, potential health problems for people drinking Chorite above safe drinking water guideline include: Anemia in infants and young children and nervous system effects.” http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm

“Chlorine dioxide (chlorite) is rarely used as a disinfectant in Australian reticulated supplies.
When used, the chlorite residual is generally maintained between 0.2mg/L and 0.4mg/L. It is
particularly effective inthe control of manganese-reducing bacteria. Few data are available on
chlorate levels in Australian water supplies….Chlorine dioxide, chlorite, and chlorate are all
absorbed rapidly by the gastrointestinal tract into blood plasma and distributed to the major
organs. All compounds appear to be rapidly metabolised. Chlorine dioxide has been shown to
impair neurobehavioural and neurological development in rats exposed before birth. Experimental studies with rats and monkeys exposed to chlorine dioxide in drinking water have shown some evidence of thyroid toxicity; however, because of the studies’ limitations, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions (WHO 2005) The primary concern with chlorite and chlorate is oxidative stress resulting in changes in red blood cells. This end point is seen in laboratory animals and, by analogy with chlorate, in humans exposed to high doses in poisoning incidents (WHO 2005).” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Centre

“…Subchronic studies in animals (cats, mice, rats and monkeys) indicate that chlorite and chlorate cause haematological changes (osmotic fragility, oxidative stress, increase in mean corpuscular volume), stomach lesions and increased spleen and adrenal weights… Neurobehavioural effects (lowered auditory startle amplitude, decreased brain weight and decreased exploratory activity) are the most sensitive endpoints following oral exposure to chlorite…” http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/chlorite-chlorate/indexeng.
php#sec10_1Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

Condamine  (Queensland) – Colour

2015/16: Condamine (Queensland) – Colour 60 TCU (Highest Level Only)

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…

Condamine (Queensland) – Turbidity

2015/16: Condamine (Queensland) – Turbidity 8 NTU (Maximum detection during year)

2017/18: Condamine (Queensland) – Turbidity. 1/22 Non compliant samples

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

2018 April – Condamine (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

DWI-7-480-00083 Condamine 26/04/2018 THM Reported on 08/05/18 to Pushpa. – Initial Notification sent 10/05/2018. A routine disinfection by product sample was in exceedance
26/04/18.

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. Source: http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/in