2015/17 – Dalby (Queensland) – E.coli, Silica, Zinc

Center map
2017 April – Dalby (Queensland) – E.coli
On the 3rd of April 2017, a positive E. coli detection was recorded from a hydrant located at 4 Bunya Street, Dalby (result determined from an internal test). At the time of detection, replacement work was being carried out by a contractor in the area. They performed a water analysis from a hydrant which returned a result showing a presence of coliforms. Council were notified and commenced sampling from hydrants and taps in the immediate ar ea. The chlorine level at the sample location was 1.0mg/L at time of sampling.

“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

2015/16 – Dalby (Queensland) – Silica

2015/16 – Dalby (Queensland) – Silica 220mg/L (highest level)

To minimise an undesirable scale build up on surfaces, silica (SiO2) within drinking waters should not exceed 80 mg/L.
Silica present in water is usually referred to as amorphous silica (i.e. lacking any crystalline structure). When silica is dissolved within water it forms monosilicic acid:
SiO2 + 2H2O à Si(OH)4
When the concentrations of monosilicic acid increase, polymerisation of the silica occurs, forming polysilicic acids followed by formation of colloidal silica. Monosilicic acid and polysilicic acids are the forms of silica analysed when determining dissolved silica content.
The deposition of silica from solutions can occur via various mechanisms. The deposition of silica that can cause the most problems for the water industry is via silica’s ability to deposit on solid surfaces that have hydroxyl (OH) groups present. Surfaces that commonly have hydroxyl groups present are glass and metallic surfaces. For example, dissolved silica will react with the surfaces of glass and begin to form a white precipitate. The silica forms silicates on the surface, resulting in silica build-up. In cases where customer complaints occur due to scale build-up, water hardness and silica concentrations should be investigated to determine the cause.
Silica can be a problem in water treatment due to its ability to cause fouling of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes (Sheikholeslami and Tan, 1999, Ning 2002, Sahachaiyunta and Sheikholeslami 2002). This occurs when the dissolved silica of the concentrate becomes super-saturated, causing silicates to form in the presence of metals, and these deposit on the membrane surface. The silicate then dehydrates, forming hard layers on the membrane that reduce the effectiveness of the process… 2011 ADWG

Dalby (Queensland) – Zinc

2016/17: Dalby (Queensland) – Zinc 2.9mg/L

Based on aesthetic considerations (taste), the concentration of zinc in drinking water should
be less than 3 mg/L. No health-based guideline value is proposed for zinc.

Zinc is widely distributed and occurs in small amounts in almost all rocks, commonly as the sulfide. It is used as a coating to prevent corrosion of iron and steel products, and in the manufacture of brass. Zinc oxide is an important component in the manufacture of paint and rubber products, including tyres.

In surface and ground waters, the concentration of zinc from natural leaching is usually less than 0.01 mg/L. Tap water can contain much higher concentrations as a result of corrosion of zinc-coated pipes and fittings. Zinc concentrations in galvanised iron rainwater tanks are typically 2 mg/L to 4 mg/L but have been reported as high as 11 mg/L.

Taste problems can occur if the zinc concentration in drinking water exceeds 3 mg/L. Water with a zinc concentration above 5 mg/L tends to be opalescent, develops a greasy film when boiled, and has an undesirable dry ‘metallic’ taste. Zinc is present in plant and animal tissues, and food is the major source of zinc intake. Drinking water usually makes a negligible contribution to total intake. 2011 ADWG