2015/17 – Roma (Queensland) – E.coli, Iron, Total Dissolved Solids, Sodium, Chloride, pH

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Roma residents advised to boil drinking water

Maranoa Regional Council advises all residents in Roma to boil their tap water used for drinking, following the detection of E.coli affecting the Roma water supply.

This alert applies today (27 September 2017) to Roma residents located on the western side of town. A map of the affected area is available here.

Council is working closely with Queensland Health to resolve the situation.

Council is currently flushing the mains and increasing the chlorine dosing in the affected area. This may take several days, before the alert can be lifted.

The boil water alert will stay in effect until Council and Queensland Health are confident there is no longer a public health concern. Regular updates will be provided to those affected.

Consuming unboiled drinking water could lead to illness, especially for vulnerable people (e.g. those who are very young, elderly or immune compromised). If you are concerned about your health contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84), your local doctor or local hospital and advise them of your concerns.

People should use cooled boiled water or bottled water for:

  • drinking
  • brushing teeth
  • washing and preparing food or beverages
  • preparing baby formula
  • making ice
  • bathing infants.

Unboiled drinking water can be used for:

  • showering and bathing other than infants (but minimise water in the mouth)
  • washing dishes by hand or in a dishwasher, provided dishes are air-dried
  • washing clothes
  • flushing toilets.

People should bring drinking water to a boil and then allow water to cool before using it or storing it in a clean, closed container for later use.

Kettles with automatic cut-off switches are suitable for producing boiled water. Variable temperature kettles should be set to boil.

Residents are urged to share this alert with neighbours and friends.

For more information, please click here or call Council on 1300 007 662.

Roma (Queensland)  – Iron

2015/16: Roma (Queensland)  – Iron 0.44mg/L (Bore 3)

2015/16: Roma (Queensland)  – Iron 0.3mg/L (Bore 9)


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 – Roma – Total Dissolved Solids

2016/17: Roma Bore 3 Queensland Total Dissolved Solids 1430mg/L
2016/17: Roma Bore 9 Queensland Total Dissolved Solids 1100mg/L
2016/17: Roma Bore 11 Queensland Total Dissolved Solids 600mg/L


“No specific health guideline value is provided for total dissolved solids (TDS), as there are no
health effects directly attributable to TDS. However for good palatability total dissolved solids
in drinking water should not exceed 600 mg/L.

2016/17 – Roma – Reticulation (Queensland) – Sodium

2016/17:  Roma Bore 3 (Queensland)  Sodium 560mg/L

2016/17:  Roma Bore 3 (Queensland)  Sodium 440mg/L

2016/17:  Roma Bore 11 (Queensland)  Sodium 280mg/L

2016/17:  Roma Bore 13 (Queensland)  Sodium 210mg/L

2016/17:  Roma Bore 14 (Queensland)  Sodium 200mg/L

2016/17:  Roma Bore 15 (Queensland)  Sodium 220mg/L

2016/17:  Roma Bore 16 (Queensland)  Sodium 230mg/L

2016/17:  Roma Bore 17 (Queensland)  Sodium 220mg/L

2016/17:  Roma Bore 18 (Queensland)  Sodium 190mg/L


“Based on aesthetic considerations (taste), the concentration of sodium in drinking water
should not exceed 180 mg/L….The sodium ion is widespread in water due to the high solubility of sodium salts and the abundance of mineral deposits. Near coastal areas, windborne sea spray can make an important contribution either by fallout onto land surfaces where it can drain to drinking water sources, or from washout by rain. Apart from saline intrusion and natural contamination, water treatment chemicals, domestic water softeners and
sewage effluent can contribute to the sodium content of drinking water.” ADWG 2011

2016/17 – Roma (Queensland) – Chloride

2016/17: Roma Bore 3 (Queensland)  Chloride 630mg/L (Highest Level)

2016/17: Roma Bore 9 (Queensland)  Chloride 280mg/L (Highest Level)


“Chloride is present in natural waters from the dissolution of salt deposits, and contamination from effluent disposal. Sodium chloride is widely used in the production of industrial chemicals such as caustic soda, chlorine, and sodium chlorite and hypochlorite. Potassium chloride is used in the production of fertilisers.

The taste threshold of chloride in water is dependent on the associated cation but is in the range 200–300 mg/L. The chloride content of water can affect corrosion of pipes and fittings. It can also affect the solubility of metal ions.

In surface water, the concentration of chloride is usually less than 100 mg/L and frequently below 10 mg/L. Groundwater can have higher concentrations, particularly if there is salt water intrusion.

Based on aesthetic considerations, the chloride concentration in drinking water should not exceed 250 mg/L.

No health-based guideline value is proposed for chloride.” 2011 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

2016/17 – Roma (Queensland) – pH (alkaline)

2016/17 – Roma Bore 9 (Queensland) – pH 8.56

2016/17 – Roma Bore 11 (Queensland) – pH 8.84

2016/17 – Roma Bore 13 (Queensland) – pH 8.91

2016/17 – Roma Bore 14 (Queensland) – pH 8.87

2016/17 – Roma Bore 15 (Queensland) – pH 8.88

2016/17 – Roma Bore 16 (Queensland) – pH 8.89

2016/17 – Roma Bore 18 (Queensland) – pH 8.91

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.