2015/19 – Thargomindah (Queensland) – Legionella, Fluoride, Sodium, Temperature, Total Dissolved Solids

2017/18 Thargomindah (Queensland – Legionella
Positive results have been detected in past samples. Frequency can be reduced once Legionella is no longer detected. (Bulloo Shire Drinking Water Quality Plan)
The family Legionellaceae contains a single genus, Legionella, with 26 currently reported species, of which L. pneumophila serogroup 1 is most frequently associated with human disease. Other serogroups of L. pneumophila and occasionally other Legionellae have also been reported to cause disease.
Legionella organisms are widespread in natural sources of freshwater and may also be found in soils. They occur commonly in man-made water systems, particularly in hot water and cooling water systems.
Legionella spp appear to infect humans by inhalation, and their presence in drinking water per se seems irrelevant until they are amplified by growing in specific sites under specific conditions (usually thermal enrichment), from which infective aerosols, and droplet nuclei, may be created.
Conditions in cooling towers, spas, warm water systems in buildings, hot water systems operated below 60°C, or ‘dead legs’ of hot water systems operated at higher temperatures, may favour the growth of Legionella organisms.
Spraying water in cooling towers or water agitated in spas may then produce
aerosols; water from hot water systems can also form aerosols in showers, through nozzle heads, or by splashing in sinks, baths etc.
Legionella organisms can be ingested by the trophozoites of certain amoebae (Acanthamoeba,
Hartmanella, Valkampfi a and Naegleria) and then grow intracellularly and become incorporated in their cysts. This may explain the difficulty in eradicating Legionella organisms from water systems, and it could be a factor in the aetiology of Pontiac fever.
Legionella spp have been found in cooling tower waters in many parts of Australia. However, very few Legionella organisms have been isolated from drinking waters. No published reports are available on the presence of L. pneumophila in drinking waters.
2016/19 – Thargomindah – Fluoride
The Thargomindah bore water has long had levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the range
of 1.6 to 1.9 mg/L. This range of values is slightly above the ADWG value. Based on the above
information, the levels of fluoride in the Thargomindah water supply are considered to be
2018/19: Thargomindah (Qld) – Fluoride 1.8mg/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.

2016/19 – Thargomindah – Sodium

The sodium content of the Thargomindah water supply is consistent within the range of 223
– 265 mg/L with an average value of about 240 mg/L.
2018/19: Thargomindah (Qld) Sodium 261mg/L (max), 256mg/L (av.)
“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 – Thargomindah – Temperature
Although there is a general acceptance of the quality of the supplied water within the township of Thargomindah there is always a concern on the temperature supplied to the community during the summer months relating to the high temperature the water is being supplied to the residents during this period of time (in excess of 50oC)


“No guideline is set due to the impracticality of controlling water temperature.
Drinking water temperatures above 20°C may result in an increase in the number of

Temperature is primarily an aesthetic criterion for drinking water. Generally, cool water is more palatable than warm or cold water. In general, consumers will react to a change in water temperature. Complaints are most frequent when the temperature suddenly increases.

The turbidity and colour of filtered water may be indirectly affected by temperature, as low water temperatures tend to decrease the efficiency of water treatment processes by, for instance, affecting floc formation rates and sedimentation efficiency.

Chemical reaction rates increase with temperature, and this can lead to greater corrosion of pipes and fittings in closed systems. Scale formation in hard waters will also be greater at higher temperatures…

Water temperatures in major Australian reticulated supplies range from 10°C to 30°C. In some long, above-ground pipelines, water temperatures up to 45°C may be experienced…

The effectiveness of chlorine as a disinfectant is influenced by the temperature of the water being dosed. Generally higher temperatures result in more effective disinfection at a particular chlorine dose, but this may be counterbalanced by a more rapid loss of chlorine to the atmosphere (AWWA 1990).

2016/17 – Thargomindah – Total Dissolved Solids

TDS concentration at Thargomindah are around 600 to 70 mg/L. According to the ADWG,
based on taste, water with TDS content of less than 500 mg/L is regarded as good quality
water, although water with TDS content of up to 1,000 mg/L is acceptable to many
communities. No health effects have been associated specifically with high TDS


“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.