2016/17 – Wingham (New South Wales) – Copper

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2016/17 – Wingham (New South Wales) – Copper

2016/17 – Wingham – Reticulated Water Manning (New South Wales) – Copper 2.34mg/L (max), 0.267mg/L (average)

There was one occasion of copper above ADWG value in Wingham. The sampling site is located at a school and the sample was collected in January, towards the end of the school holidays. With little to no usage at the site for the previous six weeks, copper may have leached out of the pipe resulting in a higher level of copper than normally expected. There were no other elevated copper results detected across the system. After flushing and resampling, the copper result was back within ADWG. The school was notified and advised to flush the internal lines prior to students returning to school after the holidays. Following this, information will be provided to all schools within MidCoast Water supply systems before the end of the school year, advising flushing of internal lines after school holidays as a precaution.

Based on health considerations, the concentration of copper in drinking water should not
exceed 2 mg/L.
Based on aesthetic considerations, the concentration of copper in drinking water should
not exceed 1 mg/L.

Copper is widely distributed in rocks and soils as carbonate and sulfide minerals.

Copper is relatively resistant to corrosion and is used in domestic water supply pipes and fittings. It is also used in the electroplating and chemical industries, and in many household goods. Copper sulfate is used extensively to control the growth of algae in water storages.

Copper is present in uncontaminated surface waters at very low concentrations, usually less than 0.01 mg/L. The concentration can rise substantially when water with a low pH and hardness remains in stagnant contact with copper pipes and fittings. Under these conditions, the concentration of copper can reach 5 mg/L or higher. In one extreme case overseas, a concentration of 22 mg/L was reported.