2016 February – Branyan Water Treatment Plant (Bundaberg, Queensland) – E.coli

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2016 February – Branyan Water Treatment Plant – E.coli

On the 18/02/2016 during routine micro analysis being carried out at the Branyan Water Treatment Plant (WTP) a detection of E.coli was found in the learwater reservoir located within the treatment plant. The result was 3 org/100mL @ 44.5oC. At the time of receiving the detection advice, the water treatment plant had gone into a planned maintenance shutdown with no water being discharged into the reticulation system. As per protocol, this detection was reported to the QWSR. Council was satisfied that this posed no threat to the community as the plant had been shutdown, plus, micro analysis had also been carried out as part of the same routine analysis program in the surrounding area and this did not reveal any other E.coli detections. As part of the planned maintenance shutdown, the reservoir was drained and cleaned. Upon refilling it was retested as per QH requirements. Two consecutive E.coli tests were performed with both returning a “No Detection” result. No adverse health effects were reported due to this incident.

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2015-16

“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