2016 March – Childers (Queensland) – E.coli
Gregory River WSA: On the 16/03/2016 during Councils routine micro analysis, a detection of E.coli was found in the vicinity of the Forest View Aged Care Facility in Childers. The result was 55 org/100mL @ 44.5oC with the accompanying free available chlorine (FAC) residual being 0.54mg/L. Immediate notification went to QH, QWSR and the Aged Care Facility. The Facility was also provided with a do not drink/boil water notice as a precaution. Upon initial detection advice, Council immediately carried out mains flushing. Queensland Health require two consecutive E.coli samples with a “No Detection” result before boil water notices can be removed. Following the mains flush, Council carried out the required follow up sampling. These two consecutive samples returned a “No Detection” result. The facility was advised and the boil notice was removed. No adverse health effects were reported in relation to this incident. Council had comfort in the fact that the detection appeared to be contained to the tap near the facility as other sites around Childers were tested under the same routine analysis and no other E.coli detections were found. Reticulation network activity adjacent to the Forest View Aged Care Facility was identified as the potential cause of this incident. An Incident report and debrief was undertaken to identify and minimise reoccurrence.
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