2017/18 – Mackay (Queensland) – E.coli
July 24 2017: E. coli was detected in a sample collected from McEwens Beach as part of the routine drinking water monitoring program. It is believed the E. coli detection was due to frogs
found within the sample tap. In response to this incident a plug was installed at the sample tap to ensure no frogs could make their way back in.
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
2017/18 – Mackay (Queensland) – Lead
October 4 2017: Lead was detected at a concentration above the ADWG health guideline in a sample collected from Seaforth as part of the routine drinking water monitoring program.
Sample tap deterioration was deemed to be the cause of the high lead result. The sample tap
has since been replaced and a sample tap cover installed as part of MRC’s drinking water sample point refurbishment program.
Feb 26 2018: Lead was detected at a concentration above the ADWG health guideline in a sample collected from McEwens Beach as part of the routine drinking water monitoring program. Sample tap deterioration was deemed to be the cause of the high lead result. The sample tap has since been replaced.
Guideline Level 0.01mg/L
“… Lead can be present in drinking water as a result of dissolution from natural sources, or from household plumbing systems containing lead. These may include lead in pipes, or in solder used to seal joints. The amount of lead dissolved will depend on a number of factors including pH, water hardness and the standing time of the water.
Lead is the most common of the heavy metals and is mined widely throughout the world. It is used in the production of lead acid batteries, solder, alloys, cable sheathing, paint pigments, rust inhibitors, ammunition, glazes and plastic stabilisers. The organo-lead compounds tetramethyl and tetraethyl lead are used extensively as anti-knock and lubricating compounds in gasoline…ADWG 2011
Mackay tap water, once rated country’s best, now brown and dirty
Jan 12 2021
Less than two years ago, Mackay was named as having “Australia’s best-tasting tap water”, but that honour has gone down the drain in recent weeks.
Bucasia resident Jade Hayward used to take the high quality of the city’s water for granted. Afterall, Mackay’s tap water was named Australia’s best by the Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA) in 2019.
But last week, she became alarmed when she was running a bath for her children and noticed how discoloured the water was.
“I went in to check on the bath, the water was half full and it was … a rusty dirt brown,” she said.
“You could still see the bottom of the bath, but it was still dirty to look at.