17 January 2019 Boil Water Alert –E. coli bacteria contamination
Residents of Coolah are advised that E. coli bacteria has been detected in the town water supply.
Warrumbungle Shire Council regularly monitors drinking water to ensure its safety and recent testing has detected E. colibacteria in the Coolah water supply.
Detection of E. coli bacteria means that drinking water in the Coolah water supply is unsafe.
E. coli in drinking water shows that the water may be contaminated with faeces and organisms that may cause gastrointestinal illness. …
Brown tap water across Western NSW deserves state of emergency response
By Roy Butler and Helen Dalton
The NSW Government must supply and distribute free bottled water across the growing number of rural towns unable to drink their tap water.
It’s only fair government step in to help those enduring third world living conditions, due to government draining of lakes and mismanagement of our river system.
Brown water crisis
The small town of Billmari, near Cowra, is one of several towns where potable water is too dangerous to drink.
Ironically, Billmari is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘plenty of water’.
Menindee now has plenty of brown water coming out of taps. Menindee is where locals begged governments not to drain their lake in 2017, because the lake supplies their drinking water. Governments ignored them.
Residents in Wilcannia, Hay, Cootamundra, Ganmain, Coolah and Yass have also reported foul-tasting tap water to us.
Walgett has faced such severe drinking water restrictions that generous Dubbo residents have supplied them with bottled water via a Facebook campaign.
But why are drought-stricken neighbouring towns carrying the can for the governments who caused this mess?
Last weekend, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian went to Coogee Beach. She pledged millions of dollars to clean the beach swimming water there.
It’s now time for Gladys to come out west to help those who can’t even drink the tap water.
State of emergency time
If an oil spill poisoned a river, killing one million fish and robbing towns of their drinking water, the NSW Government would declare a state of emergency.
This would force government agencies to get out to affected areas; and help the many residents who can’t afford expensive bottled water.
Under NSW state law, the Premier can call a state of emergency due to: fire, flood, storm, earthquake, explosion, accident, epidemic or warlike action which endangers people’s health.
This law needs to be changed, to include man-made disasters — like governments draining a town’s supply of drinking water during a drought — in the list of emergencies.
There are several state government departments that administer water, employing thousands of bureaucrats.
Why not get them out to Menindee, Walgett, Billmari and other affected towns, to set up water hubs and to distribute free bottled water?
It’s the least the government could do.
Royal Commission next
We’ve both traveled to third world countries like Papua New Guinea, India and Cambodia. Not being able to drink the tap water was the biggest difference between those places and Australia.
That’s why it’s disgraceful we’ve let things come to this in our regional towns.
Clean drinking water should be the number one priority of any civilised nation, ranking well above Sydney stadiums and beaches.
This is why we urgently need a federal royal commission into how governments manage our rivers.
A royal commission will expose the government’s bad decisions on draining lakes; and flush out wealthy National Party donors who rort the system.
But Royal Commissions can take years, and we have a crisis now.
The state government needs to get cracking. It’s time for immediate state of emergency-style provision of free bottled water to towns like Menindee, Walgett and Billmari, where tap water is too dangerous to drink.
Roy Butler is the SFF candidate for Barwon. Helen Dalton is the SFF candidate for Murray.
April – July 2018 – Coolah (New South Wales) – Chlorine
10/7/18: Coolah (New South Wales) – Chlorine 5.07mg/L
10/4/18: Coolah (New South Wales) – Chlorine 5.41mg/L
Free chlorine levels exceeding the health guideline value of 5.0 mg/L were measured on 8 December 2014 from the chlorine sampling point for the Athelstane Range Reservoir B. In situ free chlorine levels within the reservoir were measured at 5.4 and 8.8 mg/L. The short-lived spikes in free chlorine residual recorded during the event were caused by a power outage as a result of a recent thunderstorm and lightning strike which led to dosing occurring due to a faulty inlet flow meter.
Chlorine dissociates in water to form free chlorine, which consists of aqueous molecular chlorine, hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion. Chlorine and hypochlorites are toxic to microorganisms and are used extensively as disinfectants for drinking water supplies. Chlorine is also used to disinfect sewage and wastewater, swimming pool water, in-plant supplies, and industrial cooling water.
Chlorine has an odour threshold in drinking water of about 0.6 mg/L, but some people are particularly sensitive and can detect amounts as low as 0.2 mg/L. Water authorities may need to exceed the odour threshold value of 0.6 mg/L in order to maintain an effective disinfectant residual.
In the food industry, chlorine and hypochlorites are used for general sanitation and for odour control. Large amounts of chlorine are used in the production of industrial and domestic disinfectants and bleaches, and it is used in the synthesis of a large range of chemical compounds.
Free chlorine reacts with ammonia and certain nitrogen compounds to form combined chlorine. With ammonia, chlorine forms chloramines (monochloramine, dichloramine and nitrogen trichloride or trichloramine) (APHA 2012). Chloramines are used for disinfection but are weaker oxidising agents than free chlorine.
Free chlorine and combined chlorine may be present simultaneously (APHA 2012). The term totalchlorine refers to the sum of free chlorine and combined chlorine present in a sample.
Chlorine (Free) ADWG Guideline: 5mg/L (Chlorine in chloraminated supplies 4.1mg/L). Chlorine dissociates in water to form free chlorine, which consists of aqueous molecular chlorine, hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion.
Chlorine (Total) ADWG Guideline 5mg/L (chloraminated supplies 4.1mg/L): The term total chlorine refers to the sum of free chlorine and combined chlorine present in a sample
Coolah – (New South Wales) – Hardness
15/3/22: Coolah (New South Wales) – Hardness 450.9mg/L
28/9/21: Coolah (New South Wales) – Hardness 489.6mg/L
10/3/21: Coolah (New South Wales) – Hardness 466.6mg/L
15/9/20: Coolah (New South Wales) – Hardness 421.3mg/L
9/3/20: Coolah (New South Wales) – Hardness 400.5mg/L
26/3/19: Coolah (New South Wales) – Hardness 395.2mg/L
25/9/18: Coolah (New South Wales) – Hardness 474.3mg/L
22/5/18: Coolah (New South Wales) – Hardness 437.7mg/L
25/9/17: Coolah (New South Wales) – Hardness 446.3mg/L
“To minimise undesirable build‑up of scale in hot water systems, total hardness (as calcium
carbonate) in drinking water should not exceed 200 mg/L.
Hard water requires more soap than soft water to obtain a lather. It can also cause scale to form on hot water pipes and fittings. Hardness is caused primarily by the presence of calcium and magnesium ions, although other cations such as strontium, iron, manganese and barium can also contribute.”
Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011