2019 November – Roches Beach (Tasmania) – E.coli Boil Water Alert

2019 November – Roches Beach (Tasmania) – E.coli

Alert on drinking water over E.coli

More than 4,000 residents in the Hobart suburbs of Lauderdale, Acton, Seven Mile Beach and Roches Beach are being forced to boil their drinking water.

TasWater issued a temporary boil water alert after E.coli (Escherichia) bacteria was found after routine testing at the Lauderdale reservoir.

Alternative water supplies have been made available to the local school and aged care facility.

Tas Water’s program manager of technical solutions, Lance Stapleton said it was unclear how long the boil water alert would remain in place.

“We need to get to the bottom of what is the cause and then we need to fix the root cause, we also need to do two consecutive tests 24 hours apart to make sure the water is safe,” he said.

“So I anticipate this will be for at least another day or two, hopefully no longer than that”.

“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