2020 Feb/March: Wellington (NSW). Boil Water Alert Turbidity, Manganese

Boil Water Alerts 5/2/20 – 25/3/20

Boil water alert lifted in Wellington – 25 March 2020

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) in conjunction with NSW Health have today lifted the precautionary Boil Water Alert for Wellington.

Dubbo Regional Council Director Infrastructure Julian Geddes said water treated at the Wellington plant had now returned to a level that consistently met Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

“We have lifted the precautionary Boiled Water Alert effective immediately. Residents are no longer required to boil water in Wellington,” he said.  “Both Council and NSW Health thank the community of Wellington for their patience during the precautionary alert.”

“It was a challenging and unusual length of time required to return the town’s water to acceptable standards.”

Wellington had been on a Boil Water Alert since February after heavy rain and dust storms produced unusually high levels of turbidity in the Macquarie River and flows into the treatment plant.

Boiled water alert: Wellington, Geurie still affected says Dubbo Regional Council

Feb 14 2020


Water quality in Geurie and Wellington is improving but it’s still not good enough to drink, says Dubbo Regional Council.

On Friday, council’s director infrastructure Julian Geddes confirmed the boil water alert would remain in place because the river was high in manganese and turbidity.

Mr Geddes said there had been improvement, but not to the level where the water was consistently meeting the drinking water guidelines.

“We do appreciate it is inconvenient for people to have to boil water but once again, our primary focus is people’s health. It’s a precautionary boiled water alert,” he said.

“It is dragging on longer than anyone would like and we want to make sure people don’t become complacent, and continue to boil their water for drinking brushing their teeth, preparing fresh veggies, babies bottles, things like that.”

It’s safe to shower and wash clothes in the water.

Western NSW Local Health District health protection manager Priscilla Stanley said there was a risk of gastro symptoms if the water was consumed. However, she said to date, no one from Geurie or Wellington had been sick.

For now, the Dubbo water remains safe to consume.

“Dubbo water treatment plant is operating within those drinking water guidelines, we’re quite happy with how it’s performing at the moment, but it’s taking water from the same source so it also has to work quite hard to meet those guidelines,” Mr Geddes said.

“We do also have the option in Dubbo of drawing from clean bore water sources as well. That does help the circumstances as well.”

The high turbidity and manganese have been caused by heavy downfalls in the river. In the long term, however, the rain will help repair the river and prevent the current issues.

“As the country recovers and we get more grass and groundcover it will stop all that sediment from washing into the river in the future. The country is looking like it’s recovering really well, there’s a lot of green grass poking up around the place and it’s looking really good,” Mr Geddes said.

“But some of those downfalls we’ve had in the past week have been quite heavy in isolated patches which has created a lot of that sediment.”

Mr Geddes said he was grateful to the residents of Geurie and Wellington for their patience.