Author Archives: Anthony

2014 – Walhallow (New South Wales) – E.coli, Hardness

2014 – Walhallow (NSW) – E.coli, Hardness
https://researchonline.jcu.edu.au/50882/1/InternatIndigenousPolicyJ-2017-%234.pdf
Water Testing
Rainwater tests at Walhallow indicated that half of the rainwater tested had E. coli. Of the samples tested, 30/58 (52 %) had E. coli with a mean of 18 colony-forming units per sample (Table 3). Overall, 3/5 rainwater tanks had more than 50% E. coli detection rate 2 over the sampling period.
The ADWG recommends no E. coli in every 100ml of a drinking water sample. There is no guideline value for total coliforms as they are not recommended for use as an indicator of faecal contamination. Total coliforms are an indicator of disinfection efficiency. Rainwater at Walhallow is not disinfected…
“E.coli

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

Town Water Hardness
During the period 2006 to 2015, routine town water monitoring data for Walhallow showed that the mean total hardness measured as calcium carbonate (CaCO3) was 268 mg/L compared to the ADWG value of 200 mg/L (NSW Health, n.d.). Participants often referred to town water as “hard water” that caused “itchy and scaly” skin after bathing. Consequently, the community disliked the town water and this may lead to perceived water insecurity. When hard water is heated, the calcium hydrogen carbonate (Ca(HCO3)2 that causes the hardness is converted into CaCO3, which is deposited as a whitish scale. Hence “hard water” is the qualitative description that people use for the scaling actions of water, while water hardness is a quantitative measure of metal ions that are dissolved in the water usually measured as CaCO3 (McMell on, 2010).
GUIDELINE

“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

November 2016 + 2022/23 – Dubbo (New South Wales) – Boil Water Alert, E.coli, Turbidity

Tap water in country towns leaves bad taste amid storm, floods, drought and government inaction

Jan 20 2023: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-01-19/country-tap-water-tastes-bad-odour-discolour-geosmin/101858220

Graeme Brown says he has been drinking bottled water for 20 years to avoid Dubbo’s dirt-flavoured tap water.

He says it tastes, smell and feels strange.

“It smells like old brass — it’s got a real stale smell, and the water’s really hard,” Mr Brown said.

“When you do the washing up you can smell it. I wouldn’t drink it, and I wouldn’t recommend drinking it.”

Dubbo’s tap water has been found to have high concentrations of geosmin, a chemical that causes an earthy taste and musty smell.

Dubbo mayor Mathew Dickerson said a succession of natural disasters was putting strain on the region’s ageing water treatment plants.

“We’ve had the effect of climate change and environmental change, and then we’ve had these extreme events such as the drought, the bushfire, and the floods,” Mr Dickerson said.

“It all impacts on the quality of the water we receive at the water treatment plant, and we have to try and deal with that.”

Mr Dickerson said the plants were designed in 2006 when the town primarily relied on bore water.

The town has increasingly relied on the Macquarie River for water as the town has grown.

He said floodwaters have flushed large quantities of dirt and sediments into the river system, worsened by the debris left behind by bushfires.

Discoloured water but no health concern

High turbidity and algae have also plagued the Warrumbungle Shire area, where locals have seen brown water running out of their taps.

Warrumbungle deputy mayor Aniello Iannuzzi says he has seen discoloured water flowing from the taps at his house and his doctor’s practice.

Dr Iannuzzi said it was often a result of ageing pipe infrastructure, both at a council level as well as individual properties.

While it isn’t a health concern, he says it is unpleasant.

“It’s more of a cosmetic and taste issue — although clearly if you’re washing your clothes it can be an issue,” Dr Iannuzzi said.

“Turbidity and discolouration of water is a frequent source of stress for residents and ratepayers in our shire.”

Country councils underfunded

University of Western Sydney water researcher Ian Wright says there is a vast divide in water quality between cities and country towns.

He pointed to a “scathing” 2020 Audit Office report into the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s water strategy, or lack thereof.

The report found the department had no long-term strategy and had “not effectively” supported or overseen town water planning since 2014.

“If you read these reports your blood will start to boil — why don’t we look after our regional communities better,” Professor Wright said.

“Our local government do so well, and they deserve a pat on the back … they’ve got this continual struggle just to get water quantity, let alone the variable nature of [the quality].”

Professor Wright said country councils were dealing with a “literal” perfect storm, with floods, drought, and underfunding from state government.

Water minister Kevin Anderson said the NSW government was working to secure the future for regional town water supply.

He said they were putting $32.8 million towards Phase 2 of the Town Water Risk Reduction Program.

“Water is our most precious asset,” Mr Anderson said.

“It is imperative that we are able to provide access to reliable town water for regional communities.”

Water supply in Dubbo undrinkable as boil water alert timeframe remains unclear

July 11 2022: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-07-11/dubbo-boil-water-alert-timeframe-remains-unclear/101226698

The water supply for Dubbo and some surrounding villages remains undrinkable five days after a boil-water alert was issued for the area.

Staff from Dubbo Regional Council are working with NSW Public Health to drain turbid water from the city’s reservoirs and re-fill them with compliant water.

Director of Infrastructure Luke Ryan says getting the water back to a safe drinking quality will happen in stages, with each village to be given the all-clear at different times.

“In terms of diluting the water, that means we’ve actually got to add water to the reservoir, and then drain it all the way back down,” he said.

Recent flooding in the Macquarie-Wambuul River caused turbidity levels in Dubbo’s water supply to exceed the maximum of 0.5 – triggering an immediate boil-water alert to be issued last Thursday morning.

Impacted villages include Firgrove, Wongarbon, Eumungerie, Ballimore, Mogriguy, and Brocklehurst.

Within an hour of the alert being issued, bottled water was stripped bare from supermarket shelves in Dubbo.

The same day the boil water alert was issued, the council advertised a three-year contract for the position of manager of strategy, water supply and sewerage.

It has told the ABC in a statement that the role is not related to recent issues with Dubbo’s water supply.

“The successful candidate will be involved in developing strategies to evolve Dubbo Regional Council’s existing capabilities to overcome or adapt to issues such as this in the future,” a spokesperson said.

Works to flush water ongoing

It’s not known exactly how long the process of draining and re-filling reservoirs will take, however, Mayor Matthew Dickerson says it will most certainly be longer than first anticipated.

Initial communications indicated that the council expected the process to take up to seven days.

A large volume of water will be moving through Dubbo’s stormwater system in the coming days as water is emptied out of reservoirs.

Council staff say it is the first time Dubbo has experienced a boil-water alert since November 2016, when bird excrement in one reservoir caused a high risk of E.coli contamination.

‘Catastrophic’ risk to the elderly, immunocompromised

The Western NSW Local Health District’s coordinator of communicable disease control Priscilla Stanley says the presence of cryptosporidium, a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrhoeal disease cryptosporidiosis, is of major concern.

“It can cause a catastrophic outcome … people need to keep boiling and cooling their water to keep themselves out of a dire situation,” she said.

The Dubbo region hasn’t experienced an increase in gastro illnesses, however, Ms Stanley urges people to be on the lookout for symptoms.

2016 November – Dubbo (NSW) – E.coli

BOIL WATER ALERT: Dubbo water concerns continue | Updates

https://www.dailyliberal.com.au/story/4278593/water-concerns-continue-updates-photos-video/

Alert to remain in place over the weekend

Dubbo Regional Council wishes to advise that the Boil Water Alert in place in North Dubbo will remain over the weekend.

For the area served by the Myall Street Reservoir, which is North Dubbo, the Boil Water Notice will remain in place while reservoir cleaning and further sampling are undertaken.

Water should be boiled for at least one minute before consumption by humans or pets.

Do not swallow water when showering and do not use to prepare food that will not be cooked.

The water may still be used for watering the garden.

Although there have been improvements observed overall since testing began, Council will continue to work with NSW Health to ensure the system has returned to normal before the boil water alert is lifted…

‘Council did a good job’

A boil water alert for parts of Dubbo has angered residents this week, but not everyone is critical of Dubbo Regional Council.​

Contaminants were detected in the water supply last Thursday, with council issuing the boil water alert for North, Central and South Dubbo on Monday.

Speaking to the Daily Liberal on Thursday, Grapevine Cafe owner Tim Houghton was glad to see the boil water alert lifted for South and Central Dubbo.

But he didn’t blame council for the contamination, instead saying “they did a good job”.

“For me it wasn’t that big a deal. I just went out and bought bottled water,” he said.

“We bought bottled water in for our customers because we wanted them to feel confident it was safe.

“We knew it wouldn’t last forever.”

Thursday, November 10: Central, South Dubbo cleared

Dubbo Regional Council Director of Technical Services Stewart McLeod advises that the area affected by the Boil Water Notice has been reduced after extensive investigations and testing were carried out to identify and isolate the contamination.

“Council, in consultation with NSW Health, are pleased to say that the reticulated water supply system for South and Central Dubbo can now be declared normal,” Mr McLeod said.

The area of Dubbo still affected by the boil water notice.

“The Boil Water Notice is still in place for North Dubbo as inspections conducted on Wednesday afternoon at the Myall Street Reservoir discovered evidence of birdlife. Roosting birds and nests in reservoirs are known to cause contamination of this kind.

“For the area served by the Myall Street Reservoir, which is North Dubbo, the Boil Water Notice will remain in place while reservoir cleaning and further sampling are undertaken.

“Staff have been following anti-contamination procedures since last Thursday when the first failed water sample was received, with low levels of E. coli detected,” Mr McLeod said.

“After a second, low level read of  E coli came through over the weekend, the same actions were continued and an inspection of the reservoir took place.”

“Further sampling was conducted on Sunday, and a teleconference was held with NSW Health on Monday morning at which a Boil Water Notice was put in place while investigations continued,” Mr McLeod said.

“Although there have been improvements observed overall since testing began, Council will continue to work with NSW Health to ensure the system has returned to normal before the boil water alert is lifted.

“I would like to reiterate that the processes that have been followed by Council during this period reflect the best practice of the industry and will continue to do so, and we appreciate your patience as we work to rectify this situation.”

E.coli

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

2006-2017 – Kempsey (New South Wales) – Cyanobacteria, E.coli, Lead, Aluminium, Turbidity, Iron, Copper

2006 – 2013 Kempsey (New South Wales) – E.coli
Maximum level 110 (mpn 100/mL). 2 exceedences out of 1727 samples
“E.coli

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

Kempsey (NSW) Lead

2006/13 – Kempsey (NSW) – Lead 0.018mg/L (max). 1 exceedence from 86 samples

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

Kempsey (New South Wales) – Aluminium

2006/13: Kempsey (New South Wales) Aluminium 0.68mg/L (max), 0.07mg/L (mean)
Australian Guideline: Aluminium

According to the ADWG, no health guideline has been adopted for Aluminium, but that the issue is still open to review. Aluminium can come from natural geological sources or from the use of aluminium salts as coagulants in water treatment plants. According to the ADWG “A well-operated water filtration plant (even using aluminium as a flocculant) can achieve aluminium concentrations in the finished water of less than 0.1 mg/L.

The most common form of aluminium in water treatment plants is Aluminium Sulfate (Alum). Alum can be supplied as a bulk liquid or in granular form. It is used at water treatment plants as a coagulant to remove turbidity, microorganisms, organic matter and inorganic chemicals. If water is particularly dirty an Alum dose of as high as 500mg/L could occur. There is also concern that other metals may also exist in refined alum.

While the ADWG mentions that there is considerable evidence that Aluminium is neurotoxic and can pass the gut barrier to accumulate in the blood, leading to a condition called encephalopathy (dialysis dementia) and that Aluminium has been associated with Parkinsonism dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the NHMRC, whilst also acknowledging studies which have linked Aluminium with Alzheimer disease, has not granted Aluminium a NOEL (No Observable Effect Level) due to insufficient and contradictory data. Without a NOEL, a health guideline cannot be established. The NHMRC has also stated that if new information comes to hand, a health guideline may be established in the future.

In communication with Aluminium expert Dr Chris Exley (Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry
The Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire UK) in March 2013 regarding high levels of Aluminium detected in the South Western Victorian town of Hamilton
“It is my opinion that any value above 0.5 mg/L is totally unacceptable and a potential health risk. Where such values are maintained over days, weeks or even months, as indeed is indicated by the data you sent to me, these represent a significant health risk to all consumers. While consumers may not experience any short term health effects the result of longer term exposure to elevated levels of aluminium in potable waters may be a significant increase in the body burden of aluminium in these individuals. This artificially increased body burden will not return to ‘normal’ levels when the Al content of the potable water returns to normal but will act as a new platform level from which the Al body burden will continue to increase with age.

2006/13 – Kempsey (New South Wales) – Turbidity

2006/13: Kempsey (New South Wales) – Turbidity 5.9NTU (max), 0.87NTU (mean)

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

2006/13 Kempsey (New South Wales) – Iron

2006/13: Kempsey (New South Wales)  – Iron 0.32mg/L (max), 0.05mg/L (mean)

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

Kempsey (New South Wales) – Copper

2006/13: Kempsey (New South Wales) Copper 2.67mg/L (max), 0.012mg/L (mean). 1 exceedence from 86 samples

Based on health considerations, the concentration of copper in drinking water should not
exceed 2 mg/L.
Based on aesthetic considerations, the concentration of copper in drinking water should
not exceed 1 mg/L.

Copper is widely distributed in rocks and soils as carbonate and sulfide minerals.

Copper is relatively resistant to corrosion and is used in domestic water supply pipes and fittings. It is also used in the electroplating and chemical industries, and in many household goods. Copper sulfate is used extensively to control the growth of algae in water storages.

Copper is present in uncontaminated surface waters at very low concentrations, usually less than 0.01 mg/L. The concentration can rise substantially when water with a low pH and hardness remains in stagnant contact with copper pipes and fittings. Under these conditions, the concentration of copper can reach 5 mg/L or higher. In one extreme case overseas, a concentration of 22 mg/L was reported.

Drinking water repeatedly contaminated with pathogens in rural NSW towns

9 October 2017: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-06/drinking-water-contaminated-with-pathogens-in-nsw-towns/8875464

NSW Health documents obtained by the ABC reveal areas where deadly pathogens are regularly detected at dangerous levels in unfiltered drinking water pumped from rivers, lakes and dams.

The water safety reports, obtained after a lengthy freedom-of-information battle, also show more than 100,000 NSW residents were issued protective boil-water alerts in the last five years.

Grafton, Kempsey, Scone, Jindabyne and Bega are cited as the five worst-performing areas, with repeated “contamination incidents” triggering “potential health risks”.

Around Grafton, a population of 40,000 are at risk from cryptosporidium, a parasite that causes gastrointestinal illness.

Residents have faced 10 boil-water alerts since 2006, issued “in response to the inability of the water supply system to manage risks”.

The documents say faecal contamination from cattle, and even swimmers along the lower Clarence River catchment, is the parasite’s source.

Similar problems plague the Bemboka River catchment, near Bega, with four boil-water alerts issued by Bega Valley Council in 10 years.

Deadly bugs originate in “onsite sewerage system discharges”, “failures and presence of septic systems” and from dairy farms upstream.

The documents say “chlorine-resistant pathogens” — not killed by chemical treatments — are a threat to more than 40,000 people.

Around Kempsey, the risk identified is cyanobacteria — a toxic blue-green algae that can shut supply for 15,000 residents.

Grazing dairy cattle and raw sewage discharges near the Steuart McIntyre Dam trigger algae outbreaks here.

Alarmingly, the documents say “all pathogen groups” including e. coli are present in Kempsey water, and that a further “vulnerability assessment” should be undertaken.

In the Upper Hunter, more than 6,000 residents in Scone, Murrurundi and Aberdeen are rated at “very high risk” from dangerous pathogens flowing from an abattoir and septic tanks in the catchment.

The alpine towns of Jindabyne and Barry Way also face a “moderate risk from the presence of cryptosporidium” as well as toxic “blue-green algae” in their catchment.

Livestock faeces, and sewage, including from the Perisher ski resort are blamed.

The documents also identify other communities with one-off water concerns.

Last year boil-water alerts were issued in Dubbo, as well as villages including Toomelah, Gravesend, and Jubullum.

In the Upper Hunter, more than 6,000 residents in Scone, Murrurundi and Aberdeen are rated at “very high risk” from dangerous pathogens flowing from an abattoir and septic tanks in the catchment.

The alpine towns of Jindabyne and Barry Way also face a “moderate risk from the presence of cryptosporidium” as well as toxic “blue-green algae” in their catchment.

Livestock faeces, and sewage, including from the Perisher ski resort are blamed.

The documents also identify other communities with one-off water concerns.

Last year boil-water alerts were issued in Dubbo, as well as villages including Toomelah, Gravesend, and Jubullum.

Cryptosporidium

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

E.coli

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

2009/11 + 2017/18 – Bega (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium, Iron, Colour, Fluoride, Turbidity

Drinking water repeatedly contaminated with pathogens in rural NSW towns

9 October 2017: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-06/drinking-water-contaminated-with-pathogens-in-nsw-towns/8875464

NSW Health documents obtained by the ABC reveal areas where deadly pathogens are regularly detected at dangerous levels in unfiltered drinking water pumped from rivers, lakes and dams.

The water safety reports, obtained after a lengthy freedom-of-information battle, also show more than 100,000 NSW residents were issued protective boil-water alerts in the last five years.

Grafton, Kempsey, Scone, Jindabyne and Bega are cited as the five worst-performing areas, with repeated “contamination incidents” triggering “potential health risks”.

Around Grafton, a population of 40,000 are at risk from cryptosporidium, a parasite that causes gastrointestinal illness.

Residents have faced 10 boil-water alerts since 2006, issued “in response to the inability of the water supply system to manage risks”.

The documents say faecal contamination from cattle, and even swimmers along the lower Clarence River catchment, is the parasite’s source.

Similar problems plague the Bemboka River catchment, near Bega, with four boil-water alerts issued by Bega Valley Council in 10 years.

Deadly bugs originate in “onsite sewerage system discharges”, “failures and presence of septic systems” and from dairy farms upstream.

The documents say “chlorine-resistant pathogens” — not killed by chemical treatments — are a threat to more than 40,000 people.

Around Kempsey, the risk identified is cyanobacteria — a toxic blue-green algae that can shut supply for 15,000 residents.

Grazing dairy cattle and raw sewage discharges near the Steuart McIntyre Dam trigger algae outbreaks here.

Alarmingly, the documents say “all pathogen groups” including e. coli are present in Kempsey water, and that a further “vulnerability assessment” should be undertaken.

In the Upper Hunter, more than 6,000 residents in Scone, Murrurundi and Aberdeen are rated at “very high risk” from dangerous pathogens flowing from an abattoir and septic tanks in the catchment.

The alpine towns of Jindabyne and Barry Way also face a “moderate risk from the presence of cryptosporidium” as well as toxic “blue-green algae” in their catchment.

Livestock faeces, and sewage, including from the Perisher ski resort are blamed.

The documents also identify other communities with one-off water concerns.

Last year boil-water alerts were issued in Dubbo, as well as villages including Toomelah, Gravesend, and Jubullum.

In the Upper Hunter, more than 6,000 residents in Scone, Murrurundi and Aberdeen are rated at “very high risk” from dangerous pathogens flowing from an abattoir and septic tanks in the catchment.

The alpine towns of Jindabyne and Barry Way also face a “moderate risk from the presence of cryptosporidium” as well as toxic “blue-green algae” in their catchment.

Livestock faeces, and sewage, including from the Perisher ski resort are blamed.

The documents also identify other communities with one-off water concerns.

Last year boil-water alerts were issued in Dubbo, as well as villages including Toomelah, Gravesend, and Jubullum.

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

Iron the cause of Bega, Tathra brown water woes

https://www.begadistrictnews.com.au/story/5631365/iron-the-cause-of-bega-tathra-brown-water-woes/

Sep 26 2018

Naturally occurring iron in the groundwater from the Bega Borefield supply source and corrosion of water supply network infrastructure are the known causes of this issue.

Periodically these iron deposits become disturbed and subsequently flow from taps at home, giving the water a rust-brown appearance and sometimes also staining laundry.

However, the council said, iron in drinking water is an aesthetic issue, not a health one.

BVSC Water and Sewerage Services manager Jim Collins said without the existence of a water treatment plant to remove the iron from the water, small solids flow through and deposit in the system, particularly in those areas where water flow is low.

“The water is disinfected, safe to drink and of a high quality in terms of most indicators, however we fully understand that when the water is discoloured it can be unpleasant and annoying for people,” Mr Collins said.

“Impacts on laundry and poor experiences for visitors to holiday accommodation are particularly regrettable and we are continually looking at solutions.

“In the immediate term, we will continue with our water mains flushing program, however the effectiveness of this method is limited by the water pressures and flow available and other cleaning techniques are also needed and used periodically, such as air scouring and ice-pigging.

“We (Council) are also purchasing an in-pipe camera and tapping gear to allow staff to undertake a more detailed inspection of the various pipes and fittings in the area and more effectively prioritise asset renewals.

“The water mains in Tathra, including Andy Poole Drive and Bega Street, will be among the first to be examined in this way.”

Mr Collins said the construction of four water treatment plants remained a primary focus and a reserve balance of $10million has been set aside to help achieve that goal.

“But we won’t be able to deliver these in a timely manner solely through current income sources without excessive borrowings and/or a major increase in residential water and sewer bills.

“As such we have submitted an expression of interest application to the NSW Government Safe and Secure Water Program for the scoping phase of a water treatment plant at South Bega. This will include water treatment options planning and site investigations,” Mr Collins said.

Council keeps a record of all discoloured water complaints so that any particularly troublesome locations can be investigated. People experiencing issues are encouraged to lodge a report on 6499 2222.

2009/10 – Bega (New South Wales) – Fluoride
From a total of 3,573 daily samples, there were 510 low readings and 2 exceedances (high
readings) from 1 Jan 2004 to 31 Mar 2014. The two exceedances of 1.97 and 1.53 mg/L
occurred on 27 Jan 2009 and 16 Apr 2010, respectively.

“Fluoride occurs naturally in seawater (1.4 mg/L), soil (up to 300 parts per million) and air (from volcanic gases and industrial pollution). Naturally occurring fluoride concentrations in drinking water depend on the type of soil and rock through which the water drains. Generally, concentrations in surface water are relatively low (<0.1–0.5 mg/L), while water from deeper wells may have quite high concentrations (1–10 mg/L) if the rock formations are fluoride-rich.” 2011 ADWG.

Bega (New South Wales) – Turbidity

From a total of 120 samples, 1 exceedance of turbidity has occurred from 1 Jan 2004 to 31 Mar
2014. The 31.3 NTU exceedance was recorded on 4 July 2011 at sample site 121 in Bega. This
exceedance was likely due to iron, recorded at a concentration of 2.5 mg/L in the same sample.

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap.

 

2006-2017: Grafton (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium (not confirmed)

ABC report on Grafton’s water quality incorrect: CVC

https://www.dailyexaminer.com.au/news/water-woes-graftons-drinking-water-one-of-the-wors/3220606/

6/9/17

UPDATE 12:30: Clarence Valley Council have issued an official response to the claims made in the ABC article, stating that council has always been open about water quality issues.

Clarence Valley Council works and civil director, Troy Anderson, said the information provided to the ABC saying Grafton had 10 boil water alerts since 2006 was incorrect.

“There have been no boil water alerts for Grafton in that time – none,” he said. “The last time we are aware of where Grafton had a boil water alert was in 1967 when a water main burst during flooding.

“There have been alerts for some areas outside of Grafton, but there have been none since 2013 when re-chlorination started on the Lower Clarence supply.

“A number of these related to stand-alone water supplies that were not connected to the main Clarence Valley water supply.

“One related to the discovery of a live possum in the reservoir at Maclean and another  the discovery of a dead snake in the Copmanhurst reservoir. These were a number of years ago and in each case council has taken action to prevent similar incidents from recurring.

“Additional treatment barriers would not have prevented any of the boil water alerts that have occurred as re-contamination occurred after the treatment process.

“We note from NSW Health publications there have been no reported cryptosporidium outbreaks from water supplies anywhere in NSW, however it has been identified as a risk.

“When council prepared its drinking water management plan in 2014 the cryptosporidium risk, as outlined by NSW Health, was identified. Council has included $2.7m in this year’s budget for additional treatment barriers primarily to address this risk.

“Council has been completely open about all water quality issues – as it needs to be. All incidents, the reasons for them and the measures put in place are published online at www.riskedge.com.au/incident-register

“People should have no concerns about the quality of the Clarence Valley water supply.   ”

We do weekly testing and immediately notify the public of any issues.

“It should also be noted the ABC article reported the water supply was taken from the Clarence River. That is not correct. We take our supply from the Nymboida River.”

UPDATE 11.30AM: RISK Edge has detailed accounts of all water issues in the Clarence Valley from 2009 to 2015.

Issues range from village operators checking on plants after power outages, operational issues and incidents involving the transportation of chlorine. There has been no report of  cryptosporidium in the Clarence Valley’s water system recorded on Risk Edge.

Risk Edge does detail a boil-water alert in Maclean after the discovery of E Coli.

“Due to the distance from the chloramination point the town historically had very low chlorine residuals,” the report said.

“Following an E. coli detection during routine sampling, around 200 residents in a very defined area of the top part of Maclean fed by the “Lookout Reservoir” were advised to boil water from 21st December 2012 until 7th January 2013.”

IUPDATE 9AM: CLARENCE Valley Council have disputed the claims made by ABC saying the information provided by NSW Heath is incorrect.

There has not been a boil-water alert issued in Grafton since 1967 when there was an issue during a flood.

BEFORE: Grafton has made it onto the list of five most contaminated drinking water in NSW, according to documents obtained by the ABC.

Grafton, Kempsey, Scone, Jindabyne and Merimbula have been cited at the five worst performing areas, with repeated instances of contamination that triggered potential health risks.

According to the ABC report, Grafton’s population of 40,000 are at risk from cryptosporidium, a parasite that causes gastrointestinal illness.

On 10 different occasions since 2006, residents have had to boil water to help manage the risks of the water supply system.

The ABC has reported the documents cite faecal contamination from cattle and even swimmers, as a source of the parasite.

The Daily Examiner is seeking comment from NSW Health authorities and Clarence Valley Council.

Drinking water repeatedly contaminated with pathogens in rural NSW towns

9 October 2017: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-06/drinking-water-contaminated-with-pathogens-in-nsw-towns/8875464

NSW Health documents obtained by the ABC reveal areas where deadly pathogens are regularly detected at dangerous levels in unfiltered drinking water pumped from rivers, lakes and dams.

The water safety reports, obtained after a lengthy freedom-of-information battle, also show more than 100,000 NSW residents were issued protective boil-water alerts in the last five years.

Grafton, Kempsey, Scone, Jindabyne and Bega are cited as the five worst-performing areas, with repeated “contamination incidents” triggering “potential health risks”.

Around Grafton, a population of 40,000 are at risk from cryptosporidium, a parasite that causes gastrointestinal illness.

Residents have faced 10 boil-water alerts since 2006, issued “in response to the inability of the water supply system to manage risks”.

The documents say faecal contamination from cattle, and even swimmers along the lower Clarence River catchment, is the parasite’s source.

Similar problems plague the Bemboka River catchment, near Bega, with four boil-water alerts issued by Bega Valley Council in 10 years.

Deadly bugs originate in “onsite sewerage system discharges”, “failures and presence of septic systems” and from dairy farms upstream.

The documents say “chlorine-resistant pathogens” — not killed by chemical treatments — are a threat to more than 40,000 people.

Around Kempsey, the risk identified is cyanobacteria — a toxic blue-green algae that can shut supply for 15,000 residents.

Grazing dairy cattle and raw sewage discharges near the Steuart McIntyre Dam trigger algae outbreaks here.

Alarmingly, the documents say “all pathogen groups” including e. coli are present in Kempsey water, and that a further “vulnerability assessment” should be undertaken.

In the Upper Hunter, more than 6,000 residents in Scone, Murrurundi and Aberdeen are rated at “very high risk” from dangerous pathogens flowing from an abattoir and septic tanks in the catchment.

The alpine towns of Jindabyne and Barry Way also face a “moderate risk from the presence of cryptosporidium” as well as toxic “blue-green algae” in their catchment.

Livestock faeces, and sewage, including from the Perisher ski resort are blamed.

The documents also identify other communities with one-off water concerns.

Last year boil-water alerts were issued in Dubbo, as well as villages including Toomelah, Gravesend, and Jubullum.

In the Upper Hunter, more than 6,000 residents in Scone, Murrurundi and Aberdeen are rated at “very high risk” from dangerous pathogens flowing from an abattoir and septic tanks in the catchment.

The alpine towns of Jindabyne and Barry Way also face a “moderate risk from the presence of cryptosporidium” as well as toxic “blue-green algae” in their catchment.

Livestock faeces, and sewage, including from the Perisher ski resort are blamed.

The documents also identify other communities with one-off water concerns.

Last year boil-water alerts were issued in Dubbo, as well as villages including Toomelah, Gravesend, and Jubullum.

ABC report on Grafton’s water quality incorrect: CVC

https://www.nvi.com.au/story/5260767/breaking-ecoli-detected-in-tambar-springs-drinking-water/

UPDATE 12:30: Clarence Valley Council have issued an official response to the claims made in the ABC article, stating that council has always been open about water quality issues.

Clarence Valley Council works and civil director, Troy Anderson, said the information provided to the ABC saying Grafton had 10 boil water alerts since 2006 was incorrect.

“There have been no boil water alerts for Grafton in that time – none,” he said. “The last time we are aware of where Grafton had a boil water alert was in 1967 when a water main burst during flooding.

“There have been alerts for some areas outside of Grafton, but there have been none since 2013 when re-chlorination started on the Lower Clarence supply.

“A number of these related to stand-alone water supplies that were not connected to the main Clarence Valley water supply.

“One related to the discovery of a live possum in the reservoir at Maclean and another  the discovery of a dead snake in the Copmanhurst reservoir. These were a number of years ago and in each case council has taken action to prevent similar incidents from recurring.

“Additional treatment barriers would not have prevented any of the boil water alerts that have occurred as re-contamination occurred after the treatment process.

“We note from NSW Health publications there have been no reported cryptosporidium outbreaks from water supplies anywhere in NSW, however it has been identified as a risk.

“When council prepared its drinking water management plan in 2014 the cryptosporidium risk, as outlined by NSW Health, was identified. Council has included $2.7m in this year’s budget for additional treatment barriers primarily to address this risk.

“Council has been completely open about all water quality issues – as it needs to be. All incidents, the reasons for them and the measures put in place are published online at www.riskedge.com.au/incident-register

“People should have no concerns about the quality of the Clarence Valley water supply.   ”

We do weekly testing and immediately notify the public of any issues.

“It should also be noted the ABC article reported the water supply was taken from the Clarence River. That is not correct. We take our supply from the Nymboida River.”

UPDATE 11.30AM: RISK Edge has detailed accounts of all water issues in the Clarence Valley from 2009 to 2015.

Issues range from village operators checking on plants after power outages, operational issues and incidents involving the transportation of chlorine. There has been no report of  cryptosporidium in the Clarence Valley’s water system recorded on Risk Edge.

Risk Edge does detail a boil-water alert in Maclean after the discovery of E Coli.

“Due to the distance from the chloramination point the town historically had very low chlorine residuals,” the report said.

“Following an E. coli detection during routine sampling, around 200 residents in a very defined area of the top part of Maclean fed by the “Lookout Reservoir” were advised to boil water from 21st December 2012 until 7th January 2013.”

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

 

2014 – 2019 – Wilcannia (New South Wales) – E.coli, Foul Tasting Water

2014 February: Wilcannia-Boil Water Alert
E.coli Bacteria Contamination
Regular monitoring for E. coli bacteria in the Wilcannia water supply system is conducted by Central Darling Shire Council.
E. coli is generally not harmful, but its presence in drinking water is associated with sewerage and animal wastes. The presence of these bacteria indicates that the water may be contaminated with organisms that may cause disease.
Recent monitoring has shown E. coli to be present in the Wilcannia water supply system. As
a precaution you are advised that water for consumption should be brought to a rolling boil. Water should then be allowed to cool and stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigerated.

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

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.

Related: Politicians should face criminal charges over million fish kill

2015 March – Gloucester (New South Wales) – Chlorine

2015 March: Gloucester (New South Wales) – Chlorine

“Finally, sampling of the water quality was limited to a portable chlorine test kit, with a
limit of 8.8mg/L. Whilst this was an indicator of high chlorine and a further need to
flush, no formal testing was done and analysed; thus the true levels in the reticulation
were not actually quantified. It was not until a sample was provided by a customer taken
on Tuesday night, and submitted to the MCW laboratory several days later that an
understanding of the quantity of chlorine dosed in the system could be established.
Whilst the sample was not formal, it could not be ignored; the sample had a total and free
chlorine reading of 140mg/L. Formal sampling would have also allowed a more detailed
assessment of other analyte’s. It must also be noted that a number of customers in
Gloucester receive water directly off the rising main to the reservoirs, thus they would
have received a highly concentrated slug of chlorine straight from the plant.”

http://wioa.org.au/conference_papers/2016_nsw/documents/Nathan_Bakewell.pdf

https://www.midcoastwater.com.au/site/index.cfm?module=NEWS&PageMode=indiv&page_id=542937&leca=285

2pm update 26 March

Chlorine levels in Gloucester have now returned to normal.

Extensive testing has been undertaken over the last two days at a large number of locations across the township, along with flushing to remove the higher chlorinated water from the town water supply.

Customers in the Cemetery Road area may still experience some isolated chlorine taste and odour issues.

We do not believe that at any stage chlorine levels posed a risk to health. The warning to not drink the water was issued as a precautionary measure while we gathered further information on the situation. Chlorine limits set by the National Health and Medical Research Council are an aesthetic level and much higher levels have previously been experienced without any adverse health impacts.

However we do acknowledge the smell and taste of the water was not acceptable to our customers.

Representatives from MidCoast Water – including the chair, deputy chair and executive staff –  will be available in Gloucester tomorrow morning at the Meeting Place in Denison Street between 9am and noon.

MidCoast Water has engaged independent external consultants to undertake a full investigation into the incident.

Any members of the public interested in contributing to the independent investigation into the incident can email their concerns to investigations@midcoastwater.com.au

This will cease our regular updates on this issue, however will continue to issue advice if anything change

11.30am update:

MidCoast Water representatives will be at the Meeting Place, Denison Street from 9am-12 tomorrow, Friday March 27 to talk to residents.

Present will be the chair, Cr Tony Summers, deputy chair, Cr Aled Hoggett and executive staff.

10am update:

Water main flushing started at 6.30am in parts of Gloucester as chlorine levels continue to stabilise across the town.

Testing this morning has indicated chlorine has returned to normal levels in the hospital area and western side of town.

Problems may still be experienced in the northern and eastern parts of town, in the  Ravenshaw and Tyrell street areas.

Customers are once again reminded the water is safe for use. However anyone who feels they have health concerns is urged to seek medical advice.

Meanwhile we are continuing an internal investigation on the cause of the chlorine dosing pump failure.

We have launched an independent investigation into the incident. This investigation, to be undertaken by Hunter H2O, will look at the cause of the incident, the organisation’s response and any improvements that are required.

Hunter H20 is a consultancy with extensive water treatment and operational experience.

Copies of the draft independent report will be provided to all regulators for their comments and the report will then be released publicly.

No other water supplies have been affected by the issues in Gloucester.

We have been in contact with NSW Health, NSW Office of Water and the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) throughout the incident.

We will be providing a $50 rebate on the next water account to every customer supplied by the Gloucester water supply scheme for the inconvenience caused by the outage and to offset water charges due to internal flushing…

A further update will be provided at 2.30pm

Wednesday March 25

6pm update:

Water main flushing is continuing in parts of Gloucester and MidCoast Water crews will continue to flush until sunset in the eastern part of town to reduce the chlorine levels in the water supply.

Flushing will then resume in the morning. If customers are still experiencing a chlorine taste and smell in their water they are assured that the water is safe to use and will continue to improve over the coming hours.

MidCoast Water has been in contact with NSW Health, NSW Office of Water and the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) throughout the incident.

MidCoast Water is undertaking an in-depth internal investigation into the causes of the incident and the response.

MidCoast Water will be providing a $50 rebate on the next water account to every customer supplied by the Gloucester water supply scheme for the inconvenience caused by the outage and to offset water charges due to internal flushing.

Any commercial customers who feel they experienced significant financial loss as a direct result of the outage are asked to contact our customer service centre on 1300 133 455.

Representatives from MidCoast Water will be available in Gloucester on Friday morning to discuss any issues. Times and venues will be available on our website.

An update will be provided at 9.30am Thursday March 26

4pm update:

Gloucester residents are advised the town water supply is now safe to drink with current chlorine levels posing taste and odour issues only.

Chlorine readings in all three Gloucester reservoirs have returned to normal levels, however chlorine readings do remain high in the network in the Tyrell Street area.

MidCoast Water operators are continuing to flush this part of the network and chlorine levels are reducing. Flushing will continue until normal test readings are found in all parts of the network.

Gloucester residents are requested to flush their house pipes for at least 10 minutes before using water this evening. This will assist MidCoast Water in purging pockets of the network and ensure the water is sourced from the mains and not internal pipes.

2pm update:

Higher than normal chlorine levels are being experienced in the Gloucester water supply.

This appears to be due to an equipment failure.

Staff have currently flushed one third of the water supply network and are expected to flush the remaining parts of the system over the next two to three hours.

While it is not expected that high chlorine levels would have any adverse effects,  our precautionary advice continues to be not to drink the water until notified otherwise.

11.30am:

Gloucester residents are advised an overdose of chlorine has occurred and as a precautionary measure the water should not be consumed until further notice.

Caution is recommended for anyone with skin sensitivities.
This advice will be updated at 2pm today.

Additional information:

  • Higher than usual chlorine levels were detected in Gloucester during Tuesday March 24– and customers would have noticed increased chlorine smell and taste, however levels were well within guidelines.
  • We monitored and tested over the following 24 hours and testing mid-morning Wednesday March 25 that level rose to the point we issued a precautionary advice not to drink the water.
  • It should be noted this only affected the Gloucester water supply – nowhere else.
  • The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines indicate there are very few toxic effects associated with drinking water with high chlorine concentrations. In one report people drank water with substantially higher chlorine levels without adverse effects. However if anyone is concerned they should seek medical advice. The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines can be found here part V of the guidelines contain fact sheets for values of drinking water – pages 13-47 and 13-48 contain the advice of the National Health and Medical Research Council on chlorine.
  • Water mains were flushed across Gloucester and the water was onto grassed areas,roads and down drains after the completion of a risk assessment. Water was not directly released to the river and MidCoast Water is confident it has not presented a problem to local waterways.
  • Samples were taken from the Gloucester River and all results will be provided to the EPA.
  • It should be noted chlorine is removed from the water by aeration and exposure to sunlight as it is purged from the network.
  • Where possible flushing undertaken close to the river was directed to MidCoast Water’s sewer system.
  • We were in contact with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), NSW Office of Water and NSW Health throughout the incident.
  • We worked with local schools, preschools, the hospital and nursing home and are in regular contact with them. Provision for bottled water was made.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

2014/16 – Bendemeer (New South Wales) – Uranium

2015/2016 Uranium – Bendemeer (New South Wales)
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/Documents/nswhuep-minutes-071016.pdf
Uranium concentrations have been elevated above ADWG in bore 5 in Kootingal/Moonbi and in Airlie Rd bore in Bendemeer
•There is limited scientific data on the health effects of uranium and studies are mostly about
inhalation and/or occupational exposure and cross-sectional studies of communities with elevated uranium levels in drinking water
•Epidemiological evidence suggests renal proximal tubular damage by the presence of biomarkers may occur at levels above 0.1 mg/L and there is little information on chronic long term exposure
•For the Kootingal/Moonbi community Uranium concentration in the reticulated
water tested over 2015 and 2016 range from 0.022 mg/L up to 0.043 mg/L.
For the Bendemeer community, the affected bore was commissioned in 2014 and has provided only up to 20% of the drinking water supply since 2015. Exposure to water from this bore was not considered a concern due to the part contribution and shorter exposure time.
• There is no clear dose response identified in the 7 studies examined
•There is no clinical or histological evidence of kidney disease in the affected
populations at various levels of exposure in the studies examined
•Community testing would provide limited to no benefit due to lack of specificity in biomarkers

Uranium (Information Sourced From 2011 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines)
“Based on health considerations, the concentration of uranium in drinking water should not exceed 0.017 mg/L.”

Tamworth Regional Council admits negligence after elevated levels of uranium found in drinking water

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-05/tamworth-council-water-contamination-with-uranium/7905416?site=newengland

A council in the north of New South Wales has admitted negligence after residents of several towns were notified of elevated uranium levels two years after the levels were confirmed.

Hunter New England Health has reviewed Tamworth Regional Council’s latest test results of natural uranium in drinking water supplies of Moonbi and Kootingal since testing began in 2014.

It has found while the contamination was almost double the recommended safe level in some of the bores, the health implications were yet unclear.

Tamworth Regional Council Director of Water and Waste, Bruce Logan said the six monthly test results conducted since 2014 should had raised alarm bells sooner.

“Are we negligent in relation to whether we should have taken appropriate action earlier? Well I think the answer to that is yes,” Mr Logan said.

The new figures also reveal elevated levels of uranium in Bendemeer’s backup supply of drinking water since it was commissioned last year.

The latest results exceeded the recommended safe level since testing began.

Mr Logan said the relevant people within his department had been notified about their negligence.

“Staff are always held accountable so on this occasion necessary measures have been made within staffing and within our processes so staff are fully aware of the failure and the unacceptable nature of that failure and how we can make sure that won’t happen again in the future,” Mr Logan said.

Mr Logan went on to apologise to residents in all three town for the oversight and said residents deserved better.

“I’m very sorry about that. It’s not good enough and it’s not the level of service Council should be giving,” Mr Logan said.

People should be able to be very, very confident that the water they are drinking meets the necessary compliance levels as indicated in the Australian Water Drinking Guidelines,” he said.

Local health district urging calm

Hunter New England Health’s (HNEH) Public Health Physician Dr David Durrheim said while the drinking water exceeded the recommended safe level the health implications were yet unclear.

“Some of these people will have been using drinking water which may or may not have exceeded guideline levels for a long period of time.

“But again, to stress even those levels appear higher than the drinking water guidelines, they are not at a the level we expect acute, severe health defects,” Mr Durrheim said.

He said the results should not alarm people.

“The levels detected are yes above the drinking water guidelines. Those are very conservative guideline levels and really reflect the experience where concern is for a person exposed for their life time at those levels,” Mr Durrheim said.

Within the next month, the NSW Health Department will form an expert panel to assess the ongoing and long term health risks.

2014/16 – Moonbi (New South Wales) – Uranium

2015/2016 Uranium – Kootingal/Moonbi (New South Wales)
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/Documents/nswhuep-minutes-071016.pdf
Uranium concentrations have been elevated above ADWG in bore 5 in Kootingal/Moonbi and in Airlie Rd bore in Bendemeer
•There is limited scientific data on the health effects of uranium and studies are mostly about
inhalation and/or occupational exposure and cross-sectional studies of communities with elevated uranium levels in drinking water
•Epidemiological evidence suggests renal proximal tubular damage by the presence of biomarkers may occur at levels above 0.1 mg/L and there is little information on chronic long term exposure
•For the Kootingal/Moonbi community Uranium concentration in the reticulated
water tested over 2015 and 2016 range from 0.022 mg/L up to 0.043 mg/L.
For the Bendemeer community, the affected bore was commissioned in 2014 and has provided only up to 20% of the drinking water supply since 2015. Exposure to water from this bore was not considered a concern due to the part contribution and shorter exposure time.
• There is no clear dose response identified in the 7 studies examined
•There is no clinical or histological evidence of kidney disease in the affected
populations at various levels of exposure in the studies examined
•Community testing would provide limited to no benefit due to lack of specificity in biomarkers

Uranium (Information Sourced From 2011 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines)
“Based on health considerations, the concentration of uranium in drinking water should not exceed 0.017 mg/L.”

Tamworth Regional Council admits negligence after elevated levels of uranium found in drinking water

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-05/tamworth-council-water-contamination-with-uranium/7905416?site=newengland

A council in the north of New South Wales has admitted negligence after residents of several towns were notified of elevated uranium levels two years after the levels were confirmed.

Hunter New England Health has reviewed Tamworth Regional Council’s latest test results of natural uranium in drinking water supplies of Moonbi and Kootingal since testing began in 2014.

It has found while the contamination was almost double the recommended safe level in some of the bores, the health implications were yet unclear.

Tamworth Regional Council Director of Water and Waste, Bruce Logan said the six monthly test results conducted since 2014 should had raised alarm bells sooner.

“Are we negligent in relation to whether we should have taken appropriate action earlier? Well I think the answer to that is yes,” Mr Logan said.

The new figures also reveal elevated levels of uranium in Bendemeer’s backup supply of drinking water since it was commissioned last year.

The latest results exceeded the recommended safe level since testing began.

Mr Logan said the relevant people within his department had been notified about their negligence.

“Staff are always held accountable so on this occasion necessary measures have been made within staffing and within our processes so staff are fully aware of the failure and the unacceptable nature of that failure and how we can make sure that won’t happen again in the future,” Mr Logan said.

Mr Logan went on to apologise to residents in all three town for the oversight and said residents deserved better.

“I’m very sorry about that. It’s not good enough and it’s not the level of service Council should be giving,” Mr Logan said.

People should be able to be very, very confident that the water they are drinking meets the necessary compliance levels as indicated in the Australian Water Drinking Guidelines,” he said.

Local health district urging calm

Hunter New England Health’s (HNEH) Public Health Physician Dr David Durrheim said while the drinking water exceeded the recommended safe level the health implications were yet unclear.

“Some of these people will have been using drinking water which may or may not have exceeded guideline levels for a long period of time.

“But again, to stress even those levels appear higher than the drinking water guidelines, they are not at a the level we expect acute, severe health defects,” Mr Durrheim said.

He said the results should not alarm people.

“The levels detected are yes above the drinking water guidelines. Those are very conservative guideline levels and really reflect the experience where concern is for a person exposed for their life time at those levels,” Mr Durrheim said.

Within the next month, the NSW Health Department will form an expert panel to assess the ongoing and long term health risks.

2014/16 – Kootingal (New South Wales) – Uranium

2015/2016 Uranium – Kootingal/Moonbi (New South Wales)
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/Documents/nswhuep-minutes-071016.pdf
Uranium concentrations have been elevated above ADWG in bore 5 in Kootingal/Moonbi and in Airlie Rd bore in Bendemeer
•There is limited scientific data on the health effects of uranium and studies are mostly about
inhalation and/or occupational exposure and cross-sectional studies of communities with elevated uranium levels in drinking water
•Epidemiological evidence suggests renal proximal tubular damage by the presence of biomarkers may occur at levels above 0.1 mg/L and there is little information on chronic long term exposure
•For the Kootingal/Moonbi community Uranium concentration in the reticulated
water tested over 2015 and 2016 range from 0.022 mg/L up to 0.043 mg/L.
For the Bendemeer community, the affected bore was commissioned in 2014 and has provided only up to 20% of the drinking water supply since 2015. Exposure to water from this bore was not considered a concern due to the part contribution and shorter exposure time.
• There is no clear dose response identified in the 7 studies examined
•There is no clinical or histological evidence of kidney disease in the affected
populations at various levels of exposure in the studies examined
•Community testing would provide limited to no benefit due to lack of specificity in biomarkers

Uranium (Information Sourced From 2011 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines)
“Based on health considerations, the concentration of uranium in drinking water should not exceed 0.017 mg/L.”

Tamworth Regional Council admits negligence after elevated levels of uranium found in drinking water

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-05/tamworth-council-water-contamination-with-uranium/7905416?site=newengland

A council in the north of New South Wales has admitted negligence after residents of several towns were notified of elevated uranium levels two years after the levels were confirmed.

Hunter New England Health has reviewed Tamworth Regional Council’s latest test results of natural uranium in drinking water supplies of Moonbi and Kootingal since testing began in 2014.

It has found while the contamination was almost double the recommended safe level in some of the bores, the health implications were yet unclear.

Tamworth Regional Council Director of Water and Waste, Bruce Logan said the six monthly test results conducted since 2014 should had raised alarm bells sooner.

“Are we negligent in relation to whether we should have taken appropriate action earlier? Well I think the answer to that is yes,” Mr Logan said.

The new figures also reveal elevated levels of uranium in Bendemeer’s backup supply of drinking water since it was commissioned last year.

The latest results exceeded the recommended safe level since testing began.

Mr Logan said the relevant people within his department had been notified about their negligence.

“Staff are always held accountable so on this occasion necessary measures have been made within staffing and within our processes so staff are fully aware of the failure and the unacceptable nature of that failure and how we can make sure that won’t happen again in the future,” Mr Logan said.

Mr Logan went on to apologise to residents in all three town for the oversight and said residents deserved better.

“I’m very sorry about that. It’s not good enough and it’s not the level of service Council should be giving,” Mr Logan said.

People should be able to be very, very confident that the water they are drinking meets the necessary compliance levels as indicated in the Australian Water Drinking Guidelines,” he said.

Local health district urging calm

Hunter New England Health’s (HNEH) Public Health Physician Dr David Durrheim said while the drinking water exceeded the recommended safe level the health implications were yet unclear.

“Some of these people will have been using drinking water which may or may not have exceeded guideline levels for a long period of time.

“But again, to stress even those levels appear higher than the drinking water guidelines, they are not at a the level we expect acute, severe health defects,” Mr Durrheim said.

He said the results should not alarm people.

“The levels detected are yes above the drinking water guidelines. Those are very conservative guideline levels and really reflect the experience where concern is for a person exposed for their life time at those levels,” Mr Durrheim said.

Within the next month, the NSW Health Department will form an expert panel to assess the ongoing and long term health risks.

2016 November – Toomelah (New South Wales) – E.coli

11 November 2016 Toomelah (New South Wales)

Updated: Boil Water Alert: E.coli bacteria contamination

E.coli bacteria have been found in the Toomelah drinking water supply in regular monitoring by Moree Plains Shire Council.

E.coli itself is generally not harmful, but its presence in drinking water is associated with sewage and animals. These bacteria indicate that the water may be contaminated with organisms that may cause gut illness.

As a precaution you are advised that water used for drinking or food preparation should be brought to a rolling boil. Water should then be allowed to cool and stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigera

“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

2016 + 2020/21 – Gravesend (New South Wales) – E.coli, Turbidity

Friday 18 Nov 2016
Gravesend Boil Water Alert E. coli bacteria contamination
E. coli bacteria have been found in the Gravesend drinking water supply in regular monitoring by Gwydir Shire Council.
E. coil itself is generally not harmful, but its presence in drinking water is associated with sewage and animals. These bacteria indicate that the water may be contaminated with
organisms that may cause gut illness, As a precaution you are advised that water used for drinking or food preparation should be brought to a rolling boil. Water should then be allowec
to cool and stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigerated.

“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

Dec 20/Jan 21 – Gravesend (New South Wales) – Turbidity

Gwydir Shire Council

Gravesend Boil Water Alert has been lifted

Gwydir Shire Council advises that the boil water advisory issued on Friday 18th December 2020 has been lifted and there are no restrictions remaining on the normal uses of drinking water supplied to Gravesend…

The boil water alert was issued as a precaution due to rainfall events causing high turbidity in the Gwydir River…

2016 November – Jubullum Village (New South Wales) – E.coli

BOIL WATER ALERT AT JUBULLUM : Issued 21 November 2016
To residents and visitors at Jubullum Village
Recent water testing has revealed the presence of E. coli bacteria in the town water supply, which means that water straight from the taps may be unsafe to drink at the moment.
As a result, Ecoteam is issuing a boil alert for Jubullum Village.
We are hoping that the alert will be lifted before Christmas.
A boil water alert means that tap water should be boiled before you drink it.
Heat tap water to a rolling boil in an electric kettle or on the stove, then let it cool down. Keep a
good supply of boiled water available.
On Tuesday 22nd of November, Aaron and Keith from Ecoteam will be conducting some precautionary measures including adding chlorine to the reservoir and operating the fire hydrants. This work should not cause a discontinuity in the water supply…

“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

2017 March – Darlington Point (New South Wales) – E.coli

Boil Water Notice – Darlington Point (NSW) 2017 March 16

E.coli Bacteria Contamination

Regular monitoring for E.coli bacteria in the Darlington Point Town Water Supply is conducted by the Murumbidgee Town Council. E.coli is itself generally not harmful. The presence of these bacteria indicates that the water may be contaminated with organisms that may cause disease.

Recent monitoring has shown E.coli to be present in the Darlington Point town water supply. As a precaution your are advised that water for consumption should be bought to a rolling boil. Water should then be allowed to cool and stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigerated…

“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

2017 + 2022 – Uki (New South Wales) – Boil Water Alert

NSW residents urged to boil tap water as expert warns catastrophic floods could lead to raw sewage contamination

March 2 2022: https://www.skynews.com.au/australia-news/nsw-residents-urged-to-boil-tap-water-as-expert-warns-catastrophic-floods-could-lead-to-raw-sewage-contamination/news-story/c8b18d1b00400784edcc81a9645e0a56

New South Wales residents have been urged to boil their tap water as wild weather and heavy rain inundate the state, contaminating flood water with raw sewage.

NSW Health is urging residents in parts of the state to avoid drinking unboiled tap water as wild weather and flash flooding continues across Australia’s east coast.

Record levels of rain have inundated parts of Queensland and NSW as heavy downpours engulf the east coast – flooding homes, breaking sewage systems and leaving cars submerged.

A boil water alert has been issued for residents in Richmond Valley Council (Casino and surrounds) and Tweed Shire council (Uki and South Murwillumbah/Dunbible).

Director of the Australian Graduate School of Engineering at UNSW Professor Stuart Khan says floodwaters inundating these areas are “almost always” highly contaminated.

“Floodwaters contain lots of organic carbon and sediment, which is picked up from erosion of riverbanks and other overland flow,” he told SkyNews.com.au.

“In urban areas, floods fill sewers and cause them to overflow, so flood waters also quickly become contaminated with raw sewage.

“When this occurs, bacteria and viruses from sewage create public health risks for anyone who comes into contact with untreated flood waters.”

Prof Khan says anyone who comes into contact with untreated flood waters is at risk of contracting illnesses including gastro, skin infections and ear infections.

The northern NSW town of Mullumbimby is experiencing a water shortage after its water treatment plant was knocked out by catastrophic floods.

The Byron Shire Council says they are working to tank fresh water supplies into the town but encourages residents to “heed to water restrictions”.

Prof Khan says the demand for clean water can be “very high” as parts of the state clean up following the deluge.

“When reduced water supply occurs at the same time as increased water demand, this exacerbates the risk of shortages,” he said.

“Any drinking water supply that significantly loses pressure during a flood is at risk of contamination by floodwaters.

“If there is concern that this may have occurred, people should avoid drinking tap water unless they are able to boil it first.”

NSW Health says water used for drinking or food preparation should be brought to a rolling boil and allowed to cool completely before refrigerating in a clean container with a lid.

Bottled water or cool boiled water should be used for drinking, washing uncooked food (salad, fruit), making ice, cleaning teeth, gargling and for pet’s drinking water.

Dishes should be washed in hot soapy water or in a dishwasher and children should take bottled water or cool boiled water to school.

31 March 2017
Boiled water alert for village of Uki
Possible water contamination in local supply Recent heavy rain has made the Uki drinking water supply untreatable. Uki has its own water treatment plant and this water may have become contaminated.
Residents are advised that water used for drinking or food preparation should be brought to
a rolling boil. Water should then be allowed to cool and stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigerated.
If you are unable to boil the water, household bleach can be used to kill disease causing organisms in the water. Add 10 drops of 1per cent chlorine bleach per litre of water and let it stand for 30 minutes.
If you cannot smell chlorine after that time, add another 10 drops.
Bottled or cool boiled water or bleached water should be used for drinking, preparing food, making ice, pet’s drinking water, cleaning teeth and gargling.
Dishes should be washed in hot soapy water or in a dishwasher. Children should take
bottled or cool boiled water or bleached water to school. Tweed Shire Council is working to
fix the problem and bring in alternative water via a tanker or bottled water.
This advice should be followed until further notice.

2017/21 – Mendooran (New South Wales) – Nickel, Hardness, Iron, Manganese, Chloride, Inadequate Chlorine

Mendooran (NSW) Nickel

5/10/21: Mendooran (NSW) Nickel 0.0291mg/L

Nickel: ADWG Health Guideline 0.02mg/L. A chemical element and silvery white corrosion resistant metal with a golden tinge. 60% of nickel production is used in nickel steel (particularly stainless steel). In water, mainly a problem with nickel plated fittings. Main releases to the environment are from the burning of fossil fuels and in waste discharges from electroplating industries.

Drinking Water Quality Management Plan Logan City Council 2018/19

Mendooran – (New South Wales) – Hardness

10/3/21: Mendooran (New South Wales) – Hardness 236.5mg/L

26/3/19: Mendooran (New South Wales) – Hardness 224.6mg/L

25/9/18: Mendooran (New South Wales) – Hardness 204.3mg/L

22/5/18: Mendooran (New South Wales) – Hardness 311.5mg/L

12/9/17: Mendooran (New South Wales) – Hardness 274mg/L

GUIDELINE

“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

Mendooran (NSW) – Iron

1/4/20: Mendooran (NSW) – Iron 0.82mg/L

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

Mendooran (NSW) Total Dissolved Solids

26/3/19: Mendooran (NSW) Total Dissolved Solids 637mg/L

22/5/18: Mendooran (NSW) Total Dissolved Solids 660mg/L

GUIDELINE

“No specific health guideline value is provided for total dissolved solids (TDS), as there are no
health effects directly attributable to TDS. However for good palatability total dissolved solids
in drinking water should not exceed 600 mg/L.

Total dissolved solids (TDS) consist of inorganic salts and small amounts of organic matter that are dissolved in water. Clay particles, colloidal iron and manganese oxides and silica, fine enough to pass through a 0.45 micron filter membrane can also contribute to total dissolved solids.

Total dissolved solids comprise: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, sulfate, bicarbonate, carbonate, silica, organic matter, fluoride, iron, manganese, nitrate, nitrite and phosphates…” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011

Mendooran (NSW) – Chloride

26/3/19: Mendooran (NSW) Chloride 241mg/L

22/5/18: Mendooran (NSW) Chloride 273mg/L

“Chloride is present in natural waters from the dissolution of salt deposits, and contamination from effluent disposal. Sodium chloride is widely used in the production of industrial chemicals such as caustic soda, chlorine, and sodium chlorite and hypochlorite. Potassium chloride is used in the production of fertilisers.

The taste threshold of chloride in water is dependent on the associated cation but is in the range 200–300 mg/L. The chloride content of water can affect corrosion of pipes and fittings. It can also affect the solubility of metal ions.

In surface water, the concentration of chloride is usually less than 100 mg/L and frequently below 10 mg/L. Groundwater can have higher concentrations, particularly if there is salt water intrusion.

Based on aesthetic considerations, the chloride concentration in drinking water should not exceed 250 mg/L.

1 June 2017 – Mendooran (New South Wales)

Boil Water Alert
Council wishes to advise the residents of Mendooran that there are low and inconsistent chlorine levels in the town water mains.
There is concern that bacteria that may be present in the water is not being adequately
disinfected.
As a precaution you are advised that water used for consumption should be brought to a rolling boil.
Water should then be allowed to cool and be stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigerated.
Boiled or bottled water should be used for:
Drinking, cooking, washing uncooked foods (such as seafood or salads),  making ice, personal hygiene, pets’ drinking water, washing hands, cleaning teeth, gargling, face washing of young children, washing toys and children’s utensils.
Dishes should be washed in hot soapy water or in a dishwasher. Children should take boiled or bottled water to school.
This advice should be followed until further notice.
2011 Mendooran
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/55b839c6e4b0a286c4c4a481/t/55f25fe9e4b01ed5bc416f51/1441947625875/SOE+2011+Report_Part2.pdf
Monitoring of the Mendooran drinking water had shown the potential risk to residents from both a health perspective and reliability of drinking water. The water quality regularly failed to meet current Australian Drinking Water Guidelines with respect to turbidity, colour, iron and manganese. The regular presence of coliforms and occasional presence of E. coli required a permanent boil alert for the drinking of town water. In addition, all households of Mendooran utilise individual septic systems for sewerage services. This relies on households maintaining their own septic systems, which has been identified as a potential risk for leakage of contaminants into the waterways…

2017 September – Wyangala (New South Wales) – Turbidity

September 2017
Non Potable Water
Wyangala Village
Re: Wyangala Water Supply
Following a report to the Ordinary Council Meeting of Monday 25 September 2017, Council wishes to advise residents that the Wyangala water supply has been declared as “non-potable” (i.e. the water supply is currently not safe for drinking, but may still be used for other household uses).
Wyangala residents are advised to bring water to a rolling boil prior to consumption. Water should then be allowed to cool and stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigerated.
26 September 2017

Warning for water safety at Wyangala

https://www.forbesadvocate.com.au/story/4927432/warning-for-water-safety-at-wyangala/

Sep 15 2017

Forbes residents planning trips to Wyangala are being advised to take their own water or boil tap water, with an alert issued warning against drinking water from the taps in the area.

The Boiled Water Alert was issued after routine monitoring of the Wyangala village water supply system revealed that recent tests had not met the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

Cowra Shire Council Director of Infrastructure and Operations, George Ridley, said the alert was the logical step.

“We had a meeting with NSW Department of Health when recent tests relieved we have high turbidity, which is the cloudiness of water,” he said.

“Based on their advice we thought it would be appropriate to put a boiled water notice out until further notice.

“I will be giving a more detailed report to Council on September 25 with various options available to us and we’ve done a letter drop and a flyer drop off.

“Turbidity does happen from time to time but it’s one of the things you wouldn’t worry about to much. It really only comes up as an issue when the health department comes to us, they did and the logical thing for us was to put out a boiled water notice out,” he said.

Mr Ridley said the small village’s water quality was a victim of circumstance.

“One of our problems at Wyangala is that we have a very low flow and that doesn’t help when we have turbidity,” he said.

“The reticulation, what we call dead end lines, makes it hard to flush them and makes it (turbidity) worse when we don’t have a lot of consumption or flow.

“Because we have an oldish plant there in need upgrading, is why the turbidity could take a little while to fix, there is an option that the supply could be classified as non-potable meaning you would have to boil it anyway.

​”I have had some constructive feedback from the community about it and have been given the impression they use tank water or other sources apart from the tap water,” he said,

Mr Ridley said visitors to Wyangala village using tap water should bring it to a rolling boil prior to consumption, the water should then be allowed to cool and stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigerated.

Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, cooking, washing raw foods (such as seafood or salads), making ice, pet’s drinking water and cleaning teeth.

2018 January – Enngonia (New South Wales) – E.coli

2018 January – Enngonia (New South Wales)
PRECAUTIONARY ADVICE
Boil Water Notice
E. coli Bacteria Contamination
The Enngonia Village Water Supply is a NON-POTABLE Supply and not approved for human consumption.
Whilst it is a NON-POTABLE supply regular monitoring for E. coli bacteria in the Enngonia
Water Supply System is conducted by Bourke Shire Council staff. The bacteria itself is generally not harmful but the presence of these bacteria indicates that the water may be contaminated with organisms that may cause disease.
Recent monitoring has shown E. coli bacteria to be present in the Enngonia water supply system. As a precaution you are advised that water needed for human consumption should
be brought to a rolling boil. Water should then be allowed to cool and stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigerated.
Cooled boiled or bottled water should be used for:
Drinking, cooking, washing raw foods (such as seafood or salads), making ice, pet’s
drinking water, and cleaning teeth.
Dishes should be washed in hot soapy water or in a dishwasher.
Children should take bottled or cooled boiled water to school.
Bourke Shire Council is working to alleviate the problem and the water will again be tested
following those works. These Precautions should be undertaken until further notice.

 

“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

2014/21 – Belconnen (Australian Capital Territory) – Plasticiser, Selenium, Chloroacetic Acids

2014/15 – Belconnen (Australian Capital Territory) – Placticiser

2014/15: Belconnen (ACT) – Di–n–butyl phthalate 2ug/L

Icon Water Annual Drinking Water Quality Report 2014/15

“GUIDELINE
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate: Based on health considerations, concentrations in drinking water should not exceed 0.01 mg/L.
Di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate: The data are inadequate to determine a guideline value.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
DEHP and DEHA are commonly used plasticisers in flexible polyvinyl chloride products. They may be present in drinking water that has been in contact with these products for long periods of time, or as the result of industrial spills. Overseas studies have detected DEHP in drinking water on a few occasions at concentrations from 0.00005 mg/L (50 ng/L) to 0.01 mg/L. DEHA has been detected at concentrations between 0.000001 mg/L (1 ng/L) to 0.0001 mg/L (100 ng/L) in treated drinking water.
DEHP is the most widely used plasticiser. It is also used as a replacement for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in electrical capacitors. DEHA is used as a lubricant and in hydraulic fluids. Exposure to DEHP and DEHA is widespread because of the broad range of products using these plasticisers. Food is the major source of exposure, and it has been estimated that adult daily intake of DEHP and DEHA, as a result of consumption of food in contact with plastic products, is 0.2 mg to 16 mg.
People receiving kidney dialysis treatment may be exposed to much higher amounts of these plasticisers. In the United States it has been estimated that each dialysis patient could be receiving up to 90 mg of DEHP per treatment.”

Belconnen (ACT)  Selenium

2019/20: Belconnen (ACT) Selenium 0.007mg/L

GUIDELINE

“Based on health considerations, the concentration of selenium in drinking water should not
exceed 0.01 mg/L.

Selenium and selenium salts are widespread in the environment. Selenium is released from natural and human-made sources, with the main source being the burning of coal. Selenium is also a by-product of the processing of sulfide ores, chiefly in the copper refining industry.

The major use of selenium is in the manufacture of electronic components. It is used in several other industries, and selenium compounds are used in some insecticides, in hair shampoos as an anti-dandruff agent, and as a nutritional feed additive for poultry and livestock.

Selenium concentrations in source waters are generally very low and depend on local geochemistry, pH and the presence of iron salts. Concentrations in drinking water supplies overseas are generally below 0.01 mg/L but groundwater concentrations as high as 6 mg/L have been reported in the United States.”

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011

2020/21 – Belconnen (Australian Capital Territory) Chloroacetic Acids

2020/21: Dichloroacetic Acid 52ug/L, Trichloroacetic Acid 75ug/L (Sum of Haloacetic Acids 136ug/L).

Australian Guidelines Trichloroacetic Acid 0.100mg/L, Dichloroacetic Acid 0.100mg/L

“Chloroacetic acids are produced in drinking water as by-products of the reaction between chlorine and naturally occurring humic and fulvic acids. Concentrations reported overseas range up to 0.16mg/L and are typically about half the chloroform concentration. The chloroacetic acids are used commercially as reagents or intermediates in the preparation of a wide variety of chemicals. Monochloroacetic acid can be used as a pre-emergent herbicide, dichloroacetic acid as an ingredient in some pharmaceutical products, and trichloroacetic acid as a herbicide, soil sterilant and antiseptic.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Council…

2013 + 2020: Cotter Storage Reservoir (Australian Capital Territory) – Cyanobacteria

19/12/13: Cyanobacteria >2000 cells/mL or a total biovolume 0.5mm3/L
High risk cyanobacteria Anabaena was detected at one surface sample point within the Cotter Storage Reservoir. Anabaena and Microcystis were also detected at a sample point located upstream of the Cotter Storage Reservoir. Water was not being abstracted from the Cotter Storage Reservoir at the time of these detections.

13/11/20: Cyanobacteria – Cotter Reservoir One high risk species of Blue Green Algae was recorded at notifiable levels at a depth of three meters. The reservoir was not in use at the time and the bloom had dissipated by next sampling occasion.

2012 – Mt Stromlo (Australian Capital Territory) – Cryptosporidium (Raw Water)

12/10/2012 – Mt Stromlo (Australian Capital Territory) – Cryptosporidium Raw Water

Cryptosporidium and Giardia, any detection.
12/10/12 Mt Stromlo Raw Water One Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in the Mt Stromlo raw water sample. No Cryptosporidium or Giardia were detected in the final water sample collected at the same time. The WTP was meeting turbidity and UV performance targets at the time of the detection.

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

2012 January – Canberra (Australian Capital Territory) – Benzene, Toluene, m&p-Xylene and o-Xylene

13/1/12: Canberra (somewhere) – Benzene, Toluene, m&p-Xylene and o-Xylene

Inorganic and organic chemicals with a health guideline value
13/01/12 Customer tap Hydrocarbons (Benzene, Toluene, m&p-Xylene and o-Xylene) were detected in a kitchen tap sample following a customer complaint. Service reservoirs feeding the property and neighbouring properties were all tested to ensure the contamination was not wide spread. Further investigation revealed contaminated soil surrounding the service line to the property. The service line to the property was replaced

2011/14+ 2020/21 – Tuggeranong (Australian Capital Territory) – Plasticiser, Lead, Trichloroacetic Acid, Antimony, Chloroacetic Acids

2013/14 – Tuggeranong (Australian Capital Territory) – Placticiser – Water Quality Zone 4

2013/14: Tuggeranong (ACT) – Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate 16ug/L (14.65ug/L 95th percentile)

Icon Water Annual Drinking Water Quality Report 2013/14

“GUIDELINE
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate: Based on health considerations, concentrations in drinking water should not exceed 0.01 mg/L.
Di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate: The data are inadequate to determine a guideline value.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
DEHP and DEHA are commonly used plasticisers in flexible polyvinyl chloride products. They may be present in drinking water that has been in contact with these products for long periods of time, or as the result of industrial spills. Overseas studies have detected DEHP in drinking water on a few occasions at concentrations from 0.00005 mg/L (50 ng/L) to 0.01 mg/L. DEHA has been detected at concentrations between 0.000001 mg/L (1 ng/L) to 0.0001 mg/L (100 ng/L) in treated drinking water.
DEHP is the most widely used plasticiser. It is also used as a replacement for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in electrical capacitors. DEHA is used as a lubricant and in hydraulic fluids. Exposure to DEHP and DEHA is widespread because of the broad range of products using these plasticisers. Food is the major source of exposure, and it has been estimated that adult daily intake of DEHP and DEHA, as a result of consumption of food in contact with plastic products, is 0.2 mg to 16 mg.
People receiving kidney dialysis treatment may be exposed to much higher amounts of these plasticisers. In the United States it has been estimated that each dialysis patient could be receiving up to 90 mg of DEHP per treatment.”

2011/12 – Tuggeranong (Australian Capital Territory) Lead – Water Quality Zone 4

2011/12 – Tuggeranong (Australian Capital Territory) – Lead 14ug/L

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

2012/13 – Tuggeranong (Australian Capital Territory) – Trichloroacetic Acid – Water Quality Zone 4

2012/13 – Tuggeranong (Australian Capital Territory) – Trichloroacectic Acid 0.098mg/L (max), 0.0796 (av)

2020/21 – Tuggeranong (Australian Capital Territory) – Trichloroacectic Acid 0.067mg/L (max), Dichloroacetic Acid 0.054ug/L. Total Chloroacetic acids. 0.138ug/L

Australian Guidelines Trichloroacetic Acid 0.100mg/L

“Chloroacetic acids are produced in drinking water as by-products of the reaction between chlorine and naturally occurring humic and fulvic acids. Concentrations reported overseas range up to 0.16mg/L and are typically about half the chloroform concentration. The chloroacetic acids are used commercially as reagents or intermediates in the preparation of a wide variety of chemicals. Monochloroacetic acid can be used as a pre-emergent herbicide, dichloroacetic acid as an ingredient in some pharmaceutical products, and trichloroacetic acid as a herbicide, soil sterilant and antiseptic.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Council…

There are no epidemiological studies of TCA carcinogenicity in humans. Most of the human health data for chlorinated acetic acids concern components of complex mixtures of water disinfectant by-products. These complex mixtures of disinfectant by-products have been associated with increased potential for bladder, rectal, and colon cancer in humans [reviewed by Boorman et al. (1999); Mills et al. (1998)].” Ref: tmp/Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) CASRN 76-03-9 IRIS US EPA.htm

2018/19 – Tuggeranong (Australian Capital Territory) – Antimony – Water Quality Zone 4

2018/19 – Tuggeranong (Australian Capital Territory)

Antimony 23ug/L

Based on health considerations, the concentration of antimony in drinking water should not
exceed the limit of determination of 0.003 mg/L.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
Antimony, as the trivalent (Sb(III)) or pentavalent (Sb(V)) salts, has occasionally been detected in
natural source waters. Occurrences are more common in areas near lead or copper smelting operations.
Antimony–tin solder is beginning to replace lead solder and hence exposure to antimony in drinking water may increase in the future.
Antimony alloys and compounds are used in semiconductors, batteries, anti-friction compounds, ammunition, cable sheathing, and flame-proofing compounds. Antimony salts are used in glass, and in the manufacture of ceramics and pottery.
Studies overseas have generally found low concentrations in drinking water, typically less than
0.005 mg/L, but higher concentrations have been reported occasionally.
There are few data available on antimony concentrations in food. The United States Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has suggested that average daily consumption of antimony in food is about 0.018 mg.

2016/17 – Murrumbidgee River (ACT) – Cryptosporidium, Giardia

2016/17 – Murrumbidgee River (ACT) – Cryptosporidium, Giardia

Due to the lower levels of catchment protection and little detention time the Murrumbidgee River is more likely to contain Cryptosporidium and Giardia. The risk increases further during rainfall events with increased runoff and therefore, in addition to routine testing, extra monitoring may be conducted during these times. There were three positive detections of Giardia and one positive detection of Cryptosporidium within the Murrumbidgee River during 2016–17. During this period no water was abstracted from the Murrumbidgee River for drinking water use.

Cryptosporidium

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

Giardia

“Although known as a human parasite for 200 years, Giardia has been regarded seriously as an agent of disease only since the 1960s. It has been identified as an important waterborne pathogen, and linked to many outbreaks of illness associated with drinking water, particularly in North America. Although the importance of this organism has been established, there are large gaps in knowledge about it, and there are no tests for identifying the presence of human infectious species in water.

Giardia has a relatively simple life cycle involving two stages: a flagellate that multiplies in the
intestine, and an infective thick-walled cyst that is shed intermittently but in large numbers in faeces. Concentrations of cysts as high as 88,000 per litre in raw sewage and 240 per litre in surface water havebeen reported (Wallis et al. 1996). Giardia is typically present in larger numbers in Australian sewagethan Cryptsoporidium. Cysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water.

There are a number of species of Giardia, but human infections (giardiasis) are usually assigned to one, G. intestinalis (= G. lamblia and G. duodenalis). G. intestinalis infections have been reported from domestic and wild animals, but the host range of human infectious species is uncertain. Although substantial advances have been made in the sampling and counting of cysts, there are currently no established methods to identify human infectious organisms in water. Waterborne outbreaks of giardiasis have generally been linked to consumption of untreated or unfiltered surface water and contamination with human waste.

Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are also emerging as an important source of giardiasis. However, excluding outbreaks, by far the most likely route of transmission is by direct contact with a human carrier. Transmission of Giardia can also occur by contact with infected animals and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

2013/20 – Googong Reservoir (Australian Capital Territory) – Cyanobacteria, Lead, Cryptosporidium

2013/20:  Googong Reservoir (Australian Capital Territory) – Cyanobacteria

03/07/13: High risk Cyanobacteria >2000 cells/mL or a total biovolume 0.5mm3/L
High risk cyanobacteria Anabaena and Anabaenopsis were detected at a sample point located upstream of the Googong Storage Reservoir. Googong WTP was not operating at the time of the detection.

23/12/13: Cyanobacteria >2000 cells/mL or a total biovolume 0.5mm3/L
High risk cyanobacteria Anabaena was detected at a sample point within the Googong Storage Reservoir at the surface and 3 m. Anabaena was also detected at a sample point located upstream of the reservoir. At the time of the detection Googong WTP was not operating.

11/4/14: Cyanobacteria >2000 cells/mL or a total biovolume 0.5mm3/L
High risk cyanobacteria Anabaena was detected at a sample point within the Googong Storage Reservoir at a depth of 9 m. At the time of the detection Googong WTP was not operating

7/8/14: Raw water in the storage reservoir. Cyanobacteria High risk cyanobacteria Anabaena was detected at a concentration of 2,697 cells/mL within the Googong storage reservoir, approximately 6 km upstream of the off take tower at a depth of 3 m. Googong WTP was online and water was being selectively abstracted from a depth of 15 m. In response to the detection Icon Water’s blue-green algae response plan was activated. Taste and odour monitoring was conducted on a daily basis at the WTP and the Powdered Activated Carbon (PAC) system was placed on standby. Sampling was increased to twice weekly until the bloom declined. No complaints were received for taste or odour during this period.

11/4/16: Raw water in a storage reservoir
High risk cyanobacteria, Anabaena, was detected at a concentration of 3,081 cells/mL in a surface water sample within the Googong storage reservoir, approximately 2.5 km upstream from the off take tower. Googong Water Treatment Plant was offline at the time of sampling. Water quality monitoring continued at the storage reservoir as per the routine monitoring program. No further action was required.

21/11/16: High risk cyanobacteria, Dolicospermum, was detected in two samples collected within the Googong reservoir. At the offtake tower site 4,352 cells/mL were recorded, whilst there were 2,752 cells/mL detected at a site approximately 2.5 km upstream of the offtake tower. Googong Water Treatment Plant was offline at the time of sampling. Water quality monitoring continued at the storage reservoir as per the routine monitoring program. No further action was required.

28/6/17: High risk cyanobacteria, Dolicospermum, was detected at concentrations of 3,128 cells/mL and 2,476 cells/mL in the surface samples at two sites. Each site is located at an inlet to the Googong reservoir and are upstream from the offtake tower. Googong Water Treatment Plant was offline at the time of sampling. Water quality monitoring continued at the storage reservoir as per the routine monitoring program. Data from the program was used to determine whether additional treatment would be utilised once the plant came online.

6/2/2019: Cyanobacteria High risk cyanobacteria, Dolicospermum, was detected at
concentrations of between 2000 and 3699 cells/mL in surface water samples in the Googong reservoir. At the time of sampling water was being abstracted and treated at GWTP and supplied to Queanbeyan and parts of the ACT.

Concentrations of blue-green algae (Dolicospermum circinalis) in the Googong reservoir were higher in 2019–20 compared to 2018–19, particularly in the upper reaches of the reservoir. In 2019–20, there was one notifiable cyanobacteria detection in the Cotter catchment (Bendora reservoir) and no notifiable cyanobacteria detections at the Murrumbidgee River abstraction
point.

During 2019–20, there was one detection of Cryptosporidium in Googong reservoir, one detection of Cryptosporidium in Bendora reservoir and no detections of Giardia in the
routine monitoring of the storage reservoirs.

25/11/19. Raw water in the storage reservoir. Cryptosporidium at a concentration of 0.05 oocysts/L was detected in a composite sample at Googong intake tower. At the time all other
water quality parameters were found to be within specification and no Cryptosporidium was detected in the WTP raw water or final supply.

26/3/20: High risk cyanobacteria, Dolicospermum and Microcystis was detected at notifiable levels in surface water samples in the Googong reservoir. At the time of sampling water was being abstracted and treated at GWTP and supplied to Queanbeyan and parts of the ACT.

22/4/20: High risk cyanobacteria, Dolicospermum was detected at a notifiable level in surface water samples in the Googong reservoir upstream of the inlet tower. At the time of sampling water was not being abstracted for supply.

28/5/20: High risk cyanobacteria, Microcystis, was detected at notifiable levels in surface water samples at the Bendora reservoir intake tower. At the time of sampling water was being abstracted and treated at SWTP and supplied to ACT and Queanbeyan.

Cyanobacteria – Googong Reservoir A single bloom resulted in two notifications and five updates as the bloom expanded over the warming season. From initial notification in early October the algae levels remained elevated until May 2021. Icon Water confirmed through sampling that the algae were not releasing toxins and not harmful to health.

27/11/20: Googong WTP. Cryptosporidium at a concentration of 0.018 oocysts/L was detected
in the raw water entering Googong WTP. At the time all other water quality parameters were found to be within specification and no Cryptosporidium was detected in the final supply

Googong Foreshore (Australian Capital Territory) – Lead

15/12/14: Water within the distribution system at customer tap
Inorganic or organic chemicals with a health guideline value
Lead was detected above the ADWG in a tap at the Googong Foreshore. After further investigation it was suspected that the elevated lead concentration was from aged water within the service line that the sample was collected from. Icon Water continued to collect samples from the tap to monitor the water quality.

Googong Reservoir (ACT) – Crytposporidium

25/11/19: Cryptosporidium at a concentration of 0.05 oocysts/L was detected in a composite sample at Googong intake tower. At the time all other water quality parameters were found to be within specification and no Cryptosporidium was detected in the WTP raw water or final supply.

27/11/19: Cryptosporidium at a concentration of 0.018 oocysts/L was detected in the raw water entering Googong WTP. At the time all other water quality parameters were found to be within specification and no Cryptosporidium was detected in the final supply.

Cryptosporidium

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

2013/21 – North Canberra/Gungahlin (Australian Capital Territory) – E.coli, Plasticiser, Lead, Chlorine, Chloroacetic Acids

2013/14: North Canberra/Gungahlin (ACT) – E.coli.
2013/14: North Canberra/Gungahlin (ACT). Detection of Escherichia coli in drinking  water (1 MPN/100ml).
On 26 August, Barwon Water was notified of a detection of E. coli and notified DH under
section 22 of the Act. The E. coli was detected in a water quality sample taken the previous
morning from a distribution tank in the Skenes Creek High Level system in the Apollo Bay
locality. The tank supply 5 supply-by-agreement customers.
An investigation was carried out in accordance with Department of Health (DH) guidelines,along with corrective actions which included system review, retesting of the original sample and chlorine dosing followed by sampling.The follow-up samples were free of E. coli and total coliforms. The Department of Health made an assessment requiring Barwon Water to submit a section 18 for noncompliance with the E. coli water quality standard. This was based on not meeting all of the criteria required to claim a false positive outcome. All contributing factors
have been addressed in order to prevent future reoccurrence.

2013/14 + 2016/17 – North Canberra/Gungahlin – Placticiser

2013/14: North Canberra/Gungahlin (ACT) – Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate 12ug/L (11ug/L 95th percentile)

2014/15: North Canberra/Gungahlin (ACT) Diethyl phthalate [US EPA 3510/8270] 5ug/L

2016/17: North Canberra/Gungahlin (ACT) – Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate [US EPA 8270D] 22ug/L

Icon Water Annual Drinking Water Quality Report 2016/17

“GUIDELINE
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate: Based on health considerations, concentrations in drinking water should not exceed 0.01 mg/L.
Di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate: The data are inadequate to determine a guideline value.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
DEHP and DEHA are commonly used plasticisers in flexible polyvinyl chloride products. They may be present in drinking water that has been in contact with these products for long periods of time, or as the result of industrial spills. Overseas studies have detected DEHP in drinking water on a few occasions at concentrations from 0.00005 mg/L (50 ng/L) to 0.01 mg/L. DEHA has been detected at concentrations between 0.000001 mg/L (1 ng/L) to 0.0001 mg/L (100 ng/L) in treated drinking water.
DEHP is the most widely used plasticiser. It is also used as a replacement for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in electrical capacitors. DEHA is used as a lubricant and in hydraulic fluids. Exposure to DEHP and DEHA is widespread because of the broad range of products using these plasticisers. Food is the major source of exposure, and it has been estimated that adult daily intake of DEHP and DEHA, as a result of consumption of food in contact with plastic products, is 0.2 mg to 16 mg.
People receiving kidney dialysis treatment may be exposed to much higher amounts of these plasticisers. In the United States it has been estimated that each dialysis patient could be receiving up to 90 mg of DEHP per treatment.”

2015/16 – North Canberra & Gungahlin (Australian Capital Territory) Lead

2015/16 – North Canberra (Australian Capital Territory) – Lead 12ug/L

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

2013/14 – North Canberra & Gungahlin (Australian Capital Territory) Chlorine

2013/14: Chlorine Free 6.2mg/L (max), 0.82mg/L (mean)

2013/14: Chlorine Free 8mg/L (max), 0.91mg/L (mean)

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

2020/21 – North Canberra & Gungahlin (Australian Capital Territory) Chloroacetic Acids

2020/21: Dichloroacetic Acid 50ug/L, Trichloroacetic Acid 69ug/L (Sum of Haloacetic Acids 136ug/L).

Australian Guidelines Trichloroacetic Acid 0.100mg/L, Dichloroacetic Acid 0.100mg/L

“Chloroacetic acids are produced in drinking water as by-products of the reaction between chlorine and naturally occurring humic and fulvic acids. Concentrations reported overseas range up to 0.16mg/L and are typically about half the chloroform concentration. The chloroacetic acids are used commercially as reagents or intermediates in the preparation of a wide variety of chemicals. Monochloroacetic acid can be used as a pre-emergent herbicide, dichloroacetic acid as an ingredient in some pharmaceutical products, and trichloroacetic acid as a herbicide, soil sterilant and antiseptic.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Council…

 

2018 March – Perth Optus Stadium Fountains (Western Australia) – Lead

Optus Stadium lead debate: Expert backs water test methods

https://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/perth-stadium/optus-stadium-lead-debate-expert-backs-water-test-methods-ng-b88769600z

THE world’s top expert on lead poisoning, credited with removing lead from petrol and paint, yesterday described the WA Government’s position on lead testing at Optus Stadium as “nonsense”.

New York-based Professor Philip Landrigan has joined other experts in backing the sampling technique used by The Sunday Times, which found elevated levels of lead — up to 14 times higher than the guideline maximum — in water from six drinking fountains outside the stadium.

The WA Government claims the newspaper, which used two accredited laboratories, should have flushed the taps for two to three minutes before taking samples.

“The Government’s argument that you should have flushed the taps for two-three minutes before taking samples is nonsense,” Professor Landrigan, a global expert on environmental health and paediatrics, said.

“You have every right to expect that new construction should be lead-free,” he added.

“The technology exists to produce lead-free plumbing.”

Professor Landrigan, who has published more than 500 scientific papers and five books, is renowned globally for his decades of work in protecting children against environmental threats to health. He has chaired committees at the US National Academy of Sciences on Environmental Neurotoxicology and on Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children.

The University of WA’s program chair for environmental engineering, Professor Anas Ghadouani, is among experts who claim our method, was correct. It complied fully with the Australian Standard.

Subsequent testing by Venues West on four fountains involved flushing. All the results came back within guideline limits.

WA Health Minister Roger Cook declined to answer questions on the issue this week.

“I have been advised by the (Health) Department that no further testing is necessary and that the water is safe to drink,” he said.

There is increasing evidence that lead concentrations below the Australian guideline levels are harmful.

“Lead in drinking water is very clearly a hazard to human health,” Professor Landrigan said. “The World Health Organisation and more recently the US Centres for Disease Control have stated that no level of lead in blood is safe for a child and that therefore the appropriate blood lead level for children is zero. This conclusion is based on very high-quality studies showing that lead is toxic to infant brain development at even the lowest levels that can be measured.

“Lead exposure in early life (including foetal during pregnancy via maternal exposure) results in loss of IQ, shortening of attention span and disruption of behaviour — effects that can last lifelong.

“More recently, data are emerging showing that low doses of lead are toxic also to adult health and increase risk of heart disease, stroke and chronic kidney disease. A major study is coming out this week in Lancet Public Health that presents these data.”

The study Low-level Lead Exposure and Mortality in USAdults by Professor Bruce Lanphear and colleagues estimates about 400,000 US deaths a year are linked to lead.

Professor Landrigan, who was invited by Lancet Public Health to comment, wrote: “An especially striking and unexpected finding in these studies is that the association between lead and disease is proportionately greater at lower levels of exposure.

“Lanphear and colleagues’ calculation that lead accounts for more than 400,000 deaths annually in the USA represents a tenfold increase over the number of deaths currently ascribed to lead. The authors argue that previous estimates have produced lower numbers because those analyses assumed that lead has no effect on mortality at amounts of lead in blood below 5microgram/dL and, thus, did not consider the effects of lower exposures. These findings have substantial implications for global assessments of cardiovascular disease mortality.”

Tests confirm lead in fountains outside Optus Stadium

https://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/perth-stadium/tests-confirm-lead-in-fountains-outside-optus-stadium-ng-b88817049z

A FORENSIC chemist has confirmed lead is leaching inside the new drinking fountains outside Optus Stadium.

First-draw samples from six of eight drinking fountains contained lead levels exceeding Australian Drinking Water Guidelines’ maximum acceptable concentration of 0.01mg/L.

Lead levels in the fountains return to acceptable levels after taps are flushed for a minute. If left for a period levels rise again.

Dr John Watling, chief scientist of TSW Analytical, who devised the sampling program and collected the samples for laboratory analysis, recorded a lead concentration of 0.098 mg/L at one fountain — almost 10 times the guideline maximum.

“The water in the fountains at Optus Stadium Park does contain elevated lead when fountains are not flushed adequately,” Dr Watling reported.

“Flushing the water quickly reduces the lead levels to below those required for drinking water, a process taking at maximum about one minute.

“It should be remembered that a passing user of the fountain is unlikely to flush the fountain for this period before drinking.”

Two of the eight fountains are at children’s playgrounds. Lead is particularly harmful to young children and can cause irreversible damage in developing brains, among other health impacts.

The forensic scientist sampled each fountain at intervals. The first was after five seconds flushing; the second after a further 30 seconds flushing; a third after a further 30 seconds flushing; another a minute later and a fifth sample one minute after that. And a final sample was taken 24 hours later.

The findings confirm results from two sampling exercises by The Sunday Times in February, in which the newspaper used two different accredited laboratories.

The WA Government dismissed the results then, with stadium owner VenuesWest claiming the testing “was in absence of the strict standards and quality controls that apply under the Australian Standard for water quality sampling”.

National and international experts on lead poisoning have subsequently described the Government’s position as “nonsense” and have backed the newspaper’s sampling method as the correct one.

Dr Watling said the results indicated “the source of lead is probably within the fountain itself or at a point including and beyond where the fountain joins the mains”.

“The rationale for this is that the next day, the raised lead levels are present and also quickly depurate (purify) on flushing while if the source of the lead was more distal to the fountains, the depuration would be much slower.”

Lead concentrations were highest in the three fountains closest to the stadium’s train station. These are the fountains likely to receive less “human traffic” during the week, he noted.

Dr Watling said no one was going to suffer lead poisoning from the fountains. “However, it must be remembered that lead is being leached into the system and accumulating to levels that are inappropriate for drinking water,” he said.

There was also leaching of zinc and copper.

“It must be remembered that no (independent) sampling has been undertaken inside the stadium,” he added.

Dr Watling recommended “a more detailed survey of the state of the water in the fountains associated with Optus Stadium be undertaken in the near future”.

In March, the Health Department said: “Any results which have been professionally tested, and are above the ADWG guidelines, are of concern to the department.”

On Friday, the department said itwould liaise with Venue West “to determine if any further action is required”.

“There are strong national processes in place to guide the safety of drinking water in WA,” it added. “These processes do not change based on the views of one expert or single pieces of data.

“While the department values views from a range of experts on water quality issues, these must be considered with the patterns of data and trends over time. Health risks associated with lead in drinking water is based on a ‘lifetime risk’ of drinking a concentration of water for the whole of one’s life.”

VenuesWest declined to answer questions after being sent Dr Watling’s report on Friday. It referred to the Health Department response.

New York-based Professor Philip Landrigan, the world’s top expert on lead poisoning, credited with removing lead from petrol and paint, said lead-free plumbing was very feasible.

“You have every right to expect that new construction should be lead-free,” he saidlast month.

The inaugural western derby at Optus Stadium will record its first sell-out today.

2017/2021 – Inlet Macarthur WFP (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium, Iron

2021 March: Macarthur WFP – Iron
Total iron above major incident level (1.21 and 1.35 mg/L) at Macarthur  WFP. Aesthetic issue causing discoloured water and taste. Iron occurs naturally in Greater Sydney catchments and levels increase in water storages at low oxygen levels. Notified water filtration plant and confirmed not an issue as treatment will precipitate iron out. Monitoring conducted on a weekly basis in Lake  Cataract.
2017: Inlet Macarthur  Water Filtration Plant (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium
Two Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected once at inlet to Macarthur Water Filtration Plant
https://www.sydneywater.com.au/web/groups/publicwebcontent/documents/document/zgrf/mtuy/~edisp/dd_152853.pdf

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

2017: Prospect North (New South Wales) – E.coli

2017: Prospect North:

During the 12-month period from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017, there was one E. coli exception in each of Prospect North and Potts Hill Delivery Systems respectively. These delivery systems still complied as at least 98% of the scheduled monthly samples contained no E. coli.

“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

2016 – Ryde (New South Wales) – E.coli

2016: Ryde Customer Supply System:

2/1152 samples not compliant for E.coli. 99.8% results compliant

https://sydneywater.com.au/web/groups/publicwebcontent/documents/document/zgrf/mdk1/~edisp/dd_095323.pdf

“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

2016/17 – Potts Hill (New South Wales) – E.coli

2016/17: Potts Hill Customer Supply System:

2016: 1/2292 samples not compliant for E.coli. 99.9% results compliant

https://sydneywater.com.au/web/groups/publicwebcontent/documents/document/zgrf/mdk1/~edisp/dd_095323.pdf

2017: 1/2328 samples not compliant for E.coli. 99.96% results compliant

During the 12-month period from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017, there was one E. coli exception in each of Prospect North and Potts Hill Delivery Systems respectively. These delivery systems still complied as at least 98% of the scheduled monthly samples contained no E. coli.

https://www.sydneywater.com.au/web/groups/publicwebcontent/documents/document/zgrf/mtcw/~edisp/dd_170569.pdf

“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

2016 June – Cascades WFP (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium, E.coli

8/6/16: Cascades Water Filtration Plant (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium
A single Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in a 100 litre treated water sample collected from Cascades WFP on 8 June 2016.
https://sydneywater.com.au/web/groups/publicwebcontent/documents/document/zgrf/mdk1/~edisp/dd_095323.pdf

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

2016: Cascade Customer Supply System:

1/297 samples not compliant for E.coli. 99.7% results compliant

https://sydneywater.com.au/web/groups/publicwebcontent/documents/document/zgrf/mdk1/~edisp/dd_095323.pdf

“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

2016 June – Nepean WFP (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium

8/6/16: Nepean Water Filtration Plant (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium
A single Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in a 100 litre treated water sample collected from Nepean WFP on 8 June 2016.
https://sydneywater.com.au/web/groups/publicwebcontent/documents/document/zgrf/mdk1/~edisp/dd_095323.pdf

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

2016 June – Warragamba WFP (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium

16/6/16: Warragamba Water Filtration Plant (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium
A single Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in a 100 litre treated water sample collected from Warragamba WFP on 16 June 2016.
https://sydneywater.com.au/web/groups/publicwebcontent/documents/document/zgrf/mdk1/~edisp/dd_095323.pdf

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

1998 + 2016/21 – Prospect WFP (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Algae

2020 September Prospect WFP
Algal ASU at inlet to Prospect WFP exceeded the minor incident threshold. Potential to cause inconvenience to water filtration plant, reducing  filter run times. Naturally occurring organism in waterways. Regular monitoring and liaison with Sydney water.
2020 November Prospect WFP
Algal ASU at inlet to Prospect WFP exceeded the minor incident threshold. Potential to cause inconvenience to water filtration plant, reducing  filter run times. Naturally occurring organism in waterways. Sydney Water reported no issues for treatment.  Outlet level at Warragamba dam subsequently lowered to avoid surface algae over summer.
2021 February Prospect WFP
Algal ASU above minor incident level at inlet to Prospect WFP. Potential to cause inconvenience to water filtration plant, reducing  filter run times. Naturally occurring organism in waterways. Water filtration plant notified. No further sampling required as samples were being collected 3 times per week to inform suitability of water quality for operation of Raw Water Pumping Station.
2021 April Prospect WFP
Raw water supplied to Prospect WFP exceeded RWSA for Total Algal ASU  and alkalinity. Potential to cause inconvenience to water filtration plant, reducing  filter run times. Naturally occurring organism in waterways. Results reported to Sydney Water in post-inflow
event meetings and via email. No issues with plant performance.
1998: Prospect Water Filtration Plant/Distribution Chamber
On 15 July 1998, routine water sampling was conducted by Sydney Water. On 21 July, test results showed positive low-level readings of both Cryptosporidium and Giardia in water taken from outlets at the Prospect distribution chamber and Potts Hill reservoir. As per the MoU, Sydney Water contacted the Environmental Health Branch at NSW Health later that morning, informing them of the results.
The 1998 Sydney Water Crisis (A) The Australia and New Zealand School of Government Case Program 2005-22.1
28/6/16: Prospect Water Filtration Plant (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium
Two Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in a 100 litre treated water sample collected from Prospect WFP on 28 June 2016
https://sydneywater.com.au/web/groups/publicwebcontent/documents/document/zgrf/mdk1/~edisp/dd_095323.pdf

Cryptosporidium

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

Giardia

“Although known as a human parasite for 200 years, Giardia has been regarded seriously as an agent of disease only since the 1960s. It has been identified as an important waterborne pathogen, and linked to many outbreaks of illness associated with drinking water, particularly in North America. Although the importance of this organism has been established, there are large gaps in knowledge about it, and there are no tests for identifying the presence of human infectious species in water.

Giardia has a relatively simple life cycle involving two stages: a flagellate that multiplies in the
intestine, and an infective thick-walled cyst that is shed intermittently but in large numbers in faeces. Concentrations of cysts as high as 88,000 per litre in raw sewage and 240 per litre in surface water havebeen reported (Wallis et al. 1996). Giardia is typically present in larger numbers in Australian sewagethan Cryptsoporidium. Cysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water.

There are a number of species of Giardia, but human infections (giardiasis) are usually assigned to one, G. intestinalis (= G. lamblia and G. duodenalis). G. intestinalis infections have been reported from domestic and wild animals, but the host range of human infectious species is uncertain. Although substantial advances have been made in the sampling and counting of cysts, there are currently no established methods to identify human infectious organisms in water. Waterborne outbreaks of giardiasis have generally been linked to consumption of untreated or unfiltered surface water and contamination with human waste.

Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are also emerging as an important source of giardiasis. However, excluding outbreaks, by far the most likely route of transmission is by direct contact with a human carrier. Transmission of Giardia can also occur by contact with infected animals and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

2015/16 – Orchard Hills WFP (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium

20/11/15 & 23/6/16: Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium
A single Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in 100 litre treated water samples
collected from Orchard Hills WFP on 20 November 2015 and 23 June 2016, respectively
https://sydneywater.com.au/web/groups/publicwebcontent/documents/document/zgrf/mdk1/~edisp/dd_095323.pdf

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

2016 Aug – North Richmond WFP (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium, Giardia

22/8/16: North Richmond WFP (New South Wales) – Cryptosporidium
A single Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in a 100 litre treated water sample collected from
North Richmond WFP on 22 August 2016.
https://sydneywater.com.au/web/groups/publicwebcontent/documents/document/zgrf/mdk1/~edisp/dd_095323.pdf

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

Jul/Sep 2017: Inlet North Richmond Water Filtration Plant – Giardia

Jul/Sep 2017: 6 exceptions – 1 cyst/vol

“Although known as a human parasite for 200 years, Giardia has been regarded seriously as an agent of disease only since the 1960s. It has been identified as an important waterborne pathogen, and linked to many outbreaks of illness associated with drinking water, particularly in North America. Although the importance of this organism has been established, there are large gaps in knowledge about it, and there are no tests for identifying the presence of human infectious species in water.

Giardia has a relatively simple life cycle involving two stages: a flagellate that multiplies in the
intestine, and an infective thick-walled cyst that is shed intermittently but in large numbers in faeces. Concentrations of cysts as high as 88,000 per litre in raw sewage and 240 per litre in surface water havebeen reported (Wallis et al. 1996). Giardia is typically present in larger numbers in Australian sewagethan Cryptsoporidium. Cysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water.

There are a number of species of Giardia, but human infections (giardiasis) are usually assigned to one, G. intestinalis (= G. lamblia and G. duodenalis). G. intestinalis infections have been reported from domestic and wild animals, but the host range of human infectious species is uncertain. Although substantial advances have been made in the sampling and counting of cysts, there are currently no established methods to identify human infectious organisms in water. Waterborne outbreaks of giardiasis have generally been linked to consumption of untreated or unfiltered surface water and contamination with human waste.

Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are also emerging as an important source of giardiasis. However, excluding outbreaks, by far the most likely route of transmission is by direct contact with a human carrier. Transmission of Giardia can also occur by contact with infected animals and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

2012/14 + 2018/20 – Kutkabubba (Western Australia) – Nitrate, Naegleria Species

2012/14 – Kutkabubba (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2012/14: Kutkabubba (Western Australia) – Nitrate Levels: ~55mg/L-~70mg/L

Nitrate:

26 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2012-2014

23 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2018-2020

36 tests (100%) above ADWG Child Guideline 2017-2019

2017: ~72mg/L (highest). ~66.4mg/L (average)

2018: ~70mg/L (highest). ~67.1mg/L (average)

2019: ~74mg/L (highest). ~68mg/L (average)

One in five communities exceeded safe levels for nitrates or uranium

The most significant chemical issues for water quality come from nitrates and uranium, which occur naturally and are common in the Goldfields and Pilbara. Excessive nitrates in the diet reduce blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this can cause the potentially life-threatening Blue Baby Syndrome, where the skin takes on a bluish colour and the child has trouble breathing. Housing provides bottled water for infants under three months in communities with high nitrates. Long term solutions would likely include asset replacements or upgrades or finding new water sources, or a combination of these.

In 2013-14, fourteen of 84 communities in the Program recorded nitrates above the safe health level for bottle-fed babies under three months. Two communities had readings above the standard for adults (Figure 5).

Child Heath Levels Nitrate: 50mg/L. Adult Heath Levels Nitrate: 100mg/L

Kutkabubba (Western Australia) – Naegleria Species

Naegleria Species:

2 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

“GUIDELINE No guideline value is set for Naegleria fowleri in drinking water, but an ‘action level’ is recommended for water supplies likely to be contaminated. If the organism is detected, advice should be sought from the relevant health authority.

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living, thermophilic amoeboflagellate which causes the waterborne disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This rare but fatal condition has followed use of water for swimming, or domestic bathing. The organism occurs naturally in freshwater of suitable temperature, feeding on bacteria. Its occurrence is only indirectly related to human activity, inasmuch as such activity may modify temperatures or promote bacterial production. PAM has been reported from many countries, usually associated with thermally polluted environments, geothermal water or heated swimming pools. N. fowleri is almost exclusively aquatic, and water is the only known source of infection. Numerous nonvirulent Naegleria species are known in Australia.

PAM cases have been recorded from South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales; Naegleria fowleri has been detected in water in each of these states and in the Northern Territory. Australia is the only country where N. fowleri has been detected in public water supplies (Dorsch et al. 1983). Most of the available data on the density of N. fowleri in water relates to water supplies in South Australia (including the highest reported densities). In temperate Australia, significant seasonal cycles of density occur, from below one organism per litre to hundreds or thousands per litre in poorly disinfected water (Robinson and Christy 1984). N. fowleri detected at water temperatures below 18°C is likely to be present as cysts, which are not infectious, but which may seed a suitable environment.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.

2012/17 – Jigalong (Western Australia) – Nitrate, E.coli, Naegleria Species

2012/14 – Jigalong (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2012/14: Jigalong (Western Australia) – Nitrate Levels: ~60mg/L-~80mg/L

24 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2012-2014

1 test (3%) above ADWG Child Guideline 2017-2019

Mar 2017: 55mg/L Nitrate

Mar 2018: 49mg/L Nitrate

One in five communities exceeded safe levels for nitrates or uranium

The most significant chemical issues for water quality come from nitrates and uranium, which occur naturally and are common in the Goldfields and Pilbara. Excessive nitrates in the diet reduce blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this can cause the potentially life-threatening Blue Baby Syndrome, where the skin takes on a bluish colour and the child has trouble breathing. Housing provides bottled water for infants under three months in communities with high nitrates. Long term solutions would likely include asset replacements or upgrades or finding new water sources, or a combination of these.

In 2013-14, fourteen of 84 communities in the Program recorded nitrates above the safe health level for bottle-fed babies under three months. Two communities had readings above the standard for adults (Figure 5).

Child Heath Levels Nitrate: 50mg/L. Adult Heath Levels Nitrate: 100mg/L

Jigalong (Western Australia) – E.coli

E.coli:

4 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

“E.coli

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

Jigalong (Western Australia) – Naegleria Species

Naegleria Species:

2 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

“GUIDELINE No guideline value is set for Naegleria fowleri in drinking water, but an ‘action level’ is recommended for water supplies likely to be contaminated. If the organism is detected, advice should be sought from the relevant health authority.

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living, thermophilic amoeboflagellate which causes the waterborne disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This rare but fatal condition has followed use of water for swimming, or domestic bathing. The organism occurs naturally in freshwater of suitable temperature, feeding on bacteria. Its occurrence is only indirectly related to human activity, inasmuch as such activity may modify temperatures or promote bacterial production. PAM has been reported from many countries, usually associated with thermally polluted environments, geothermal water or heated swimming pools. N. fowleri is almost exclusively aquatic, and water is the only known source of infection. Numerous nonvirulent Naegleria species are known in Australia.

PAM cases have been recorded from South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales; Naegleria fowleri has been detected in water in each of these states and in the Northern Territory. Australia is the only country where N. fowleri has been detected in public water supplies (Dorsch et al. 1983). Most of the available data on the density of N. fowleri in water relates to water supplies in South Australia (including the highest reported densities). In temperate Australia, significant seasonal cycles of density occur, from below one organism per litre to hundreds or thousands per litre in poorly disinfected water (Robinson and Christy 1984). N. fowleri detected at water temperatures below 18°C is likely to be present as cysts, which are not infectious, but which may seed a suitable environment.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.

2012/14 + 2018/20 – Burringurrah (Western Australia) – Nitrate, E.coli, Naegleria Species, Uranium

2012/14 + 2018/20 – Burringurrah (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2012/14: Burringurrah (Western Australia) – Nitrate Levels: ~55mg/L-~70mg/L

Nitrate:

26 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2012-2014

23 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2018-2020

29 tests (100%) above ADWG Child Guideline 2017-2019

2017: ~70mg/L (highest). ~64mg/L (average)

2018: ~68mg/L (highest). ~64.5mg/L (average)

2019: ~70mg/L (highest). ~64.5mg/L (average)

One in five communities exceeded safe levels for nitrates or uranium

The most significant chemical issues for water quality come from nitrates and uranium, which occur naturally and are common in the Goldfields and Pilbara. Excessive nitrates in the diet reduce blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this can cause the potentially life-threatening Blue Baby Syndrome, where the skin takes on a bluish colour and the child has trouble breathing. Housing provides bottled water for infants under three months in communities with high nitrates. Long term solutions would likely include asset replacements or upgrades or finding new water sources, or a combination of these.

In 2013-14, fourteen of 84 communities in the Program recorded nitrates above the safe health level for bottle-fed babies under three months. Two communities had readings above the standard for adults (Figure 5).

Child Heath Levels Nitrate: 50mg/L. Adult Heath Levels Nitrate: 100mg/L

Burringurrah (Western Australia) – E.coli
E.coli:

3 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

“E.coli

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

Burringurrah (Western Australia) – Naegleria Species

1 test above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

“GUIDELINE No guideline value is set for Naegleria fowleri in drinking water, but an ‘action level’ is recommended for water supplies likely to be contaminated. If the organism is detected, advice should be sought from the relevant health authority.

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living, thermophilic amoeboflagellate which causes the waterborne disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This rare but fatal condition has followed use of water for swimming, or domestic bathing. The organism occurs naturally in freshwater of suitable temperature, feeding on bacteria. Its occurrence is only indirectly related to human activity, inasmuch as such activity may modify temperatures or promote bacterial production. PAM has been reported from many countries, usually associated with thermally polluted environments, geothermal water or heated swimming pools. N. fowleri is almost exclusively aquatic, and water is the only known source of infection. Numerous nonvirulent Naegleria species are known in Australia.

PAM cases have been recorded from South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales; Naegleria fowleri has been detected in water in each of these states and in the Northern Territory. Australia is the only country where N. fowleri has been detected in public water supplies (Dorsch et al. 1983). Most of the available data on the density of N. fowleri in water relates to water supplies in South Australia (including the highest reported densities). In temperate Australia, significant seasonal cycles of density occur, from below one organism per litre to hundreds or thousands per litre in poorly disinfected water (Robinson and Christy 1984). N. fowleri detected at water temperatures below 18°C is likely to be present as cysts, which are not infectious, but which may seed a suitable environment.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.

Burringurrah (Western Australia) – Uranium

Uranium: ADWG Guideline: 0.017mg/L

9 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

5 tests above ADWG Guideline 2018-2020

16 detections at or above ADWG Guideline 2017-2019

2017: ~0.018mg/L (highest). ~0.016mg/L (average)

2018: ~0.02mg/L (highest).  ~0.016mg/L (average)

2019: ~0.019mg/L (highest). ~0.016mg/L (average)

Water management plans involving blending water from multiple bores have only been partly successful in managing uranium levels. They have been used in Bow River, Burringurrah and Pia Wadjari but have only been successful in Bow River. Tests in Burringurrah have detected uranium above ADWG guideline levels every year since 2012-13 and in Pia Wadjari since 2015-16. According to the Department’s 2017 RAESP Capital Works program, an estimated $2.7 million is needed to improve water quality in these 2 communities. People living in Burringurrah and Pia Wadjari face ongoing risks from higher uranium levels than specified as safe in the ADWG guidelines. P21

WA Auditor Report – Delivering Essential Services to Remote Aboriginal Communities 2021 June

2012/14 + 2018/20 – Wingellina (Western Australia) – Nitrate, Naegleria Species

2012/14 + 2018/20 – Wingellina (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2012/14: Wingellina (Western Australia) – Nitrate Levels: ~35mg/L-~60mg/L

Nitrate:

5 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2012-2014

20 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2018-2020

26 tests (76%) above ADWG Child Guideline 2017-2019

2017: ~72mg/L (highest). ~54.2mg/L (average)

2018: ~62mg/L (highest). ~52.8mg/L (average)

2019: ~66mg/L (highest). ~54mg/L (average)

One in five communities exceeded safe levels for nitrates or uranium

The most significant chemical issues for water quality come from nitrates and uranium, which occur naturally and are common in the Goldfields and Pilbara. Excessive nitrates in the diet reduce blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this can cause the potentially life-threatening Blue Baby Syndrome, where the skin takes on a bluish colour and the child has trouble breathing. Housing provides bottled water for infants under three months in communities with high nitrates. Long term solutions would likely include asset replacements or upgrades or finding new water sources, or a combination of these.

In 2013-14, fourteen of 84 communities in the Program recorded nitrates above the safe health level for bottle-fed babies under three months. Two communities had readings above the standard for adults (Figure 5).

Child Heath Levels Nitrate: 50mg/L. Adult Heath Levels Nitrate: 100mg/L

Wingellina (Western Australia) – Naegleria Species

1 test above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

“GUIDELINE No guideline value is set for Naegleria fowleri in drinking water, but an ‘action level’ is recommended for water supplies likely to be contaminated. If the organism is detected, advice should be sought from the relevant health authority.

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living, thermophilic amoeboflagellate which causes the waterborne disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This rare but fatal condition has followed use of water for swimming, or domestic bathing. The organism occurs naturally in freshwater of suitable temperature, feeding on bacteria. Its occurrence is only indirectly related to human activity, inasmuch as such activity may modify temperatures or promote bacterial production. PAM has been reported from many countries, usually associated with thermally polluted environments, geothermal water or heated swimming pools. N. fowleri is almost exclusively aquatic, and water is the only known source of infection. Numerous nonvirulent Naegleria species are known in Australia.

PAM cases have been recorded from South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales; Naegleria fowleri has been detected in water in each of these states and in the Northern Territory. Australia is the only country where N. fowleri has been detected in public water supplies (Dorsch et al. 1983). Most of the available data on the density of N. fowleri in water relates to water supplies in South Australia (including the highest reported densities). In temperate Australia, significant seasonal cycles of density occur, from below one organism per litre to hundreds or thousands per litre in poorly disinfected water (Robinson and Christy 1984). N. fowleri detected at water temperatures below 18°C is likely to be present as cysts, which are not infectious, but which may seed a suitable environment.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.

2012/14 + 2018/20: Wanarn – Wannan (Western Australia) – Nitrate, E.coli, Naegleria Species

2012/14 + 2018/20 – Wanarn (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2012/14: Wanarn (Western Australia) – Nitrate Levels: ~35mg/L-~80mg/L

Nitrate:

6 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

21 tests above ADWG Guideline 2018-2020

28 tests (82%) above ADWG Child Guideline 2017-2019

2017: ~72mg/L (highest). ~58mg/L (average)

2018: ~70mg/L (highest). ~56.8mg/L (average)

2019: ~70mg/L (highest). ~62.4mg/L (average)

One in five communities exceeded safe levels for nitrates or uranium

The most significant chemical issues for water quality come from nitrates and uranium, which occur naturally and are common in the Goldfields and Pilbara. Excessive nitrates in the diet reduce blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this can cause the potentially life-threatening Blue Baby Syndrome, where the skin takes on a bluish colour and the child has trouble breathing. Housing provides bottled water for infants under three months in communities with high nitrates. Long term solutions would likely include asset replacements or upgrades or finding new water sources, or a combination of these.

In 2013-14, fourteen of 84 communities in the Program recorded nitrates above the safe health level for bottle-fed babies under three months. Two communities had readings above the standard for adults (Figure 5).

Child Heath Levels Nitrate: 50mg/L. Adult Heath Levels Nitrate: 100mg/L

Wanarn   (Western Australia) – E.coli
E.coli:

1 test above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

“E.coli

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

Wanarn (Western Australia) – Naegleria Species

2 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

“GUIDELINE No guideline value is set for Naegleria fowleri in drinking water, but an ‘action level’ is recommended for water supplies likely to be contaminated. If the organism is detected, advice should be sought from the relevant health authority.

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living, thermophilic amoeboflagellate which causes the waterborne disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This rare but fatal condition has followed use of water for swimming, or domestic bathing. The organism occurs naturally in freshwater of suitable temperature, feeding on bacteria. Its occurrence is only indirectly related to human activity, inasmuch as such activity may modify temperatures or promote bacterial production. PAM has been reported from many countries, usually associated with thermally polluted environments, geothermal water or heated swimming pools. N. fowleri is almost exclusively aquatic, and water is the only known source of infection. Numerous nonvirulent Naegleria species are known in Australia.

PAM cases have been recorded from South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales; Naegleria fowleri has been detected in water in each of these states and in the Northern Territory. Australia is the only country where N. fowleri has been detected in public water supplies (Dorsch et al. 1983). Most of the available data on the density of N. fowleri in water relates to water supplies in South Australia (including the highest reported densities). In temperate Australia, significant seasonal cycles of density occur, from below one organism per litre to hundreds or thousands per litre in poorly disinfected water (Robinson and Christy 1984). N. fowleri detected at water temperatures below 18°C is likely to be present as cysts, which are not infectious, but which may seed a suitable environment.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.

2012/14 + 2018/21 – Warburton (Western Australia) – Nitrate, E.coli, Naegleria Species

Warburton gets safe source tap water but health concerns remain about its plumbing

8/1/22

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-08/concerns-remain-over-water-quality-in-wa-remote-community/100695664

Angelica McLean mixes baby formula with bottled water to protect her four-month-old daughter from toxic chemicals in her community’s water supply.

Every two days, the 24-year-old Warburton mum buys a 15-litre container of water so baby Bluebell has safe water to drink and bathe in.

Ms McLean said not everyone in the community could afford multiple containers of water each week.

Many towns and remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia like Warburton, 750 kilometres north-east of Kalgoorlie, get their water from bores that tap into underground water reservoirs.

Christine Jeffries-Stokes, a paediatrician and one of the chief investigators for the Western Desert Kidney Project, has conducted extensive research on links between nitrates in drinking water and kidney disease.

She said the chemicals were particularly toxic to babies but could also harm adults.

This can lead to blue baby syndrome, a potentially fatal condition.

Dr Jeffries-Stokes said nitrates have been associated with an increased risk of stillbirth, birth defects, thyroid disease, type 2 diabetes and kidney disease.

WA Department of Communities deputy director general Catherine Stoddart said the government regularly provided free bottled water for infants under three months of age to the Warburton Health Clinic.

Both Dr Jeffries-Stokes and Ms McLean said many Warburton families were not aware of how to access the free bottled water.

New water plant to treat toxic supply

Last month, the state government completed a $3.4 million water treatment plant in Warburton to address its high levels of contaminants.

It includes an ultrafiltration system, a reverse osmosis plant, a wastewater pipeline, and an evaporation pond.

Ms Stoddart said water from the plant was tested and supply to the community began last month.

She said, as a precaution, carers of infants under three months of age are advised to keep using bottled water during the testing period, until mid-January.

Nitrates aren’t the only issue

Ngaanyatjarraku Shire President Damian McLean said he welcomed the new treatment plant.

But along with problems in the source water, Warburton has been grappling with ageing and cracked water pipes for decades.

He said he wanted a commitment to replace the pipes because when they burst, contaminants can get into the drinking supply.

$3.4 million water treatment plant begins operation in Warburton

Tuesday, 30 November 2021
  • New reverse osmosis water treatment plant completed in Warburton
  • Water treatment plant began operations this month
  • The $3.4 million water treatment plant will provide a source of fresh water in the community

The northern Goldfields community of Warburton will have a reliable source of potable water with the completion of the Warburton Water Treatment Plant (WTP) this month.

The $3.4 million WTP project included the design, installation and commissioning of a fully functioning ultrafiltration system and reverse osmosis water treatment plant, along with other infrastructure including a wastewater pipeline and evaporation pond.

Warburton relies on water sourced from underground and this contains naturally-occurring elements such as nitrates that can affect water quality.

Nitrate levels in the community’s drinking water have been safe as determined by Australian Drinking Water Guidelines for all residents other than infants under three months of age.

In accordance with Department of Health guidance, the State Government has provided free bottled water for bottle-fed infants under three months of age.

With the WTP project complete and the new plant in operation, bottled water will no longer need to be provided.

The Department of Communities has overseen the WTP project through its Remote Essential and Municipal Services program for regional and remote Aboriginal communities.

The Department is also undertaking the design, installation and commissioning of a new water treatment plant and infrastructure upgrades at Kiwirrkurra in the East Pilbara, widely considered to be the most remote community in Australia.

The State Government has been entirely responsible for the provision of essential services to remote communities since the Commonwealth Government withdrew from its role in the joint funding of power and water infrastructure and services.

Comments attributed to Housing Minister John Carey:

“The McGowan Government is committed to improving the outcomes for people living in remote Aboriginal communities, and this $3.4 million water treatment plant will provide the people of Warburton with a reliable source of potable water moving forward.

“With this water treatment plant beginning operations, the provision of bottled water will no longer be required for bottle-fed infants under the age of three months which is a great outcome.

“The McGowan Government is making significant investments to improve water infrastructure in a number of remote Aboriginal communities, including a new water treatment plant and infrastructure upgrades at Kiwirrkurra in the East Pilbara, widely considered to be the most remote community in Australia.”

2012/20 – Warburton (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2012/14: Warburton (Western Australia) – Nitrate Levels: ~70mg/L-~80mg/L

Nitrate:

8 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2012-2014

32 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2017-2019

2017: ~82mg/L (highest). ~63.5mg/L (average)

2018: ~80mg/L (highest). ~72.8mg/L (average)

2019: ~100mg/L (highest). ~81.4mg/L (average)

One in five communities exceeded safe levels for nitrates or uranium

The most significant chemical issues for water quality come from nitrates and uranium, which occur naturally and are common in the Goldfields and Pilbara. Excessive nitrates in the diet reduce blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this can cause the potentially life-threatening Blue Baby Syndrome, where the skin takes on a bluish colour and the child has trouble breathing. Housing provides bottled water for infants under three months in communities with high nitrates. Long term solutions would likely include asset replacements or upgrades or finding new water sources, or a combination of these.

In 2013-14, fourteen of 84 communities in the Program recorded nitrates above the safe health level for bottle-fed babies under three months. Two communities had readings above the standard for adults (Figure 5).

Child Heath Levels Nitrate: 50mg/L. Adult Heath Levels Nitrate: 100mg/L

Warburton (Western Australia) – E.coli
E.coli:

1 test above ADWG Guideline 2012/14

“E.coli

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

Warburton (Western Australia) – Naegleria Species

3 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

“GUIDELINE No guideline value is set for Naegleria fowleri in drinking water, but an ‘action level’ is recommended for water supplies likely to be contaminated. If the organism is detected, advice should be sought from the relevant health authority.

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living, thermophilic amoeboflagellate which causes the waterborne disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This rare but fatal condition has followed use of water for swimming, or domestic bathing. The organism occurs naturally in freshwater of suitable temperature, feeding on bacteria. Its occurrence is only indirectly related to human activity, inasmuch as such activity may modify temperatures or promote bacterial production. PAM has been reported from many countries, usually associated with thermally polluted environments, geothermal water or heated swimming pools. N. fowleri is almost exclusively aquatic, and water is the only known source of infection. Numerous nonvirulent Naegleria species are known in Australia.

PAM cases have been recorded from South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales; Naegleria fowleri has been detected in water in each of these states and in the Northern Territory. Australia is the only country where N. fowleri has been detected in public water supplies (Dorsch et al. 1983). Most of the available data on the density of N. fowleri in water relates to water supplies in South Australia (including the highest reported densities). In temperate Australia, significant seasonal cycles of density occur, from below one organism per litre to hundreds or thousands per litre in poorly disinfected water (Robinson and Christy 1984). N. fowleri detected at water temperatures below 18°C is likely to be present as cysts, which are not infectious, but which may seed a suitable environment.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.

2012/14 + 2018/20 – Blackstone (Western Australia) – Nitrate, Naegleria Species

2012/14 + 2018/20 – Blackstone (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2012/14: Blackstone (Western Australia) – Nitrate Levels: ~45mg/L ~ 90mg/L

Nitrate:

19 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2012-2014

15 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2017-2029

Nitrate Highest level 2017-2019: ~90mg/L March 2018

2017: ~78mg/L (highest). ~41.2mg/L av.

2018: ~90mg/L (highest). ~61.8mg/L av.

2019: ~62mg/L (highest). ~48.1mg/L av.

One in five communities exceeded safe levels for nitrates or uranium

The most significant chemical issues for water quality come from nitrates and uranium, which occur naturally and are common in the Goldfields and Pilbara. Excessive nitrates in the diet reduce blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this can cause the potentially life-threatening Blue Baby Syndrome, where the skin takes on a bluish colour and the child has trouble breathing. Housing provides bottled water for infants under three months in communities with high nitrates. Long term solutions would likely include asset replacements or upgrades or finding new water sources, or a combination of these.

In 2013-14, fourteen of 84 communities in the Program recorded nitrates above the safe health level for bottle-fed babies under three months. Two communities had readings above the standard for adults (Figure 5).

Child Heath Levels Nitrate: 50mg/L. Adult Heath Levels Nitrate: 100mg/L

Blackstone (Western Australia) – Naegleria Species

Naegleria Species: 3 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

“GUIDELINE No guideline value is set for Naegleria fowleri in drinking water, but an ‘action level’ is recommended for water supplies likely to be contaminated. If the organism is detected, advice should be sought from the relevant health authority.

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living, thermophilic amoeboflagellate which causes the waterborne disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This rare but fatal condition has followed use of water for swimming, or domestic bathing. The organism occurs naturally in freshwater of suitable temperature, feeding on bacteria. Its occurrence is only indirectly related to human activity, inasmuch as such activity may modify temperatures or promote bacterial production. PAM has been reported from many countries, usually associated with thermally polluted environments, geothermal water or heated swimming pools. N. fowleri is almost exclusively aquatic, and water is the only known source of infection. Numerous nonvirulent Naegleria species are known in Australia.

PAM cases have been recorded from South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales; Naegleria fowleri has been detected in water in each of these states and in the Northern Territory. Australia is the only country where N. fowleri has been detected in public water supplies (Dorsch et al. 1983). Most of the available data on the density of N. fowleri in water relates to water supplies in South Australia (including the highest reported densities). In temperate Australia, significant seasonal cycles of density occur, from below one organism per litre to hundreds or thousands per litre in poorly disinfected water (Robinson and Christy 1984). N. fowleri detected at water temperatures below 18°C is likely to be present as cysts, which are not infectious, but which may seed a suitable environment.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.

2012/14 + 2018/20: Patjarr (Western Australia) – Nitrate, E.coli, Naegleria Species

2012/14 – Patjarr (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2012/14: Patjarr (Western Australia) – Nitrate Levels: ~20mg/L-~90mg/L

Nitrate:

26 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2012-2014

31 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2017-2019. Highest level ~110mg/L.

However 1 sample breached ADWG Child Guideline Post Reverse Osmosis Treatment 2017-19: 100mg/L June 2019. 32 samples <15mg/L)

One in five communities exceeded safe levels for nitrates or uranium

The most significant chemical issues for water quality come from nitrates and uranium, which occur naturally and are common in the Goldfields and Pilbara. Excessive nitrates in the diet reduce blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this can cause the potentially life-threatening Blue Baby Syndrome, where the skin takes on a bluish colour and the child has trouble breathing. Housing provides bottled water for infants under three months in communities with high nitrates. Long term solutions would likely include asset replacements or upgrades or finding new water sources, or a combination of these.

In 2013-14, fourteen of 84 communities in the Program recorded nitrates above the safe health level for bottle-fed babies under three months. Two communities had readings above the standard for adults (Figure 5).

Child Heath Levels Nitrate: 50mg/L. Adult Heath Levels Nitrate: 100mg/L

Patjarr (Western Australia) – E.coli

E.coli:

3 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-14

1 test above ADWG Guideline 2018-20

“E.coli

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

Patjarr (Western Australia) – Naegleria Species

Naegleria Species:

2 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

2 tests above ADWG Guideline 2018-2020

“GUIDELINE No guideline value is set for Naegleria fowleri in drinking water, but an ‘action level’ is recommended for water supplies likely to be contaminated. If the organism is detected, advice should be sought from the relevant health authority.

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living, thermophilic amoeboflagellate which causes the waterborne disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This rare but fatal condition has followed use of water for swimming, or domestic bathing. The organism occurs naturally in freshwater of suitable temperature, feeding on bacteria. Its occurrence is only indirectly related to human activity, inasmuch as such activity may modify temperatures or promote bacterial production. PAM has been reported from many countries, usually associated with thermally polluted environments, geothermal water or heated swimming pools. N. fowleri is almost exclusively aquatic, and water is the only known source of infection. Numerous nonvirulent Naegleria species are known in Australia.

PAM cases have been recorded from South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales; Naegleria fowleri has been detected in water in each of these states and in the Northern Territory. Australia is the only country where N. fowleri has been detected in public water supplies (Dorsch et al. 1983). Most of the available data on the density of N. fowleri in water relates to water supplies in South Australia (including the highest reported densities). In temperate Australia, significant seasonal cycles of density occur, from below one organism per litre to hundreds or thousands per litre in poorly disinfected water (Robinson and Christy 1984). N. fowleri detected at water temperatures below 18°C is likely to be present as cysts, which are not infectious, but which may seed a suitable environment.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.

2012/14 + 2018/21 – Mount Margaret (Western Australia) – Nitrate, E.coli, Naegleria

Freo Docker Sam joins effort to tackle kidney disease in remote WA

Sep 29 2021

https://www.miragenews.com/freo-docker-sam-joins-effort-to-tackle-kidney-641590/

Fremantle forward Sam Switkowski has joined researchers from The University of Western Australia in investigating ways to bring fresh water to remote Aboriginal communities in the Goldfields of WA as part of a plan to tackle the devastating effects of kidney disease and type 2 diabetes among locals.

The AFL footballer, in his final year of an environmental engineering degree at RMIT University, is part of a team from Optimos, D2K Information, RMIT, UWA and the University of Queensland who’ve been designing and testing pilot technologies to remove nitrate from drinking water.

It follows ground-breaking research undertaken as part of the Western Desert Kidney Health Project (WDKHP) which found that nitrate contaminated drinking water was a contributing factor to higher than expected rates of kidney disease and type 2 diabetes in the Goldfields.

Dr Christine Jeffries-Stokes, from UWA’s Medical School and the Rural Clinical School of WA, said the WDKHP study took place between 2010 and 2014 and covered an area larger than the state of Victoria in the Goldfields and Western Desert which starts 500km east of Perth and extends 2000km to the border with South Australia.

It saw health assessments carried out on 597 adults and 502 children in five small towns and six remote Aboriginal communities, representing almost 80 per cent of the Aboriginal population, with risk factors for kidney disease and type 2 diabetes present in participants of all ages, including children as young as two.

“The high levels of acid and blood in the urine of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants suggests factors contributing to chronic metabolic acidosis and inflammation or irritation of the urinary tract need to be explored, including drinking water which is known to be poor,” said Dr Jeffries-Stokes, who worked on the project with co-chief investigator Annette Stokes.

“In most of the study, the communities’ drinking water is heavily contaminated with nitrates and, in at least one community, uranium. One of the effects of uranium ingestion is kidney inflammation and damage, which is exacerbated by the presence of nitrate and the formation of uranyl nitrate.”

In two communities – Mulga Queen and Mount Margaret – a 2020 review by the Western Australian Auditor General showed there’d been no improvement in water quality over the past five years, and nitrate levels remained above international and Australian health guidelines, Dr Jeffries-Stokes said.

As the only WA-based person in the RMIT team who’d been tasked with looking at water treatment options, Mr Switkowski was able to visit Mulga Queen and surrounding communities in June this year to take water samples and speak directly to locals about their drinking water challenges.

“The other three members of my team – Matthew Barham, Matt Fitzpatrick and Lara Stovell – are currently testing three potential water treatment systems at RMIT in Melbourne to work out which will be the most efficient and the most feasible to implement,” Mr Switkowski said.

“For me personally, it’s been fantastic to experience another side of WA and to have been welcomed into several indigenous communities, thanks to Christine and her partner Geoffrey. It’s clear these communities aren’t getting the essential services they deserve, and as a result their health and wellbeing is at a higher risk.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the experience the project has given me and the opportunity that RMIT has provided in doing something purposeful and helpful for indigenous people. It’s ignited a passion in me and a determination to make a positive impact to those who don’t have access to clean and safe drinking water across Australia and the world.”

“It’s ignited a passion in me and a determination to make a positive impact to those who don’t have access to clean and safe drinking water across Australia and the world.”

Sam Switkowski

Dr Jeffries-Stokes said the increasing burden of kidney disease and type 2 diabetes is a global problem, especially for remote and Indigenous populations. In Australia, the average life expectancy of Aboriginal Australians is at least eight years lower than for non-Aboriginal Australians.

“This disparity is more marked in remote areas and contributing factors are the effects of type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and their associated conditions and complications. Prior to our study, type 2 diabetes had been found to be the leading cause of avoidable mortality for Aboriginal residents of the Goldfields region, accounting for 20 per cent of deaths,” she said.

“Diseases of the kidney accounted for six per cent of all avoidable deaths in the region and the area had been estimated to have the second highest rate of end-stage kidney disease in Australia. Until our study there hadn’t been too much investigation into the reasons why.”

2012/14 – Mount Margaret (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2012/14: Mount Margaret (Western Australia) – Nitrate Levels: ~20mg/L-~90mg/L

19 tests above ADWG Child Guideline  2012-2014

25 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2018-2020 (Post Reverse Osmosis Treatment levels however between 10mg/L-18mg/L during 2017-19)

One in five communities exceeded safe levels for nitrates or uranium

The most significant chemical issues for water quality come from nitrates and uranium, which occur naturally and are common in the Goldfields and Pilbara. Excessive nitrates in the diet reduce blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this can cause the potentially life-threatening Blue Baby Syndrome, where the skin takes on a bluish colour and the child has trouble breathing. Housing provides bottled water for infants under three months in communities with high nitrates. Long term solutions would likely include asset replacements or upgrades or finding new water sources, or a combination of these.

In 2013-14, fourteen of 84 communities in the Program recorded nitrates above the safe health level for bottle-fed babies under three months. Two communities had readings above the standard for adults (Figure 5).

Child Heath Levels Nitrate: 50mg/L. Adult Heath Levels Nitrate: 100mg/L

Mount Margaret (Western Australia) – E.coli
E.coli:

2 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-14

1 test above ADWG Guideline 2018-20

“E.coli

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

Mount Margaret (Western Australia) – Naegleria Species

Naegleria Species: 1 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

“GUIDELINE No guideline value is set for Naegleria fowleri in drinking water, but an ‘action level’ is recommended for water supplies likely to be contaminated. If the organism is detected, advice should be sought from the relevant health authority.

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living, thermophilic amoeboflagellate which causes the waterborne disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This rare but fatal condition has followed use of water for swimming, or domestic bathing. The organism occurs naturally in freshwater of suitable temperature, feeding on bacteria. Its occurrence is only indirectly related to human activity, inasmuch as such activity may modify temperatures or promote bacterial production. PAM has been reported from many countries, usually associated with thermally polluted environments, geothermal water or heated swimming pools. N. fowleri is almost exclusively aquatic, and water is the only known source of infection. Numerous nonvirulent Naegleria species are known in Australia.

PAM cases have been recorded from South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales; Naegleria fowleri has been detected in water in each of these states and in the Northern Territory. Australia is the only country where N. fowleri has been detected in public water supplies (Dorsch et al. 1983). Most of the available data on the density of N. fowleri in water relates to water supplies in South Australia (including the highest reported densities). In temperate Australia, significant seasonal cycles of density occur, from below one organism per litre to hundreds or thousands per litre in poorly disinfected water (Robinson and Christy 1984). N. fowleri detected at water temperatures below 18°C is likely to be present as cysts, which are not infectious, but which may seed a suitable environment.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.

2012/14 + 2018/20 – Cosmo Newberry (Western Australia) – Nitrate, Naegleria Species

2012/14 + 2018/20 – Cosmo Newberry (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2012/14: Cosmo Newberry (Western Australia) – Nitrate Levels: ~90mg/L-~140mg/L

December 2018: Nitrate 120mg/L (highest level)

Nitrate:

20 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

1 test above ADWG Guideline 2018-2020

One in five communities exceeded safe levels for nitrates or uranium

The most significant chemical issues for water quality come from nitrates and uranium, which occur naturally and are common in the Goldfields and Pilbara. Excessive nitrates in the diet reduce blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this can cause the potentially life-threatening Blue Baby Syndrome, where the skin takes on a bluish colour and the child has trouble breathing. Housing provides bottled water for infants under three months in communities with high nitrates. Long term solutions would likely include asset replacements or upgrades or finding new water sources, or a combination of these.

In 2013-14, fourteen of 84 communities in the Program recorded nitrates above the safe health level for bottle-fed babies under three months. Two communities had readings above the standard for adults (Figure 5).

Child Heath Levels Nitrate: 50mg/L. Adult Heath Levels Nitrate: 100mg/L

Cosmo Newberry (Western Australia) – Naegleria Species

Naegleria Species: 2 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

“GUIDELINE No guideline value is set for Naegleria fowleri in drinking water, but an ‘action level’ is recommended for water supplies likely to be contaminated. If the organism is detected, advice should be sought from the relevant health authority.

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living, thermophilic amoeboflagellate which causes the waterborne disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This rare but fatal condition has followed use of water for swimming, or domestic bathing. The organism occurs naturally in freshwater of suitable temperature, feeding on bacteria. Its occurrence is only indirectly related to human activity, inasmuch as such activity may modify temperatures or promote bacterial production. PAM has been reported from many countries, usually associated with thermally polluted environments, geothermal water or heated swimming pools. N. fowleri is almost exclusively aquatic, and water is the only known source of infection. Numerous nonvirulent Naegleria species are known in Australia.

PAM cases have been recorded from South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales; Naegleria fowleri has been detected in water in each of these states and in the Northern Territory. Australia is the only country where N. fowleri has been detected in public water supplies (Dorsch et al. 1983). Most of the available data on the density of N. fowleri in water relates to water supplies in South Australia (including the highest reported densities). In temperate Australia, significant seasonal cycles of density occur, from below one organism per litre to hundreds or thousands per litre in poorly disinfected water (Robinson and Christy 1984). N. fowleri detected at water temperatures below 18°C is likely to be present as cysts, which are not infectious, but which may seed a suitable environment.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.

2012/19 – Jameson (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2012/19 – Jameson (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2012/14: Jameson (Western Australia) – Nitrate Levels: ~80mg/L-~100mg/L

Nitrate:

2017: 100mg/L (high) ~76.4mg/L (av.)

2018: 98mg/L (high) ~84mg/L (av.)

2019: ~110mg/L (high) ~83.5mg/L (av.)

31 tests (88.6%) above ADWG Guideline (50mg/L) 2017-2019

One in five communities exceeded safe levels for nitrates or uranium

The most significant chemical issues for water quality come from nitrates and uranium, which occur naturally and are common in the Goldfields and Pilbara. Excessive nitrates in the diet reduce blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this can cause the potentially life-threatening Blue Baby Syndrome, where the skin takes on a bluish colour and the child has trouble breathing. Housing provides bottled water for infants under three months in communities with high nitrates. Long term solutions would likely include asset replacements or upgrades or finding new water sources, or a combination of these.

In 2013-14, fourteen of 84 communities in the Program recorded nitrates above the safe health level for bottle-fed babies under three months. Two communities had readings above the standard for adults (Figure 5).

Child Heath Levels Nitrate: 50mg/L. Adult Heath Levels Nitrate: 100mg/L

2012/21 – Pandanus Park (Western Australia) – Nitrate, Naegleria Species

2012/14 – Pandanus Park (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2012/14: Pandanus Park (Western Australia) – Nitrate Levels: ~40mg/L-~75mg/L

Nitrate:

19 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2012-2014

26 tests above ADWG Child Guideline 2018-2020

32 tests (89%) above ADWG Child Guideline 2017-19

2017: ~72mg/L (highest). ~60.2mg/L (average)

2018: ~77mg/L (highest). ~69.7mg/L (average)

2019: ~84mg/L (highest). ~75.5mg/L (average)

One in five communities exceeded safe levels for nitrates or uranium

The most significant chemical issues for water quality come from nitrates and uranium, which occur naturally and are common in the Goldfields and Pilbara. Excessive nitrates in the diet reduce blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this can cause the potentially life-threatening Blue Baby Syndrome, where the skin takes on a bluish colour and the child has trouble breathing. Housing provides bottled water for infants under three months in communities with high nitrates. Long term solutions would likely include asset replacements or upgrades or finding new water sources, or a combination of these.

In 2013-14, fourteen of 84 communities in the Program recorded nitrates above the safe health level for bottle-fed babies under three months. Two communities had readings above the standard for adults (Figure 5).

Child Heath Levels Nitrate: 50mg/L. Adult Heath Levels Nitrate: 100mg/L

‘I’m doing this out of my heart’: the fight for clean water in one remote WA Indigenous town

20 October 2021

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/oct/20/im-doing-this-out-of-my-heart-the-fight-for-clean-water-in-one-remote-wa-indigenous-town

Community leader Patricia Riley’s daughter drank tap water while pregnant, only to be told it contained unsafe levels of nitrate.

Kaitlyn Buaneye was eight months pregnant when she first learned she wasn’t supposed to drink the water, but it wasn’t until after her son was born she found out why.

Her mother, Patricia Riley, a Nyikina woman and Pandanus Park community leader, had been investigating drinking water contamination in the Indigenous community in northern Western Australia.

“That’s when my mother got the results that there were nitrates in this water, and it was unsafe. Especially for newborn babies and pregnant mothers,” Buaneye says.

“I was drinking it when I was pregnant with my son.”

In the six years since that shock, the 25-year-old mother of two says making the 600 metre walk every day to collect water from the filter system at the community office has become difficult, especially in the heat.

“I think that’s the reason why most people just give up and drink the tap water,” she says.

The 125-person community 168km east of Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, draws its drinking water from two bores near the Martuwarra (Fitzroy river).

Tests in 2015 revealed nitrate concentrations at levels of 80mg/L – below the 100mg/L safety guidelines recommended for adults by the Australian drinking water guidelines, but above the 50mg/L limit for pregnant women and infants up to three months old.

An audit report released in June found groundwater contamination in Pandanus Park and dozens of other remote communities across the state was getting worse.

‘Your drinking water could be poisoning your children’

Nitrate contamination represents a risk to infants as it can cause methaemoglobinaemia or “blue baby syndrome”, which prevents the blood carrying oxygen.

Authorities say that on the current health advice the water is perfectly safe to drink for older children and adults but Dr Christine Jeffries, a paediatrician working in the Goldfields region of WA, says this advice needs an update.

Jeffries has been researching the health effects of nitrate consumption since she became aware of the problem while investigating high rates of kidney disease among remote communities in the region in 2007.

She and her sister-in-law, Annette Stokes, began the western desert kidney health project after noticing 12 children at a basketball game who showed early signs of kidney disease.

At first, they thought the issue was genetic but soon found non-Indigenous people who had moved to the same communities experienced similar problems over time. After eliminating several possibilities, Jeffries says they finally looked at the water and found a recurring feature: nitrate pollution.

“The water was a complete surprise. It never occurred to us that in Australia, your drinking water could be poisoning your children,” Jeffries says.

Nitrates are produced when organic matter – everything from vegetation to human bodies – breaks down. Often the cause of nitrate pollution is run-off from fertilisers such as in the US state of Iowa or leaking sewerage, as recorded in Gaza.

But in the Kimberley nitrate pollution occurs naturally. Vegetation, such as on the edge of rivers or waterways, dies and the nitrates created seep down into an aquifer. Because this process can occur over thousands of years, the landscape above can change dramatically while the ancient water beneath remains.

Adults and older children have been thought to have the stomach bacteria to break down low levels of nitrate, though the National Health and Medical Research Council is reviewing the nitrate factsheet in the drinking water guidelines.

Dr Mary Ward is a senior investigator with the National Cancer Institute in the US and contributor to a 2018 review of the medical literature on nitrate in drinking water.

It found evidence of a relationship between long-term exposure to low levels of nitrate over a 10-year period and elevated risks of “colorectal cancer, thyroid disease, and neural tube defects”.

“While there have been several studies since our 2018 review, our conclusions still hold,” Ward says. “Taken together, these studies add to the evidence for adverse health effects related to nitrate at levels below the current regulatory standards in the US and EU.”

However, Ward cautions there are still few well-designed studies available to draw firm conclusions on several risks.

‘I’m not just fighting for Pandanus’

Prof Anas Ghadouani, program chair for the environmental engineering project at the University of Western Australia, says there are relatively cheap measures that could be taken to mitigate possible long-term effects.

“Technical solutions to this already exist,” Ghadouani says. “We can do this now. It is not rocket science.”

Successive state governments have been slow to address the issue in Pandanus Park and other communities. In some cases, the cost of providing basic services to remote communities has been used to justify closing them down.

Ghadouani says reverse osmosis filtering systems for farming use cost $20,000, less than the cost of kidney dialysis for one patient for a year.

“Expensive is all relative,” Ghadouani says. “When someone says ‘expensive’, I say ‘what’s your benchmark?’ With a little thought you could have a very good system.”

Prof Stuart Khan, from the school of civil and environmental engineering at the University of NSW, says cleaning nitrate from water can be tricky, requiring tailored systems to prevent wastewater washing back into the aquifer and trained staff to run them.

“If we had a program that was helping to deliver those skills into regional and remote communities, that would be ideal,” he says.

In some ways, Pandanus Park is proof that something can be done. Media coverage of the community’s situation prompted a New South Wales-based charity, the Yaru Foundation, to donate a water filtration system in 2018.

What was reported at the time as a “solution” was only intended as a stopgap measure while the state government worked on a sustainable, long-term fix.

The filter system delivers water only to the community office, and Pat Riley says travelling there to fetch water every day is not always possible for elderly people or the ill.

“We want clean, pure water that goes directly to our houses that we can drink,” she says.

Paul Isaachsen, assistant director-general of governance with the WA Department of Communities, says Pandanus Park’s needs are being met by the filtration system and the bottled water supplied for pregnant mothers and young infants.

He says $12m has been spent to build water treatment plants in other communities.

Systems have been installed at Jigalong, Mount Margaret, Barrel Well, Jameson, Cosmo Newberry and Tjuntjuntjara, with three more under construction in Warburton, Kiwirrkurra and Parnngurr.

“Other communities like Pandanus Park are to be considered as funding becomes available,” Isaachsen says.

However, a recent audit report found the department may seek an exemption to avoid having to provide safe drinking water to some communities under its management.

Water Corporation, WA’s water utility, has already received exemptions from having to provide safe drinking water to nine remote communities with nitrate contamination issues.

Isaachsen says regulations allowing the department to apply for exemptions are not yet in force, but it “will consider whether any exemptions are required” when they are.

Riley says a permanent solution is long overdue.

“They just give us bottled water,” she says.

“They constantly send us bottled water – always bottled water. I’m doing this out of my heart, because this is my home. I’m not just fighting for Pandanus, I’m fighting for the rest of the communities in the Kimberley region.”

Safe drinking at last after charity steps in to fix poison-water issue

8 November 2017

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-08/tap-water-in-this-australian-outback-community-can-kill-babies/9125844

A remote Aboriginal community says the West Australian Government’s failure to fix its contaminated water supply has led to life-threatening situations.

The water at the Pandanus Park community near Broome is unsafe for babies and pregnant women to drink because it contains high levels of nitrate.

Community CEO Patricia Riley has been lobbying the State Government to act on the issue for 18 months.

“[The tap water] tastes like sewerage, you can taste salt. It makes you dehydrated. It’s got an odd smell even in the shower. It’s like you’re suffocating in the shower,” she said.

“It’s a life-threatening situation we’re in, drinking the nitrates.”

Nitrates have been linked to cancer, kidney disease and diabetes — illnesses that already disproportionately affect Aboriginal people.

Last May, Ms Riley turned to the media to voice her concerns and a not-for-profit organisation from New South Wales responded.

The Yaru Foundation, the charity arm of a bottled water company near Byron Bay, organised for a water filtration station to be shipped across the country and installed free of charge.

Housed in a small shipping container, the station filters the community’s water bore delivering clean, cooled water to the community.

Ms Riley said her people are grateful for the donated infrastructure, but sharing two taps between 150 residents is less than ideal.

“We are lucky to have it,” she said.

“It’s really affecting us, but it’s good we’ve got someone from another state coming to support us. We would appreciate if our own government had actually done this.”

Blue baby syndrome

In 2015, a WA Auditor General’s report found more than a dozen Aboriginal communities in WA, including Pandanus Park, had enough nitrate in their water supply to cause the potentially fatal condition blue baby syndrome.

The reticulated water at Pandanus Park is treated for bacteria with chlorine, but the Department of Communities admits that it does not reduce the level of nitrates.

After testing uncovered elevated levels of nitrate in the water last year, the Department agreed to supply bottled water to the community.

It said the community needed an additional filtration system like a “reverse osmosis unit” to remove the nitrates which it said will be at a “significant capital cost”.

In the meantime, the Government is continuing to monitor the water quality.

“The reticulated water supply in these communities is tested monthly with analysis and results monitored by the Department of Health,” a Department of Communities spokesman said.

A request to see the latest testing results was rejected.

Ms Riley said she had been forced to confront the possibility that the water she uses to wash with might be causing the skin irritations and fungal diseases that infected her community.

“They said they’re looking for funding while they come up with some kind of plan. They said soon, they always say soon but we don’t know,” she said.

The Department of Communities is responsible for water in 82 remote Aboriginal communities and claims nitrate levels are below the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines’ maximum level for adults.

But the nitrate levels have been found to sometimes exceed the recommended safe level for infants.

It said it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Yaru Foundation to continue monitoring the water and is “progressively installing filtration systems to improve the reticulated water supply to communities like Pandanus Park”.

Providing water ‘not rocket science’

Yaru co-founder Shaun Martin said the Pandanus community’s plight was an opportunity for the organisation to install its first filtration station.

“It’s not rocket science,” Mr Martin said.

“The community have taken ownership and that’s very important.

“It gives them autonomy … we service it but they look after it.”

The foundation is investigating the potential to install more filtration systems in remote Aboriginal communities across the state.

“We’ve highlighted at least 14 communities that need this (as soon as possible) in the Kimberley and Gascoyne,” Mr Martin said.

“Some of these jobs are easier to do, for foundations [such as us].

“There’s a little less red tape, maybe, and you can get more done outside the system.”

In the wash-up, for the first time in 15 years Pandanus Park residents have access to clean tap water.

“It tastes 100 per cent better than that coming from the tap in the household,” Ms Riley said.

Pandanus Park (Western Australia) – Naegleria Species

Naegleria Species:

1 test above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

“GUIDELINE No guideline value is set for Naegleria fowleri in drinking water, but an ‘action level’ is recommended for water supplies likely to be contaminated. If the organism is detected, advice should be sought from the relevant health authority.

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living, thermophilic amoeboflagellate which causes the waterborne disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This rare but fatal condition has followed use of water for swimming, or domestic bathing. The organism occurs naturally in freshwater of suitable temperature, feeding on bacteria. Its occurrence is only indirectly related to human activity, inasmuch as such activity may modify temperatures or promote bacterial production. PAM has been reported from many countries, usually associated with thermally polluted environments, geothermal water or heated swimming pools. N. fowleri is almost exclusively aquatic, and water is the only known source of infection. Numerous nonvirulent Naegleria species are known in Australia.

PAM cases have been recorded from South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales; Naegleria fowleri has been detected in water in each of these states and in the Northern Territory. Australia is the only country where N. fowleri has been detected in public water supplies (Dorsch et al. 1983). Most of the available data on the density of N. fowleri in water relates to water supplies in South Australia (including the highest reported densities). In temperate Australia, significant seasonal cycles of density occur, from below one organism per litre to hundreds or thousands per litre in poorly disinfected water (Robinson and Christy 1984). N. fowleri detected at water temperatures below 18°C is likely to be present as cysts, which are not infectious, but which may seed a suitable environment.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.

2012/14 + 2018/20 – Tjuntjuntjara (Western Australia) – Uranium, Nitrate

2012/14 – Tjuntjuntjara (Western Australia) – Uranium

4 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

Monitoring for uranium in water supplies is happening at five communities where uranium levels are high. Uranium leaches naturally from soils, rocks and natural deposits, but is also released through mining processes. It is carcinogenic and high concentrations can cause kidney inflammation.
In the last two years, three communities have exceeded the safe limit of 0.017 mg/L about half the time, while Tjuntjuntjara in the Goldfields failed 18 out of 22 tests. Some of these results were up to double the safe level. To manage this, water from several bores is blended to achieve acceptable uranium levels. Since October 2014, there has been fortnightly testing at Tjuntjuntjara to better understand the raw water supply.

Western Australian Auditor General’s Report – Delivering Essential Services to Remote Aboriginal Communities – May 2015

Uranium (Information Sourced From 2011 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines)
“Based on health considerations, the concentration of uranium in drinking water should not exceed 0.017 mg/L.”

Reverse Osmosis Treatment started after 2016 – after the following figures were recorded

2016: “Housing undertakes water quality testing for microbiological and selected chemical parameters (uranium and nitrate) on a monthly basis, with a larger suite of chemical testing undertaken every 6 months. Uranium and nitrate levels are tested monthly…The main concern with the Tjuntjuntjara water supply is the variability of the chemical water quality test results of the water supply bores, specifically for uranium and nitrates. Each bore also has a certain recommended discharge rate, which means multiple bores must be used to meet the community water demand. The bore discharge rates are set to avoid the bores being pumped dry or decreasing bore water quality through increased drawdown, and are based on recommendations from test pumping performed by hydrogeologists.”

WA Tjuntjuntjara Borefield Water Analysis

TABLE 1. Underground Tjuntjuntjara Borefield: Uranium 2016 Monitoring Data

7 bores listed. 2 bores breached Australian drinking water guidelines for Uranium

Bore 1/94: 0.04mg/L (Jan 16). 0.042mg/L (Feb 16), 0.043mg/L (March 16), 0.042mg/L (April 16), 0.032mg/L (May 16)

Solar Bore: 0.04mg/L (Jan 16). 0.028mg/L (Feb 16), 0.03mg/L (March 16), 0.028mg/L (April 16), 0.027mg/L (May 16)

Reticulation 1: 0.015mg/L (Jan 16). 0.013mg/L (Feb 16), 0.013mg/L (March 16), 0.011mg/L (April 16), 0.011mg/L (May 16)

https://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/publications/tabledpapers.nsf/displaypaper/3914286c06ff730fa8f1ad4648257fe1000664ec/$file/tp-4286.pdf

“The Auditor General’s report notes that there are three communities where safe drinking water levels were exceeded for uranium (0.017 mg/L1) (Office of the Auditor General Western Australia, 2015). Of particular concern is the remote community of Tjuntjuntjarra, where drinking water failed safe levels for both nitrates and uranium. Tjuntjuntjarra, one of five communities being monitored, has failed 18 out of 22 water quality tests for uranium. These levels are reported to be up to double the safe guideline values. The other four communities have not been named (Office of the Auditor General Western Australia, 2015).” Unsafe drinking water quality in remote Western
Australian Aboriginal communities Geographical Research 184 • May 2019 • 57(2), 178–188

“Based on health considerations, the concentration of uranium in drinking water should not exceed 0.017 mg/L.” ADWG 2011

Tjuntjuntjara (Western Australia) – Nitrate

2012/14: Tjuntjanjara (Western Australia) – Nitrate Levels: ~40mg/L-~80mg/L

Nitrate:

6 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

2 tests above ADWG Guideline 2018-2020

One in five communities exceeded safe levels for nitrates or uranium

The most significant chemical issues for water quality come from nitrates and uranium, which occur naturally and are common in the Goldfields and Pilbara. Excessive nitrates in the diet reduce blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this can cause the potentially life-threatening Blue Baby Syndrome, where the skin takes on a bluish colour and the child has trouble breathing. Housing provides bottled water for infants under three months in communities with high nitrates. Long term solutions would likely include asset replacements or upgrades or finding new water sources, or a combination of these.

In 2013-14, fourteen of 84 communities in the Program recorded nitrates above the safe health level for bottle-fed babies under three months. Two communities had readings above the standard for adults (Figure 5).

Child Heath Levels Nitrate: 50mg/L. Adult Heath Levels Nitrate: 100mg/L

7 bores listed. 4 bores breached Australian drinking water guidelines for Nitrate

Bore 1/02: 97mg/L (Jan 16). 52mg/L (Feb 16), 36mg/L (March 16), 110mg/L (April 16), 100mg/L (May 16)

Bore 1/94: 100mg/L (Jan 16). 90mg/L (Feb 16), 110mg/L (March 16), 240mg/L (April 16), 87mg/L (May 16)

Bore 5/99: 55mg/L (Jan 16). 66mg/L (Feb 16), 62mg/L (March 16), 54mg/L (April 16), 50mg/L (May 16)

Solar Bore: 90mg/L (Jan 16). 69mg/L (Feb 16), 76mg/L (March 16), 64mg/L (April 16), 65mg/L (May 16)

Reticulation 1: 62mg/L (Jan 16). 64mg/L (Feb 16), 69mg/L (March 16), 53mg/L (April 16), 55mg/L (May 16)

“…According to the Water Corporation (2013) in 1996, the Western Australian Department of Heath exempted the following remote towns from meeting the water quality guidelines regarding excessive nitrate levels in drinking water: Cue, Meekatharra, Mount Magnet, Nabawa, New Norcia, Sandstone, Wiluna, Yalgoo, Laverton, Leonora, and Menzies. These exemptions are still current. Community health nurses are instructed to provide bottled water free to nursing mothers, at no cost…” Unsafe drinking water quality in remote Western
Australian Aboriginal communities Geographical Research 184 • May 2019 • 57(2), 178–188

The most significant chemical issues for water quality come from nitrates and uranium, which occur naturally and are common in the Goldfields and Pilbara. Excessive nitrates in the diet reduce blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this can cause the potentially life-threatening Blue Baby Syndrome, where the skin takes on a bluish colour and the child has trouble breathing. Housing provides bottled water for infants under three months in communities with high nitrates. Long term solutions would likely include asset replacements or upgrades or finding new water sources, or a combination of these.

In 2013-14, fourteen of 84 communities in the Program recorded nitrates above the safe health level for bottle-fed babies under three months. Two communities had readings above the standard for adults (Figure 5).

Child Heath Levels Nitrate: 50mg/L. Adult Heath Levels Nitrate: 100mg/L

 

2012/14 + 2018/20 – Koorabye (Western Australia) – Naegleria fowleri, E.coli

Koorabye (Western Australia) – Naegleria fowleri detection

Naegleria Species:

9 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

2 tests above ADWG Guideline 2018-2020

Eighty per cent of communities sometimes failed drinking water tests for Naegleria or E. coli
Over the two years to June 2014, at least one community failed a water quality test every month for either E. coli or Naegleria (Figure 4). In January 2014, twelve communities failed one or both tests. Sixty-eight communities had at least one test failure over the two years.
Data is not available to show how many people fell ill as a result of these failures because the small number of individuals affected does not show up in health statistics, but the risks are significant at a community level and well understood by stakeholders. By comparison, Health has reported no failures for E. coli or Naegleria at any test site in WA managed by Water Corporation since at least 2008.

Over the two years to June 2014, thirty-nine communities had two or more failures, while 29 had three or more. In that period, Koorabye has failed 11 times, making tap water unsafe for much of that time. However, we note that the Program installed a chlorination unit at Koorabye in July 2014, making the water much safer to drink since then. We also note that no Pilbara communities failed E.coli tests in the 12 months to April 2015.
The four communities with the worst microbiological performance were among 33 that still had UV water treatment systems at June 2014. These systems are ineffective if the power fails or the water is not clear. Housing is replacing UV systems with more effective chlorination systems as funds become available.

Western Australian Auditor General’s Report Delivering Essential Services to Remote Aboriginal Communities  May 2015

“GUIDELINE No guideline value is set for Naegleria fowleri in drinking water, but an ‘action level’ is recommended for water supplies likely to be contaminated. If the organism is detected, advice should be sought from the relevant health authority.

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living, thermophilic amoeboflagellate which causes the waterborne disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This rare but fatal condition has followed use of water for swimming, or domestic bathing. The organism occurs naturally in freshwater of suitable temperature, feeding on bacteria. Its occurrence is only indirectly related to human activity, inasmuch as such activity may modify temperatures or promote bacterial production. PAM has been reported from many countries, usually associated with thermally polluted environments, geothermal water or heated swimming pools. N. fowleri is almost exclusively aquatic, and water is the only known source of infection. Numerous nonvirulent Naegleria species are known in Australia.

PAM cases have been recorded from South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales; Naegleria fowleri has been detected in water in each of these states and in the Northern Territory. Australia is the only country where N. fowleri has been detected in public water supplies (Dorsch et al. 1983). Most of the available data on the density of N. fowleri in water relates to water supplies in South Australia (including the highest reported densities). In temperate Australia, significant seasonal cycles of density occur, from below one organism per litre to hundreds or thousands per litre in poorly disinfected water (Robinson and Christy 1984). N. fowleri detected at water temperatures below 18°C is likely to be present as cysts, which are not infectious, but which may seed a suitable environment.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.

Koorabye (Western Australia) – E.coli

E.coli:

10 tests above ADWG Guideline 2012-2014

“E.coli

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

2007/22 – Wilora (Northern Territory) – Uranium, E.coli, Lead, Aluminium, Hardness, Total Dissolved Solids, Iodine, Chloride, Sodium

Wilora – Northern Territory – Uranium

2009/10: Wilora Uranium 0.020708mg/L

2010/11: Wilora Uranium 0.021mg/L

2013/14: Wilora Uranium 0.019mg/L

2015/16: Wilora Uranium 0.01883mg/L

2016/17: Wilora Uranium 0.023mg/L (95th %)

2017/18: Wilora Uranium 0.023mg/L (95th %)

2018/19: Wilora Uranium 0.023mg/L (95th %)

2019/20: Wilora Uranium 0.024mg/L (95th %)

2020/21: Wilora Uranium 0.021mg/L (av.)

2021/22: Wilora Uranium 0.02mg/L (av.)

“Based on health considerations, the concentration of uranium in drinking water should not exceed 0.017 mg/L.” ADWG 2011

Our kids need proper water’: Families plead for action over uranium in drinking water

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-19/families-plead-for-action-over-uranium-in-drinking-water/9879748

 

Some of Australia’s poorest communities have been drinking water high in uranium, and residents have accused governments of ignoring the problem.

Key points:

  • At least three communities in central Australia have levels of uranium in drinking water that exceed health guidelines
  • Dozens of other communities not meeting aesthetic guidelines, which ensure taste, feel and smell are up to standard
  • Residents fear water could be harming them and say governments have failed to act

Many of us turn on the tap without a second thought — high-quality drinking water is supplied to most cities and regions across the country.

But in the Aboriginal community of Laramba, north of Alice Springs, drinking water contains more than double the recommended levels of uranium, and it’s been like that for a decade.

Billy Briscoe, a long-term resident, is deeply concerned about the impact that water is having on his family.

“The really important thing is about kids. Our kids need proper water, not with uranium. They need quality, really good water,” he said.

“We all drink the bore water … if there’s no water, how can you survive?

Official data obtained by the ABC’s 7.30 program shows Laramba’s water supply contains uranium at higher than 0.04 milligrams per litre (mg/L).

Australia’s drinking-water guidelines outline it should not exceed 0.017mg/L

“The main toxic effect of short-term exposure to high concentrations of uranium is inflammation of the kidney,” according to the National Health and Medical Research Council.

“Little is known about the long-term exposure to low concentrations.”

Most communities in the Northern Territory rely on bore water, pumped up from an aquifer deep underground, which often contains high concentrations of naturally occurring minerals and contaminants — like uranium.

Laramba residents said their appeals for help had been overlooked.

“You have to write letters, you have to email it, but even then [action] don’t come in one day or two days, so you will have to wait one year or two years … It’s just a waiting game,” Mr Briscoe said.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) said access to safe water was a basic human right and urged governments to invest in treatment facilities in remote parts of the country.

“It is difficult to understand how this hasn’t already been implemented and addressed,” the AMA said in a statement last year.

Do you know more about this story? Email Specialist.Team@abc.net.au

The community of Laramba is not alone

Two other communities in central Australia, Willowra and Wilora, also have levels of uranium in drinking water exceeding the guidelines.

These levels have been elevated for at least a decade, according to published data from Northern Territory’s water provider, the Power and Water Corporation.

7.30 can reveal that, in total, seven communities in the NT have exceeded health guidelines in the last financial year due to elevated levels of contaminants including uranium, barium, antimony, chromium and fluoride.

Minister for Essential Services Gerry McCarthy declined the ABC’s request for an interview, but a spokeswoman said it was “a significant challenge to provide a uniform quality of supply to our 72 remote communities”.

The priority for Power and Water was monitoring and treating water for dangerous pathogens, like E. coli, the spokeswoman added.

“Options for water treatment continue to be investigated,” she said.

“Power and Water has prioritised and is progressing $7 million in works to upgrade disinfection capacity at 33 sites over the next two years.”

The issue isn’t isolated to the Northern Territory.

Wilora (Northern Territory) – E.coli

2015/16: Wilora E.coli 2 detections. 94% compliance

“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

Wilora (Northern Territory) – Lead

2019/20: Wilora (Northern Territory) Lead – Total 0.02mg/L (95th %)

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

Wilora (NT) – Aluminium

2020/21: Wilora (NT) – Aluminium 0.7mg/L

According to the ADWG, no health guideline has been adopted for Aluminium, but that the issue is still open to review. Aluminium can come from natural geological sources or from the use of aluminium salts as coagulants in water treatment plants. According to the ADWG “A well-operated water filtration plant (even using aluminium as a flocculant) can achieve aluminium concentrations in the finished water of less than 0.1 mg/L.

The most common form of aluminium in water treatment plants is Aluminium Sulfate (Alum). Alum can be supplied as a bulk liquid or in granular form. It is used at water treatment plants as a coagulant to remove turbidity, microorganisms, organic matter and inorganic chemicals. If water is particularly dirty an Alum dose of as high as 500mg/L could occur. There is also concern that other metals may also exist in refined alum.

While the ADWG mentions that there is considerable evidence that Aluminium is neurotoxic and can pass the gut barrier to accumulate in the blood, leading to a condition called encephalopathy (dialysis dementia) and that Aluminium has been associated with Parkinsonism dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the NHMRC, whilst also acknowledging studies which have linked Aluminium with Alzheimer disease, has not granted Aluminium a NOEL (No Observable Effect Level) due to insufficient and contradictory data. Without a NOEL, a health guideline cannot be established. The NHMRC has also stated that if new information comes to hand, a health guideline may be established in the future.

In communication with Aluminium expert Dr Chris Exley (Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry
The Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire UK) in March 2013 regarding high levels of Aluminium detected in the South Western Victorian town of Hamilton
“It is my opinion that any value above 0.5 mg/L is totally unacceptable and a potential health risk. Where such values are maintained over days, weeks or even months, as indeed is indicated by the data you sent to me, these represent a significant health risk to all consumers. While consumers may not experience any short term health effects the result of longer term exposure to elevated levels of aluminium in potable waters may be a significant increase in the body burden of aluminium in these individuals. This artificially increased body burden will not return to ‘normal’ levels when the Al content of the potable water returns to normal but will act as a new platform level from which the Al body burden will continue to increase with age.

Wilora – Northern Territory – Hardness

2007/08: Wilora Hardness 629mg/L

2009/10: Wilora Hardness 562mg/L

2010/11: Wilora Hardness 597mg/L

2013/14: Wilora Hardness 606mg/L

2015/16: Wilora Hardness 620mg/L

2016/17: Wilora Hardness 615mg/L

2021/22: Wilora Hardness 700mg/L (av.)

GUIDELINE

“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

Wilora – Northern Territory – Total Dissolved Solids

2007/08: Wilora Total Dissolved Solids 1750mg/L

2010/11: Wilora Total Dissolved Solids 1708mg/L

2013/14: Wilora Total Dissolved Solids 1686mg/L

2015/16: Wilora Total Dissolved Solids 1675mg/L

2016/17: Wilora Total Dissolved Solids 1661mg/L

2021/22: Wilora Total Dissolved Solids 1900mg/L (av.)

GUIDELINE

“No specific health guideline value is provided for total dissolved solids (TDS), as there are no
health effects directly attributable to TDS. However for good palatability total dissolved solids
in drinking water should not exceed 600 mg/L.

Total dissolved solids (TDS) consist of inorganic salts and small amounts of organic matter that are dissolved in water. Clay particles, colloidal iron and manganese oxides and silica, fine enough to pass through a 0.45 micron filter membrane can also contribute to total dissolved solids.

Total dissolved solids comprise: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, sulfate, bicarbonate, carbonate, silica, organic matter, fluoride, iron, manganese, nitrate, nitrite and phosphates…” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011

Wilora – (Northern Territory) – Iodine

2007/08: Wilora Iodine 0.5mg/L

2009/10: Wilora Iodine 0.4mg/L

2010/11: Wilora Iodine 0.43mg/L

2013/14: Wilora Iodine 0.32mg/L

2015/16: Wilora Iodine 0.26mg/L

2016/17: Wilora Iodine 0.22mg/L

GUIDELINE
Iodide: Based on health considerations, the concentration of iodide in drinking water should
not exceed 0.5 mg/L.
Iodine: No guideline value has been set for molecular iodine.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
The element iodine is present naturally in seawater, nitrate minerals and seaweed, mostly in the form of iodide salts. It may be present in water due to leaching from salt and mineral deposits. Iodide can be oxidised to molecular iodine with strong disinfectants such as chlorine.
Molecular iodine solutions are used as antiseptics and as sanitising agents in hospitals and laboratories.
Iodine is occasionally used for the emergency disinfection of water for field use but is not used for disinfecting larger drinking water supplies. Iodide is used in pharmaceutical and photographic materials. Iodine has a taste threshold in water of about 0.15 mg/L.
Iodide occurs in cows’ milk and seafood. Some countries add iodide to table salt to compensate for iodide-deficient diets.

Wilora (Northern Territory) – Chloride

2009/10: Wilora Chloride 497mg/L

2010/11: Wilora Chloride 518mg/L

2013/14: Wilora Chloride 527mg/L

2015/16: Wilora Chloride 538mg/L

2016/17: Wilora Chloride 523mg/L

2021/22: Wilora Chloride 530mg/L

“Chloride is present in natural waters from the dissolution of salt deposits, and contamination from effluent disposal. Sodium chloride is widely used in the production of industrial chemicals such as caustic soda, chlorine, and sodium chlorite and hypochlorite. Potassium chloride is used in the production of fertilisers.

The taste threshold of chloride in water is dependent on the associated cation but is in the range 200–300 mg/L. The chloride content of water can affect corrosion of pipes and fittings. It can also affect the solubility of metal ions.

In surface water, the concentration of chloride is usually less than 100 mg/L and frequently below 10 mg/L. Groundwater can have higher concentrations, particularly if there is salt water intrusion.

Based on aesthetic considerations, the chloride concentration in drinking water should not exceed 250 mg/L.

No health-based guideline value is proposed for chloride.” 2011 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

Wilora (Northern Territory) – Sodium

2007/08: Wilora Sodium 315mg/L

2009/10: Wilora Sodium 284mg/L

2010/11: Wilora Sodium 295mg/L

2013/14: Wilora Sodium 300mg/L

2015/16: Wilora Sodium 319mg/L

2016/17: Wilora Sodium 311mg/L

2021/22: Wilora Sodium 310mg/L

“Based on aesthetic considerations (taste), the concentration of sodium in drinking water
should not exceed 180 mg/L….The sodium ion is widespread in water due to the high solubility of sodium salts and the abundance of mineral deposits. Near coastal areas, windborne sea spray can make an important contribution either by fallout onto land surfaces where it can drain to drinking water sources, or from washout by rain. Apart from saline intrusion and natural contamination, water treatment chemicals, domestic water softeners and
sewage effluent can contribute to the sodium content of drinking water.” ADWG 2011

2016 August: Mount Compass (South Australia) – Chlorate

2016: Mount Compass (South Australia) – Chlorate

11/8/16: Mount Compass (South Australia) – Chlorate 0.36mg/L

Chlorite: ADWG Health 0.3mg/L.

Chlorite and chlorate are disinfection by-products of chlorine dioxide disinfection process.

“… industry are having serious problems meeting chlorite/chlorate limits that were proposed in the new Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, especially for disinfection in long distance pipelines that are dosed with sodium hyptochlorite” pers comm 18/5/11.

“Chlorite occurs in drinking water when chlorine dioxide is used for purification purposes. The
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that chlorite is not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans and is listed in the Group 3 category. Changes in red blood vessels due to oxidative stress are a major concern with excessive levels of Chlorite in drinking water. According to the US EPA, potential health problems for people drinking Chorite above safe drinking water guideline include: Anemia in infants and young children and nervous system effects.” https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm

“Chlorine dioxide (chlorite) is rarely used as a disinfectant in Australian reticulated supplies.
When used, the chlorite residual is generally maintained between 0.2mg/L and 0.4mg/L. It is
particularly effective inthe control of manganese-reducing bacteria. Few data are available on
chlorate levels in Australian water supplies….Chlorine dioxide, chlorite, and chlorate are all
absorbed rapidly by the gastrointestinal tract into blood plasma and distributed to the major
organs. All compounds appear to be rapidly metabolised. Chlorine dioxide has been shown to
impair neurobehavioural and neurological development in rats exposed before birth. Experimental studies with rats and monkeys exposed to chlorine dioxide in drinking water have shown some evidence of thyroid toxicity; however, because of the studies’ limitations, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions (WHO 2005) The primary concern with chlorite and chlorate is oxidative stress resulting in changes in red blood cells. This end point is seen in laboratory animals and, by analogy with chlorate, in humans exposed to high doses in poisoning incidents (WHO 2005).” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Centre

“…Subchronic studies in animals (cats, mice, rats and monkeys) indicate that chlorite and chlorate cause haematological changes (osmotic fragility, oxidative stress, increase in mean corpuscular volume), stomach lesions and increased spleen and adrenal weights… Neurobehavioural effects (lowered auditory startle amplitude, decreased brain weight and decreased exploratory activity) are the most sensitive endpoints following oral exposure to chlorite…” https://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/chlorite-chlorate/indexeng.
php#sec10_1Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

2009-14: Girgarre (Victoria) – E.coli, Chlorophenols, Chloral Hydrate

30/4/14: Girgarre. E.coli
E. coli – 4 MPN/100mL (98.1% samples during year within health guideline).

Date: 30/04/2014
Estimated duration of incident: Isolated incident
Location of incident: Girgarre
Nature of incident: Detection of 4 org/100mL of E.coli in the reticulation at Girgarre. The cause is unknown but a sampling error is suspected due to rain at time of sampling. There was no E.coli detected in the Water Tower.
Drinking water supplies potentially affected: Girgarre.
Action taken in response: Resampling of the Water Tower and reticulation in Girgarre. No further detections found. Checked for evidence of ingress at the storages – none found.
Communication with customers: Nil
DH notification: A Section 22 notification was sent to the Department of Health on 7/04/2014

“E.coli

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

2010: Girgarre (Victoria) – Chlorophenols

16/09/2010: Girgarre WTP 2,4-Dichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

ADWG Guidelines: Health: 2-chlorophenol 300 µg/L Aesthetic: 0.1 µg/L

No Guideline exists for 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol

Chlorophenols

Included with the Freedom of Information request from Goulburn Valley Water were detections for 2,4,5 Trichlorophenol (8 detections) (highest level: 460 µg/L 18/10/11 Strathbogie) and 2,4-6 Trichlorophenol (96 detections) (highest level 5.2µg/L: Strathbogie 16/11/15).

According to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

“ Chlorophenols may be present in drinking water as a result of chlorination of water that contains phenol or lower chlorophenols, or from contamination of water sources. Chlorination of water containing natural organic compounds can produce very low concentrations of chlorophenols. Degradation of phenoxy herbicides such as 2,4,5 – T and 2,4 – D also generates chlorophenols…

Chlorophenols are used commercially as preservatives, moth – proofing agents, germicides and anti – mildew agents…. No data are available on concentrations of chlorophenols in Australian drinking waters. If present at all, it is likely that concentrations would be extremely low.”

2,4,6 Trichlorophenol is listed under the 2002-3 Goulburn Valley Water – Water Quality Annual Report as “Health – Related Organics – Organic chemicals that can impact on the health of consumers are rarely present in drinking water supplies, but could potentially be present in raw water sources as a result of accidental spills or misuse.”

Due to the unknown source of the Trichlorophenols, these detections were not included in the final pesticide data in this report, but are assumed to be a byproduct of disinfection. Average level of 2,4,6 Trichlorophenol detected 2008-16 in 33 locations: 0.93µg/L. Average level 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol detected 2011-15 in 4 locations: 72.87µg/L.

2,4-D detections in Girgarre channel supply for approximately 4 months in 2010. The average detected levels over the four month period were 1.94µg/L (6.6% of the Australian Drinking Water Guideline for 2,4-D). It is also unclear what percentage of the 2,4-D was removed by the treatment process used at Girgarre. It appears that activated carbon was not used. It is also unclear the level of dioxins contained in the 2,4-D that came down the channel. Dioxins, some of the most toxic substances known, can be created during the 2,4-D manufacturing process. “ An urgent review is underway after a Four Corners investigation found elevated levels of dangerous dioxins in a generic version of 2,4 – D, one of Australia’s most widely used herbicides. Dioxins are one of the most deadly chemical compounds in the world, but Australi an authorities do not routinely test for them. One scientist said the product tested by Four Corners, which was imported from China, had one of the highest dioxin readings for 2,4 – D in the last 10 to 20 years, and could pose potential health risks…” https://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-22/four-corners-dangerous-dioxins/4833848

“Under the Radar” Pesticide Detections Victorian Water Supplies 2007-2016 – Anthony Amis – Friends of the Earth Melbourne October 2017

Gigarre (Victoria)

Highest Detections only  2009/11

Girgarre 33ug/L Chloral Hydrate 2010/11

Girgarre 22ug/L Chloral Hydrate 2009/10

2004 Australian Drinking Water Guideline: Trichloroacetaldehyde (chloral hydrate): 0.02mg/L

2011 Australian Drinking Water Guideline: Trichloroacetaldehyde (chloral hydrate): 0.1mg/L

“Chloral hydrate is a disinfection by-product, arising from chlorination of water containing naturally occurring organic material (NOM). Chloral hydrate has only been detected by Goulburn Valley Water since changing to a new contract testing laboratory in November 2007. The Department of Health is currently conducting a study into the detection of chloral hydrate across Victoria.”

2009/11 – Woods Point (Victoria) – Chlorophenols

2009-11: Woods Point (Victoria) – Chlorophenols

14/01/2009: Woods Point 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.5 µg/L

17/06/2009: Woods Point 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.8 µg/L

16/03/2011: Woods Point 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 4 µg/L

ADWG Guidelines: 2,4,6-trichlorophenol Health: 20 µg/L Aesthetic: 2 µg/L

No Guideline exists for 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol

Chlorophenols

Included with the Freedom of Information request from Goulburn Valley Water were detections for 2,4,5 Trichlorophenol (8 detections) (highest level: 460 µg/L 18/10/11 Strathbogie) and 2,4-6 Trichlorophenol (96 detections) (highest level 5.2µg/L: Strathbogie 16/11/15).

According to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

“ Chlorophenols may be present in drinking water as a result of chlorination of water that contains phenol or lower chlorophenols, or from contamination of water sources. Chlorination of water containing natural organic compounds can produce very low concentrations of chlorophenols. Degradation of phenoxy herbicides such as 2,4,5 – T and 2,4 – D also generates chlorophenols…

Chlorophenols are used commercially as preservatives, moth – proofing agents, germicides and anti – mildew agents…. No data are available on concentrations of chlorophenols in Australian drinking waters. If present at all, it is likely that concentrations would be extremely low.”

2,4,6 Trichlorophenol is listed under the 2002-3 Goulburn Valley Water – Water Quality Annual Report as “Health – Related Organics – Organic chemicals that can impact on the health of consumers are rarely present in drinking water supplies, but could potentially be present in raw water sources as a result of accidental spills or misuse.”

Due to the unknown source of the Trichlorophenols, these detections were not included in the final pesticide data in this report, but are assumed to be a byproduct of disinfection. Average level of 2,4,6 Trichlorophenol detected 2008-16 in 33 locations: 0.93µg/L. Average level 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol detected 2011-15 in 4 locations: 72.87µg/L.

“Under the Radar” Pesticide Detections Victorian Water Supplies 2007-2016 – Anthony Amis – Friends of the Earth Melbourne October 2017

2009/16 – Goulburn Weir (Victoria) – Chlorophenols

2009-16: Goulburn Weir (Victoria) – Chlorophenols

12/05/2009: Goulburn Weir 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 2 µg/L

10/08/2010: Goulburn Weir 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.8 µg/L

14/09/2010: Goulburn Weir 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

13/10/2009: Goulburn Weir 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.5 µg/L

10/11/2010: Goulburn Weir 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.9 µg/L

11/10/2011: Goulburn Weir 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.9 µg/L

13/07/2016: Goulburn Weir 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.5 µg/L

ADWG Guidelines: 2,4,6-trichlorophenol Health: 20 µg/L Aesthetic: 2 µg/L

No Guideline exists for 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol

Chlorophenols

Included with the Freedom of Information request from Goulburn Valley Water were detections for 2,4,5 Trichlorophenol (8 detections) (highest level: 460 µg/L 18/10/11 Strathbogie) and 2,4-6 Trichlorophenol (96 detections) (highest level 5.2µg/L: Strathbogie 16/11/15).

According to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

“ Chlorophenols may be present in drinking water as a result of chlorination of water that contains phenol or lower chlorophenols, or from contamination of water sources. Chlorination of water containing natural organic compounds can produce very low concentrations of chlorophenols. Degradation of phenoxy herbicides such as 2,4,5 – T and 2,4 – D also generates chlorophenols…

Chlorophenols are used commercially as preservatives, moth – proofing agents, germicides and anti – mildew agents…. No data are available on concentrations of chlorophenols in Australian drinking waters. If present at all, it is likely that concentrations would be extremely low.”

2,4,6 Trichlorophenol is listed under the 2002-3 Goulburn Valley Water – Water Quality Annual Report as “Health – Related Organics – Organic chemicals that can impact on the health of consumers are rarely present in drinking water supplies, but could potentially be present in raw water sources as a result of accidental spills or misuse.”

Due to the unknown source of the Trichlorophenols, these detections were not included in the final pesticide data in this report, but are assumed to be a byproduct of disinfection. Average level of 2,4,6 Trichlorophenol detected 2008-16 in 33 locations: 0.93µg/L. Average level 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol detected 2011-15 in 4 locations: 72.87µg/L.

“Under the Radar” Pesticide Detections Victorian Water Supplies 2007-2016 – Anthony Amis – Friends of the Earth Melbourne October 2017

2008/11 – Kirwans Bridge (Victoria) – Chlorophenols

2008-11 – Kirwans Bridge (Victoria) – Chlorophenols

14/10/2008: Kirwans Bridge 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.7 µg/L

10/02/2009: Kirwans Bridge 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

3/08/2010: Kirwans Bridge 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.6 µg/L

4/01/2011: Kirwans Bridge 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.7 µg/L

8/02/2011: Kirwans Bridge 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 2 µg/L

8/11/2011: Kirwans Bridge 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.5 µg/L

ADWG Guidelines: 2,4,6-trichlorophenol Health: 20 µg/L Aesthetic: 2 µg/L

No Guideline exists for 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol

Chlorophenols

Included with the Freedom of Information request from Goulburn Valley Water were detections for 2,4,5 Trichlorophenol (8 detections) (highest level: 460 µg/L 18/10/11 Strathbogie) and 2,4-6 Trichlorophenol (96 detections) (highest level 5.2µg/L: Strathbogie 16/11/15).

According to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

“ Chlorophenols may be present in drinking water as a result of chlorination of water that contains phenol or lower chlorophenols, or from contamination of water sources. Chlorination of water containing natural organic compounds can produce very low concentrations of chlorophenols. Degradation of phenoxy herbicides such as 2,4,5 – T and 2,4 – D also generates chlorophenols…

Chlorophenols are used commercially as preservatives, moth – proofing agents, germicides and anti – mildew agents…. No data are available on concentrations of chlorophenols in Australian drinking waters. If present at all, it is likely that concentrations would be extremely low.”

2,4,6 Trichlorophenol is listed under the 2002-3 Goulburn Valley Water – Water Quality Annual Report as “Health – Related Organics – Organic chemicals that can impact on the health of consumers are rarely present in drinking water supplies, but could potentially be present in raw water sources as a result of accidental spills or misuse.”

Due to the unknown source of the Trichlorophenols, these detections were not included in the final pesticide data in this report, but are assumed to be a byproduct of disinfection. Average level of 2,4,6 Trichlorophenol detected 2008-16 in 33 locations: 0.93µg/L. Average level 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol detected 2011-15 in 4 locations: 72.87µg/L.

“Under the Radar” Pesticide Detections Victorian Water Supplies 2007-2016 – Anthony Amis – Friends of the Earth Melbourne October 2017

2008-15 – Strathbogie (Victoria) – Chlorophenols

2008-15 – Strathbogie (Victoria) – Chlorophenols

Regulated Water Supply

18/10/2011: Strathbogie 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol = 460 µg/L

17/06/2013: Strathbogie 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

15/6/2015: Strathbogie 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

 

17/09/2008: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

22/10/2008: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.7 µg/L

17/12/2008: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 2 µg/L

22/07/2009: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

23/09/2009: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

21/10/2009: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 2 µg/L

20/01/2010: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

21/06/2010: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

19/07/2010: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

18/10/2010: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 3 µg/L

17/01/2011: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 2 µg/L

21/03/2011: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

23/06/2011: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

18/07/2011: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

19/09/2011: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.8 µg/L

20/03/2012: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.8 µg/L

17/04/2012: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.5 µg/L

17/07/2012: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

16/10/2012: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.8 µg/L

17/06/2013: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

18/09/2014: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.6 µg/L

19/01/2015: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 1 µg/L

16/11/2015: Strathbogie 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 5.2 µg/L

ADWG Guidelines: 2,4,6-trichlorophenol Health: 20 µg/L Aesthetic: 2 µg/L

No Guideline exists for 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol

Chlorophenols

Included with the Freedom of Information request from Goulburn Valley Water were detections for 2,4,5 Trichlorophenol (8 detections) (highest level: 460 µg/L 18/10/11 Strathbogie) and 2,4-6 Trichlorophenol (96 detections) (highest level 5.2µg/L: Strathbogie 16/11/15).

According to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

“ Chlorophenols may be present in drinking water as a result of chlorination of water that contains phenol or lower chlorophenols, or from contamination of water sources. Chlorination of water containing natural organic compounds can produce very low concentrations of chlorophenols. Degradation of phenoxy herbicides such as 2,4,5 – T and 2,4 – D also generates chlorophenols…

Chlorophenols are used commercially as preservatives, moth – proofing agents, germicides and anti – mildew agents…. No data are available on concentrations of chlorophenols in Australian drinking waters. If present at all, it is likely that concentrations would be extremely low.”

2,4,6 Trichlorophenol is listed under the 2002-3 Goulburn Valley Water – Water Quality Annual Report as “Health – Related Organics – Organic chemicals that can impact on the health of consumers are rarely present in drinking water supplies, but could potentially be present in raw water sources as a result of accidental spills or misuse.”

Due to the unknown source of the Trichlorophenols, these detections were not included in the final pesticide data in this report, but are assumed to be a byproduct of disinfection. Average level of 2,4,6 Trichlorophenol detected 2008-16 in 33 locations: 0.93µg/L. Average level 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol detected 2011-15 in 4 locations: 72.87µg/L.

“Under the Radar” Pesticide Detections Victorian Water Supplies 2007-2016 – Anthony Amis – Friends of the Earth Melbourne October 2017

2013/15 – Strathmerton (Victoria) – Chlorophenols, Iron

2014 – Strathmerton (Victoria) – Chlorophenols

7/05/2014 Strathmerton 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol = 20 µg/L

ADWG Guidelines: 2,4,6-trichlorophenol Health: 20 µg/L Aesthetic: 2 µg/L

No Guideline exists for 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol

Chlorophenols

Included with the Freedom of Information request from Goulburn Valley Water were detections for 2,4,5 Trichlorophenol (8 detections) (highest level: 460 µg/L 18/10/11 Strathbogie) and 2,4-6 Trichlorophenol (96 detections) (highest level 5.2µg/L: Strathbogie 16/11/15).

According to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

“ Chlorophenols may be present in drinking water as a result of chlorination of water that contains phenol or lower chlorophenols, or from contamination of water sources. Chlorination of water containing natural organic compounds can produce very low concentrations of chlorophenols. Degradation of phenoxy herbicides such as 2,4,5 – T and 2,4 – D also generates chlorophenols…

Chlorophenols are used commercially as preservatives, moth – proofing agents, germicides and anti – mildew agents…. No data are available on concentrations of chlorophenols in Australian drinking waters. If present at all, it is likely that concentrations would be extremely low.”

2,4,6 Trichlorophenol is listed under the 2002-3 Goulburn Valley Water – Water Quality Annual Report as “Health – Related Organics – Organic chemicals that can impact on the health of consumers are rarely present in drinking water supplies, but could potentially be present in raw water sources as a result of accidental spills or misuse.”

Due to the unknown source of the Trichlorophenols, these detections were not included in the final pesticide data in this report, but are assumed to be a byproduct of disinfection. Average level of 2,4,6 Trichlorophenol detected 2008-16 in 33 locations: 0.93µg/L. Average level 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol detected 2011-15 in 4 locations: 72.87µg/L.

“Under the Radar” Pesticide Detections Victorian Water Supplies 2007-2016 – Anthony Amis – Friends of the Earth Melbourne October 2017

Strathmerton –  Victoria – Iron

2013/14: Strathmerton (Victoria)  – Iron 0.57mg/L (max)

2014/15: Strathmerton (Victoria)  – Iron 0.57mg/L (max)

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

2008/2013 + 2016/21 – Broadford (Victoria) – Chlorophenols, Turbidity, Colour, Iron, Manganese

2008-11 Broadford (Victoria) – Chlorophenols

9/02/2011: Broadford 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol = 50 µg/L

5/01/2011: Broadford 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol = 30 µg/L

6/07/2009: Broadford 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.6 µg/L

1/12/2008: Broadford 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol = 0.7 µg/L

ADWG Guidelines: 2,4,6-trichlorophenol Health: 20 µg/L Aesthetic: 2 µg/L

No Guideline exists for 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol

Chlorophenols

Included with the Freedom of Information request from Goulburn Valley Water were detections for 2,4,5 Trichlorophenol (8 detections) (highest level: 460 µg/L 18/10/11 Strathbogie) and 2,4-6 Trichlorophenol (96 detections) (highest level 5.2µg/L: Strathbogie 16/11/15).

According to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

“ Chlorophenols may be present in drinking water as a result of chlorination of water that contains phenol or lower chlorophenols, or from contamination of water sources. Chlorination of water containing natural organic compounds can produce very low concentrations of chlorophenols. Degradation of phenoxy herbicides such as 2,4,5 – T and 2,4 – D also generates chlorophenols…

Chlorophenols are used commercially as preservatives, moth – proofing agents, germicides and anti – mildew agents…. No data are available on concentrations of chlorophenols in Australian drinking waters. If present at all, it is likely that concentrations would be extremely low.”

2,4,6 Trichlorophenol is listed under the 2002-3 Goulburn Valley Water – Water Quality Annual Report as “Health – Related Organics – Organic chemicals that can impact on the health of consumers are rarely present in drinking water supplies, but could potentially be present in raw water sources as a result of accidental spills or misuse.”

Due to the unknown source of the Trichlorophenols, these detections were not included in the final pesticide data in this report, but are assumed to be a byproduct of disinfection. Average level of 2,4,6 Trichlorophenol detected 2008-16 in 33 locations: 0.93µg/L. Average level 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol detected 2011-15 in 4 locations: 72.87µg/L.

“Under the Radar” Pesticide Detections Victorian Water Supplies 2007-2016 – Anthony Amis – Friends of the Earth Melbourne October 2017

2012/13 – Broadford (Victoria) – Turbidity

2012/13 – Broadford (Victoria) – Turbidity 7.6NTU (max)

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

Broadford –  Victoria – Iron

2016/17: Broadford (Victoria)  – Iron 0.52mg/L (max)

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

Broadford (Victoria) – Colour

2016/17 Broadford (Victoria) – Colour 78 HU (highest level)

Based on aesthetic considerations, true colour in drinking water should not exceed 15 HU.

“… Colour is generally related to organic content, and while colour derived from natural sources such as humic and fulvic acids is not a health consideration, chlorination of such water can produce a variety of chlorinated organic compounds as by-products (see Section 6.3.2 on disinfection by-products). If the colour is high at the time of disinfection, then the water should be checked for disinfection by-products. It should be noted, however, that low colour at the time of disinfection does not necessarily mean that the concentration of disinfection by-products will be low…

Broadford (Victoria) – Manganese

2021/21: Broadford (Vic)  0.53mg/L (max), 0.031mg/L (av.)

Manganese: ADWG Guidelines 0.5mg/L. ADWG Aesthetic Guideline 0.1mg/L
Manganese is found in the natural environment. Manganese in drinking water above 0.1mg/L can give water an unpleasant taste and stain plumbing fixtures and laundry.

2015 – Moledinar (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes, Fluoride

11/2/15 – Molendinar (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

Southern Regional Pipeline (SRP) – Molendinar (Total trihalomethane 0.29 mg/L, 11/02/2015). The affected water was from Mt Crosby WTP and had received break point chlorination at the Chambers Flat WQMF. This process combined with relatively long detention times in the SRP resulted in total THM formation above the ADWG limit. Seqwater reviewed the delivery of this water to the remainder of the SRP and the distribution system reservoirs and undertook further testing. The affected water was found to have been sufficiently diluted by blending with water supplied from the Gold Coast’s WTPs so that water supplied to the community was below the ADWG limit.

SEQWater Annual Drinking Water Quality Plan 2014/15

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. US EPA

2015 – Moledinar (Queensland) – Fluoride

Molendinar WTP Fluoride (Operational monitoring indicating Fluoride 1.5 – 1.7 mg/L for approximately 45 minutes on outlet mains). 26/06/2015. A minor operational overdose occurred during flow meter interlock testing of the fluoridation system before the interlocks on the online fluoride analysers shut down the system. The Fluoridation system was shut down and the treated water was tested by a series of grab samples. This confirmed that no affected water had left site and the on-site storages were not affected due to their large capacity and the short duration of the exceedance. Further sampling and testing in the distribution system confirmed that fluoride concentrations were not affected by the incident.

“Fluoride occurs naturally in seawater (1.4 mg/L), soil (up to 300 parts per million) and air (from volcanic gases and industrial pollution). Naturally occurring fluoride concentrations in drinking water depend on the type of soil and rock through which the water drains. Generally, concentrations in surface water are relatively low (<0.1–0.5 mg/L), while water from deeper wells may have quite high concentrations (1–10 mg/L) if the rock formations are fluoride-rich.” 2011 ADWG.

2016 – Coolmunda Dam (Queensland) – E.coli

2016 – Coolmunda Dam (Queensland) – E.coli

Notifications to the Regulator under sections 102 and 102A of the Act

One (1) notification to the regulator under sections 102 and 102A of the Act was made between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016. This incident was a detection of E.Coli and occurred at Coolmunda Dam WTP

Operators at the Coolmunda Dam WTP took their regular microbacteriological sample at 0900 on 01/02/2016 at two sample locations, the picnic ground and the SunWater office on site. The sample was sent to Toowoomba Regional Water Laboratory Services, Mt Kynoch, Toowoomba for testing and analysis and arrived on 02/02/2016. SunWater received the test report from the laboratory by email at 0936 on Tuesday 09/02/2016, which showed the sample tested positive for E. coli at the picnic ground with a reading of 3 CFU/100ml and had also had unusually high detections of both total coliforms (820 CFU/100ml) and elevated total plate count (TPC) (>2,000 CFU/100ml). Records showed that the free chlorine residual at the picnic ground sample location was 0.59 mg/L on 01/02/2016 and the pH was around 7.6.

Sunwater Annual Drinking Water Quality 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

2014/18 – Clare (Queensland) – E.coli, Chlorine, Turbidity, pH

2018: Clare (Queensland) – E.coli

Clare WTP – E.Coli Detection (23/4/2018)

After routine mains flushing on 19/4/2018 elevated turbidity levels were detected in the reticulation network. An E.Coli sample was taken at the three regular sample points to assess the risk of contamination and this returned positive. This was accompanied with no detections of HPC, and with adequate free chlorine and pH levels. Supplementary samples were taken and these all returned no further detections of E.Coli.

“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

2015 – Clare (Queensland) – Chlorine

2 – The sample taken from Clare WTP on 10/7/2015 does reflect the hand written operator logs and are therefore believed to be an accurate recording of the sample taken, however the sample location is prior to the clear water storage and does not represent the final treated water. The sample taken on the same day on the outlet of the clear water storage shows a total chlorine of 3.52 mg/L and the next day 11/7/2015 shows 2.24 mg/L at the tank outlet. This data indicates that no water exceeding 5 mg/L of total chlorine was released by the WTP.

3 & 4 – The samples taken from Clare WTP on 3/9/2015 show 5.9 mg/L of total chlorine at the outlet of the clear water storage, and 5.3 mg/L of total chlorine at the town pool reservoir sample point. These recordings reflect the operator hand-written logs and are therefore believed to be an accurate recording of the sample taken. The logs state that on 3/9/2015 the operators identified an air lock in the chlorine dosing pump which had been preventing chlorine dosing. In order to ensure all water leaving the plant was disinfected sodium hypochlorite was added directly to the clear water storage tank. It is believed that this has resulted in the high total chlorine readings.

The two sample points above, while treated water, do not represent the final water provided to customers “at the tap”. The SunWater office, and school sample points are at customer tap locations and these two sample points showed 3.37 mg/L and 3.10 mg/L of total chlorine respectively on 3/9/2015, and 0.61 mg/L and 0.64 mg/L the following day on 4/9/2015.

At no time in any of the above instances were any customer complaints received by SunWater, and there have been no reports (suspected or confirmed) of any illnesses.

Sunwater Annual Drinking Water Quality Plan 2015/16

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

2014/18 – Clare (Queensland) – Turbidity

2014/15 – Clare (Queensland) – Turbidity 37.87NTU (max), 1.31NTU (av)

2017/18 – Clare (Queensland) – Turbidity > 5 NTU (23/10/2017). Due to a failure in the coagulant dosing pump during the night the WTP operated for a period without adequate flocculation of sediment in the clarifier which resulted in levels of elevated turbidity.

In March 2018, due to extreme rainfall and releases from the Burdekin falls dam causing major localised flooding there was a significant deterioration in raw water quality at the Clare WTP (up to 600 NTU).

When it became apparent that the WTP was not capable of treating the raw water while maintaining the treated water quality requirements supply was ceased on 14/3/2018 to prevent delivery of out of spec water to the community. This resulted in an unplanned interruption to supply. The community was notified and free bottled water was supplied from the SunWater office. A tanker of potable water was used to supplement the network supply on 15/3/2018.

Preventive actions undertaken

SunWater has reviewed the circumstances leading to the event. The turbidity increase was more severe and more prolonged than expected. This has been noted and in future events a decision to provide an alternate supply of water will be made earlier to ensure that supply is not restricted to the township.

Sun Water Water Quality Management Plan 2017/18

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

Clare (Queensland) – pH (alkaline)

2014/15: Clare (Queensland) pH 8.6739 (av)

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings. Corrosion can be reduced by the formation of a protective layer of calcium carbonate on the inside of the pipe or fitting, and the formation of this layer is affected by pH, temperature, the availability of calcium (hardness) and carbon dioxide. If the water is too alkaline (above pH 8.5), the rapid deposition and build-up of calcium carbonate that can result may eventually block the pipe.

2015/16 – Mer (Queensland) – Chloride

2015/16 – Mer (Queensland) – Chloride

2015/16: Mer (Queensland)  Chloride 280mg/L (Highest Level)

“Chloride is present in natural waters from the dissolution of salt deposits, and contamination from effluent disposal. Sodium chloride is widely used in the production of industrial chemicals such as caustic soda, chlorine, and sodium chlorite and hypochlorite. Potassium chloride is used in the production of fertilisers.

The taste threshold of chloride in water is dependent on the associated cation but is in the range 200–300 mg/L. The chloride content of water can affect corrosion of pipes and fittings. It can also affect the solubility of metal ions.

In surface water, the concentration of chloride is usually less than 100 mg/L and frequently below 10 mg/L. Groundwater can have higher concentrations, particularly if there is salt water intrusion.

Based on aesthetic considerations, the chloride concentration in drinking water should not exceed 250 mg/L.

No health-based guideline value is proposed for chloride.” 2011 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

 

2015/16 – Kubin (Queensland) – pH

2015/16 – Kubin (Queensland) – pH (acidic)

2015/16 – Kubin (Queensland) – pH 6.4 av. (from two samples only)

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings. Corrosion can be reduced by the formation of a protective layer of calcium carbonate on the inside of the pipe or fitting, and the formation of this layer is affected by pH, temperature, the availability of calcium (hardness) and carbon dioxide. If the water is too alkaline (above pH 8.5), the rapid deposition and build-up of calcium carbonate that can result may eventually block the pipe.

2015/16 – Badu (Queensland) – pH

2015/16 – Badu (Queensland) – pH (acidic)

2015/16 – Badu (Queensland) – pH 4.6 (from one sample only)

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings. Corrosion can be reduced by the formation of a protective layer of calcium carbonate on the inside of the pipe or fitting, and the formation of this layer is affected by pH, temperature, the availability of calcium (hardness) and carbon dioxide. If the water is too alkaline (above pH 8.5), the rapid deposition and build-up of calcium carbonate that can result may eventually block the pipe.

2016 – Erub (Queensland) – E.coli

2016: Erub (Queensland) – E.coli
29/6/16: Erub (Queensland) – E.coli

E.Coli with a level of 71CFMU was detected at the Council office on 29/06/16.

It was suspected that that the sample water was contaminated, since E.Coli was not detected at other sites. There were also reported issues with the PaCl dosing at the WTP which were reported as a potential cause. Further follow up investigations in December revealed that water was being samped from property tanks rather than the mains, because the mains water was typically only turned on 1 day per week to fill the tanks. This incorrect procedure was corrected while the desal plant was operating, because this was constantly pumping water into the mains.

The Boil Water Alert at Erub was removed on 26/08/16

TSIRC 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

2016 – St. Pauls (Queensland) – E.coli

2016: St Pauls (Queensland) – E.coli
17/6/16: St Pauls (Queensland) – E.coli

E.Coli with a level of 1 CFMU was recorded at V.Joseph’s house.

It was found that the chlorine was not monitored for 3 weeks by the realised water officer. The chlorine pump had gassed up and this hadn’t been realised by the relieving water officer.

The boil water alert at St Pauls was removed on 26/8/16.

TSIRC 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

2016 – Saibai (Queensland) – E.coli

2016: Saibai (Queensland) – E.coli
20/1/16: Saibai (Queensland) – E.coli

E.Coli was detected at 4/5 locations and the failed readings were between 15 and 94.5 CFMU MPN.

It was found that there was inadequate chlorination, incorrect use of the pocket colorimeter and high turbidity through the mains. The high turbidity in the mains resulted  from using water from the mud lagoons while their level was low, with a raw water turbidity which was too great for the single media filter to tolerate.

The Boil Water Notice at Saibai commenced on 20/01/16 and remains in place as of 19/12/16

TSIRC 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

2015/16 – Hammond (Queensland) – E.coli

2015/16: Hammond (Queensland) – E.coli
9/12/15: Hammond (Queensland) – E.coli

E.Coli was detected at all 5 sample points at levels of between 1 and 5 CFMU.

It was much later confirmed that the numerous errors with chlorine sampling were being made and the water officers competence is currently being assessed to determine if the Boil Water Alert can be removed.

Water Officer underwent retraining. The chlorine pump was gassing up and needed to be checked regularly.

The Boil Water Notification was removed on 5/01/16.

12/1/16: Hammond (Queensland) – E.coli

E.Coli was detected at 3/5 locations – Water Shed, M.Loban house and Village tap. E.Coli levels were between 2 and 4.1CFMU.

E.Coli failures were ongoing throughout 2016 which were largely caused by chorine dosing issues, but high turbidity of the filtered well water was also thought to be a contributing factor for some failures which reduce the effectiveness of chlorination. Numerous errors in the chlorine sampling technique resulted a failure to identify the inadequate chlorination.  It is suspected that there is an issue with the media filters, which is due to be addressed early in 2017.

The Boil Water Notice at Hammond was in place from 13/01/2016 to 21/11/16. The Boil Water Notice was lifted under the condition that the well water would not be used.

TSIRC 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

2015/16 – Dauan (Queensland) – E.coli

2015: Dauan (Queensland) – E.coli
14/9/15: Dauan (Queensland) – E.coli

E.Coli was detected at levels of 36.4CFMU at the Aquis sampling point and 9.9CFMU at N. Mooka’s house.

A Boil Water Alert was issued on 15/01/16 and this still remains in place as of 19/12/16. A new water officer was hired recently and the water officer’s competence is currently being assessed to determine if the Boil Water Alert can be removed.

TSIRC 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

2016 July – Iama (Queensland) – E.coli

2016: Iama (Queensland) – E.coli
8/7/16: Iama (Queensland) – E.coli

“E.Coli was detected at a level of 4CFMU at the Iama school.

The engineering officer monitored free chlorine levels which ranged from 0.26 to 0.38mg/L. The sample at the school was taken from the school tank during the school holidays when the usage was low. It was determined that the chlorine had most likely burned off in the tank due to low usage levels. Hypo 10 was added to the school storage tank. The sampling point was also moved to a location before the water storage tank.

The boil water alert was removed in August 2015.”

TSIRC 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

2016/17 – Tully Rural (Queensland) – E.coli

2016/17: Tully Rural (Queensland) – E.coli
23/11/16: Tully Rural (Queensland) – E.coli: 19MPN/100ml
21/3/17: Tully Rural (Queensland) – E.coli: 12MPN/100ml.

“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

2009/16 – Tully (Queensland) – E.coli, Turbidity

2009/11: Tully (Queensland) – E.coli
(exact date ?): Tully (Queensland) – E.coli: 1MPN/100ml

“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

2009/16 – Tully (Queensland) – Turbidity

2009/16: Tully (Queensland) – Turbidity 120NTU (max), 3.74NTU av.

19/7/16: Tully (Queensland) – Turbidity 108NTU (max) – 242.5mm of rainfall within 7 days

10/1/17: Tully (Queensland) – Turbidity 39.95NTU (max) – 621mm of rainfall within 4 days

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

2009/11 + 2017 – Cardwell (Queensland) – E.coli, Aluminium, Turbidity

2017: Cardwell (Queensland) – E.coli
10/1/17: Cardwell (Queensland) – E.coli: 6CFU/100ml
8/2/17: Cardwell (Queensland) – E.coli: 1CFU/100ml
23/2/17: Cardwell (Queensland) – E.coli: 2CFU/100ml
21/3/17: Cardwell (Queensland) – E.coli: 12CFU/100ml

“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

Cardwell (Queensland) – Aluminium

2011: Cardwell (Queensland) Aluminium 0.25mg/L (Highest Level Only)
Australian Guideline: Aluminium 0.2mg/L

According to the ADWG, no health guideline has been adopted for Aluminium, but that the issue is still open to review. Aluminium can come from natural geological sources or from the use of aluminium salts as coagulants in water treatment plants. According to the ADWG “A well-operated water filtration plant (even using aluminium as a flocculant) can achieve aluminium concentrations in the finished water of less than 0.1 mg/L.

The most common form of aluminium in water treatment plants is Aluminium Sulfate (Alum). Alum can be supplied as a bulk liquid or in granular form. It is used at water treatment plants as a coagulant to remove turbidity, microorganisms, organic matter and inorganic chemicals. If water is particularly dirty an Alum dose of as high as 500mg/L could occur. There is also concern that other metals may also exist in refined alum.

While the ADWG mentions that there is considerable evidence that Aluminium is neurotoxic and can pass the gut barrier to accumulate in the blood, leading to a condition called encephalopathy (dialysis dementia) and that Aluminium has been associated with Parkinsonism dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the NHMRC, whilst also acknowledging studies which have linked Aluminium with Alzheimer disease, has not granted Aluminium a NOEL (No Observable Effect Level) due to insufficient and contradictory data. Without a NOEL, a health guideline cannot be established. The NHMRC has also stated that if new information comes to hand, a health guideline may be established in the future.

In communication with Aluminium expert Dr Chris Exley (Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry
The Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire UK) in March 2013 regarding high levels of Aluminium detected in the South Western Victorian town of Hamilton
“It is my opinion that any value above 0.5 mg/L is totally unacceptable and a potential health risk. Where such values are maintained over days, weeks or even months, as indeed is indicated by the data you sent to me, these represent a significant health risk to all consumers. While consumers may not experience any short term health effects the result of longer term exposure to elevated levels of aluminium in potable waters may be a significant increase in the body burden of aluminium in these individuals. This artificially increased body burden will not return to ‘normal’ levels when the Al content of the potable water returns to normal but will act as a new platform level from which the Al body burden will continue to increase with age.

2009/11 – Cardwell (Queensland) – Turbidity

2009/11: Cardwell (Queensland) – Turbidity 17.5NTU (max), 1.98NTU av.

20/7/16: Cardwell (Queensland) – Turbidity 17.7 NTU, caused by 242.5mm rainfall in 7 days.

8/2/17: Cardwell (Queensland) – Turbidity 22.6 NTU, caused by 122mm rainfall.

17/2/17: Cardwell (Queensland) – Turbidity 23.9 NTU, caused by 100mm rainfall.

25/2/17: Cardwell (Queensland) – Turbidity 20+ NTU, caused by 56mm rainfall.

6/3/17: Cardwell (Queensland) – Turbidity 58.6 NTU, caused by 52mm rainfall.

10/3/17: Cardwell (Queensland) – Turbidity 98.6 NTU, caused by 70mm rainfall.

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

2012/16 – Nyleta (Queensland) Chlorine, Aluminium, Turbidity, Iron, Colour

2012/16 – Nyleta (Queensland) – Chlorine

2012/16: Nyleta (Queensland) – Chlorine 5.36mg/L (highest level)

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.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

Nyleta (Queensland) – Aluminium

2012/16: Nyleta (Queensland) Aluminium 0.4mg/L (Highest Level Only)
Australian Guideline: Aluminium 0.2mg/L

According to the ADWG, no health guideline has been adopted for Aluminium, but that the issue is still open to review. Aluminium can come from natural geological sources or from the use of aluminium salts as coagulants in water treatment plants. According to the ADWG “A well-operated water filtration plant (even using aluminium as a flocculant) can achieve aluminium concentrations in the finished water of less than 0.1 mg/L.

The most common form of aluminium in water treatment plants is Aluminium Sulfate (Alum). Alum can be supplied as a bulk liquid or in granular form. It is used at water treatment plants as a coagulant to remove turbidity, microorganisms, organic matter and inorganic chemicals. If water is particularly dirty an Alum dose of as high as 500mg/L could occur. There is also concern that other metals may also exist in refined alum.

While the ADWG mentions that there is considerable evidence that Aluminium is neurotoxic and can pass the gut barrier to accumulate in the blood, leading to a condition called encephalopathy (dialysis dementia) and that Aluminium has been associated with Parkinsonism dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the NHMRC, whilst also acknowledging studies which have linked Aluminium with Alzheimer disease, has not granted Aluminium a NOEL (No Observable Effect Level) due to insufficient and contradictory data. Without a NOEL, a health guideline cannot be established. The NHMRC has also stated that if new information comes to hand, a health guideline may be established in the future.

In communication with Aluminium expert Dr Chris Exley (Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry
The Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire UK) in March 2013 regarding high levels of Aluminium detected in the South Western Victorian town of Hamilton
“It is my opinion that any value above 0.5 mg/L is totally unacceptable and a potential health risk. Where such values are maintained over days, weeks or even months, as indeed is indicated by the data you sent to me, these represent a significant health risk to all consumers. While consumers may not experience any short term health effects the result of longer term exposure to elevated levels of aluminium in potable waters may be a significant increase in the body burden of aluminium in these individuals. This artificially increased body burden will not return to ‘normal’ levels when the Al content of the potable water returns to normal but will act as a new platform level from which the Al body burden will continue to increase with age.

2012/16 – Nyleta (Queensland) – Turbidity

2012/16: Nyleta (Queensland) – Turbidity ~72.2NTU (max)

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

2012/16 Nyleta (Queensland) – Iron

2012/16: Nyleta (Queensland)  – Iron 0.56mg/L (max)

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

2012-16 – Nyleta (Queensland) – Colour

2012-16 Nyleta – Colour ~34HU (highest level), average 3.9

Based on aesthetic considerations, true colour in drinking water should not exceed 15 HU.

“… Colour is generally related to organic content, and while colour derived from natural sources such as humic and fulvic acids is not a health consideration, chlorination of such water can produce a variety of chlorinated organic compounds as by-products (see Section 6.3.2 on disinfection by-products). If the colour is high at the time of disinfection, then the water should be checked for disinfection by-products. It should be noted, however, that low colour at the time of disinfection does not necessarily mean that the concentration of disinfection by-products will be low…

2001/11 + 2017 – Innisfail (Queensland) – Turbidity, Colour

2017 – Innisfail (Queensland) – Turbidity

10/1/17: Innisfail (Queensland) – Turbidity 500NTU (max). Depletion of reservoirs due to inability to treat water above 1500NTU. 800mm in 3 days

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

2001-11 – Innisfail (Queensland) – Colour

2001-11 Innisfail – Colour ~17HU (highest level), average 2.2

Based on aesthetic considerations, true colour in drinking water should not exceed 15 HU.

“… Colour is generally related to organic content, and while colour derived from natural sources such as humic and fulvic acids is not a health consideration, chlorination of such water can produce a variety of chlorinated organic compounds as by-products (see Section 6.3.2 on disinfection by-products). If the colour is high at the time of disinfection, then the water should be checked for disinfection by-products. It should be noted, however, that low colour at the time of disinfection does not necessarily mean that the concentration of disinfection by-products will be low…

2011 – Kadina (South Australia) – Monochloramine

Kadina (South Australia) – Monochloramines

6/9/11: Kadina Monochloramines 4.6mg/L (highest levels only)

According to the ADWG 2011: “Based on health considerations, the concentration of monochloramine in drinking water should not exceed 3mg/L (equivalent to 4.1mg Cl as C12/L) [Note: this changed in 2015 to 5 mg Cl as C12/L]

Some water supplies may also be disinfected through a process called Chloramination where ammonia is added to the water prior to the chlorine, which in turn can create Monochloramines. Sunlight does not degrade Monochloramines to the same extent as chlorine, meaning that water can be stored for longer periods of time.

“Chloramines are produced by combining chlorine and ammonia…Chloramines are weaker disinfectants than chlorine, but are more stable, thus extending disinfectant benefits throughout a water utility’s distribution system. They are not used as the primary disinfectant for your water. Chloramines are used for maintaining a disinfectant residual in the distribution system so that disinfected drinking water is kept safe.

Chloramine can also provide the following benefits:

• Since chloramines are not as reactive as chlorine with organic material in water, they produce substantially lower concentrations of disinfection byproducts in the distribution system. Some disinfection byproducts, such as the trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), may have adverse health effects at high levels. These disinfection byproducts are closely regulated by EPA. EPA recently reduced the allowable Maximum Contaminant Levels for total THMs to 80 ug/L (250ug/L in Australia) and now limit HAAs to 60 ug/L. The use of chlorine and chloramines is also regulated by the EPA. We have Maximum Residual Disinfectant Levels of 4.0 mg/L for both these disinfectants. However, our concern is not from their toxicity, but to assure adequate control of the disinfection byproducts.

• Because the chloramine residual is more stable and longer lasting than free chlorine, it provides better protection against bacterial regrowth in systems with large storage tanks and dead-end water mains.

• Chloramine, like chlorine, is effective in controlling biofilm, which is a slime coating in the pipe caused by bacteria. Controlling biofilms also tends to reduce coliform bacteria concentrations and biofilm-induced corrosion of pipes. • Because chloramine does not tend to react with organic compounds, many systems will experience less incidence of taste and odor complaints when using chloramine. (12)

“Chloramine (as CI2) is a water additive used to control microbes, particularly as a residual disinfectant in distribution system pipes. It is formed when ammonia is added to water containing free chlorine. Monochloramine is one form of chloramines commonly used for disinfection by municipal water systems. Other chloramines (di- and tri-) are not intentionally used to disinfect drinking water and are generally not formed during the drinking water disinfection process. Some people who use water containing chloramine in excess of the maximum residual disinfectant level could experience irritating effects to their eyes and nose, stomach discomfort or anemia.” (13)

“Although monochloramine has been shown to be mutagenic in some in vitro studies, it has not been found to be genotoxic in vivo. In the absence of data on human cancer and on the basis of inadequate evidence for the carcinogenicity of monochloramine in experimental animals, monochloramine was evaluated by IARC as not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity (Group 3). The US EPA classified monochloramine in group D, not classifiable as to its human carcinogenicity, in that there is inadequate human and animal evidence. IPCS did not consider that the increase in mononuclear cell leukaemia was treatment-related. In the NTP bioassay in two species, the incidence of mononuclear cell leukaemias in female F344/N rats was increased, but no other increases in tumour incidence were observed”. (14)

(12) https://www.epa.gov/region9/water/chloramine.html

(13) https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/disinfectants.cfm

(14) Monochloramine in Drinking-water Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinkingwater Quality 2004

2006 + 2016/23 – Strathalbyn (South Australia) – Monochloramine, pH, Ammonia

Strathalbyn (South Australia) – Monochloramines

27/2/06: Strathalbyn Monochloramines 4.8mg/L (highest levels only)

20/2/06: Strathalbyn Monochloramines 4.7mg/L

According to the ADWG 2011: “Based on health considerations, the concentration of monochloramine in drinking water should not exceed 3mg/L (equivalent to 4.1mg Cl as C12/L). [Note this guideline changed to 5mg Cl as C12/L in 2015]
Some water supplies may also be disinfected through a process called Chloramination where ammonia is added to the water prior to the chlorine, which in turn can create Monochloramines. Sunlight does not degrade Monochloramines to the same extent as chlorine, meaning that water can be stored for longer periods of time.

“Chloramines are produced by combining chlorine and ammonia…Chloramines are weaker disinfectants than chlorine, but are more stable, thus extending disinfectant benefits throughout a water utility’s distribution system. They are not used as the primary disinfectant for your water. Chloramines are used for maintaining a disinfectant residual in the distribution system so that disinfected drinking water is kept safe.

Chloramine can also provide the following benefits:

• Since chloramines are not as reactive as chlorine with organic material in water, they produce substantially lower concentrations of disinfection byproducts in the distribution system. Some disinfection byproducts, such as the trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), may have adverse health effects at high levels. These disinfection byproducts are closely regulated by EPA. EPA recently reduced the allowable Maximum Contaminant Levels for total THMs to 80 ug/L (250ug/L in Australia) and now limit HAAs to 60 ug/L. The use of chlorine and chloramines is also regulated by the EPA. We have Maximum Residual Disinfectant Levels of 4.0 mg/L for both these disinfectants. However, our concern is not from their toxicity, but to assure adequate control of the disinfection byproducts.

• Because the chloramine residual is more stable and longer lasting than free chlorine, it provides better protection against bacterial regrowth in systems with large storage tanks and dead-end water mains.

• Chloramine, like chlorine, is effective in controlling biofilm, which is a slime coating in the pipe caused by bacteria. Controlling biofilms also tends to reduce coliform bacteria concentrations and biofilm-induced corrosion of pipes. • Because chloramine does not tend to react with organic compounds, many systems will experience less incidence of taste and odor complaints when using chloramine. (12)

“Chloramine (as CI2) is a water additive used to control microbes, particularly as a residual disinfectant in distribution system pipes. It is formed when ammonia is added to water containing free chlorine. Monochloramine is one form of chloramines commonly used for disinfection by municipal water systems. Other chloramines (di- and tri-) are not intentionally used to disinfect drinking water and are generally not formed during the drinking water disinfection process. Some people who use water containing chloramine in excess of the maximum residual disinfectant level could experience irritating effects to their eyes and nose, stomach discomfort or anemia.” (13)

“Although monochloramine has been shown to be mutagenic in some in vitro studies, it has not been found to be genotoxic in vivo. In the absence of data on human cancer and on the basis of inadequate evidence for the carcinogenicity of monochloramine in experimental animals, monochloramine was evaluated by IARC as not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity (Group 3). The US EPA classified monochloramine in group D, not classifiable as to its human carcinogenicity, in that there is inadequate human and animal evidence. IPCS did not consider that the increase in mononuclear cell leukaemia was treatment-related. In the NTP bioassay in two species, the incidence of mononuclear cell leukaemias in female F344/N rats was increased, but no other increases in tumour incidence were observed”. (14)

(12) https://www.epa.gov/region9/water/chloramine.html

(13) https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/disinfectants.cfm

(14) Monochloramine in Drinking-water Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinkingwater Quality 2004

Strathalbyn (South Australia) – pH (alkaline)

Average pH: 2016 July-2017 June: 8.515 pH units

2018/19: Strathalbyn (South Australia). Average pH: 8.618pH units

2019/20: Strathalbyn pH (average) 8.8pH units

2022/23: Strathalbyn pH (average) 8.65pH units

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings. Corrosion can be reduced by the formation of a protective layer of calcium carbonate on the inside of the pipe or fitting, and the formation of this layer is affected by pH, temperature, the availability of calcium (hardness) and carbon dioxide. If the water is too alkaline (above pH 8.5), the rapid deposition and build-up of calcium carbonate that can result may eventually block the pipe.

When pH is below 6.5 or above 11, the water may corrode plumbing fittings and pipes. This, however, will depend on other factors such as the material used, the concentration and type of ions in solution, the availability of oxygen, and the water temperature. Under some conditions, particularly in the presence of strong oxidising agents such as chlorine, water with a pH between 6.5 and 7 can be quite corrosive.

Chlorine disinfection efficiency is impaired above pH 8.0, although the optimum pH for monochloramine disinfectant formation is between 8.0 and 8.4. In chloraminated supplies chlorine can react with ammonia to form odorous nitrogen trichloride below pH 7.

Chlorination of water supplies can decrease the pH, while it can be significantly raised by lime leached from new concrete tanks or from pipes lined with asbestos cement or cement mortar. Values of pH above 9.5 can cause a bitter taste in drinking water, and can irritate skin if the water is used for ablutions.

Strathalbyn  (South Australia) – Ammonia

30/10/20: Strathalbyn (South Australia) Ammonia – Free – as NH3 0.5mg/L

Based on aesthetic considerations (corrosion of copper pipes and fittings), the concentration
of ammonia (measured as ammonia) in drinking water should not exceed 0.5 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value is set for ammonia.

“…Most uncontaminated source waters have ammonia concentrations below 0.2 mg/L. High concentrations (greater than 10 mg/L) have been reported where water is contaminated with animal waste. Ammonia is unlikely to be detected in chlorinated supplies as it reacts quickly with free chlorine. Ammonia in water can result in the corrosion of copper pipes and fittings, causing copper stains on sanitary ware. It is also a food source for some microorganisms, and can support nuisance growths of bacteria and algae, often with a resultant increase in the nitrite concentration.” ADWG 2011

2011 + 2016/19 – Loxton (South Australia) – Monochloramines, pH

Loxton (South Australia) – Monochloramines

22/2/11: Loxton Monochloramines 5mg/L (highest level only)

22/2/11: Loxton Monochloramines 4.7mg/L

3/5/11: Loxton Monochloramines 4.6mg/L

Average Monochloramine levels for Loxton over 6 year period are 3.219mg/L – 21% below the 4.1mg/L ADWG guideline. February – July 2011 marked above guideline levels at Loxton.

According to the ADWG 2011: “Based on health considerations, the concentration of monochloramine in drinking water should not exceed 3mg/L (equivalent to 4.1mg Cl as C12/L). [Note in 2015 this was changed to 3mg/L equivalent to 5mg Cl as C12/L]
Some water supplies may also be disinfected through a process called Chloramination where ammonia is added to the water prior to the chlorine, which in turn can create Monochloramines. Sunlight does not degrade Monochloramines to the same extent as chlorine, meaning that water can be stored for longer periods of time.
Between January 2000 and July 2012, SA Water recorded over 50 incidences of

Monochloramines breaching or the same as the 2011 ADWG.

“Chloramines are produced by combining chlorine and ammonia…Chloramines are weaker disinfectants than chlorine, but are more stable, thus extending disinfectant benefits throughout a water utility’s distribution system. They are not used as the primary disinfectant for your water. Chloramines are used for maintaining a disinfectant residual in the distribution system so that disinfected drinking water is kept safe.

Chloramine can also provide the following benefits:

• Since chloramines are not as reactive as chlorine with organic material in water, they produce substantially lower concentrations of disinfection byproducts in the distribution system. Some disinfection byproducts, such as the trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), may have adverse health effects at high levels. These disinfection byproducts are closely regulated by EPA. EPA recently reduced the allowable Maximum Contaminant Levels for total THMs to 80 ug/L (250ug/L in Australia) and now limit HAAs to 60 ug/L. The use of chlorine and chloramines is also regulated by the EPA. We have Maximum Residual Disinfectant Levels of 4.0 mg/L for both these disinfectants. However, our concern is not from their toxicity, but to assure adequate control of the disinfection byproducts.

• Because the chloramine residual is more stable and longer lasting than free chlorine, it provides better protection against bacterial regrowth in systems with large storage tanks and dead-end water mains.

• Chloramine, like chlorine, is effective in controlling biofilm, which is a slime coating in the pipe caused by bacteria. Controlling biofilms also tends to reduce coliform bacteria concentrations and biofilm-induced corrosion of pipes. • Because chloramine does not tend to react with organic compounds, many systems will experience less incidence of taste and odor complaints when using chloramine. (12)

“Chloramine (as CI2) is a water additive used to control microbes, particularly as a residual disinfectant in distribution system pipes. It is formed when ammonia is added to water containing free chlorine. Monochloramine is one form of chloramines commonly used for disinfection by municipal water systems. Other chloramines (di- and tri-) are not intentionally used to disinfect drinking water and are generally not formed during the drinking water disinfection process. Some people who use water containing chloramine in excess of the maximum residual disinfectant level could experience irritating effects to their eyes and nose, stomach discomfort or anemia.” (13)

“Although monochloramine has been shown to be mutagenic in some in vitro studies, it has not been found to be genotoxic in vivo. In the absence of data on human cancer and on the basis of inadequate evidence for the carcinogenicity of monochloramine in experimental animals, monochloramine was evaluated by IARC as not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity (Group 3). The US EPA classified monochloramine in group D, not classifiable as to its human carcinogenicity, in that there is inadequate human and animal evidence. IPCS did not consider that the increase in mononuclear cell leukaemia was treatment-related. In the NTP bioassay in two species, the incidence of mononuclear cell leukaemias in female F344/N rats was increased, but no other increases in tumour incidence were observed”. (14)

(12) https://www.epa.gov/region9/water/chloramine.html

(13) https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/disinfectants.cfm

(14) Monochloramine in Drinking-water Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinkingwater Quality 2004

Loxton  (South Australia) – pH (alkaline)

Average pH: 2016 July -2017 June: 8.775 pH units

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings. Corrosion can be reduced by the formation of a protective layer of calcium carbonate on the inside of the pipe or fitting, and the formation of this layer is affected by pH, temperature, the availability of calcium (hardness) and carbon dioxide. If the water is too alkaline (above pH 8.5), the rapid deposition and build-up of calcium carbonate that can result may eventually block the pipe.

When pH is below 6.5 or above 11, the water may corrode plumbing fittings and pipes. This, however, will depend on other factors such as the material used, the concentration and type of ions in solution, the availability of oxygen, and the water temperature. Under some conditions, particularly in the presence of strong oxidising agents such as chlorine, water with a pH between 6.5 and 7 can be quite corrosive.

Chlorine disinfection efficiency is impaired above pH 8.0, although the optimum pH for monochloramine disinfectant formation is between 8.0 and 8.4. In chloraminated supplies chlorine can react with ammonia to form odorous nitrogen trichloride below pH 7.

Chlorination of water supplies can decrease the pH, while it can be significantly raised by lime leached from new concrete tanks or from pipes lined with asbestos cement or cement mortar. Values of pH above 9.5 can cause a bitter taste in drinking water, and can irritate skin if the water is used for ablutions.

2003/5 + 2016/17 – Morgan (South Australia) – Monochloramine, pH

Morgan (South Australia) – Monochloramines

29/12/05: Morgan Monochloramines 5mg/L (highest levels only)

16/4/03: Morgan Monochloramines 4.8mg/L

According to the ADWG 2011: “Based on health considerations, the concentration of monochloramine in drinking water should not exceed 3mg/L (equivalent to 4.1mg Cl as C12/L), [note guideline changed to 5mg Cl in 2015].
Some water supplies may also be disinfected through a process called Chloramination where ammonia is added to the water prior to the chlorine, which in turn can create Monochloramines. Sunlight does not degrade Monochloramines to the same extent as chlorine, meaning that water can be stored for longer periods of time.
Between January 2000 and July 2012, SA Water recorded over 50 incidences of

Monochloramines breaching or the same as the 2011 ADWG.

“Chloramines are produced by combining chlorine and ammonia…Chloramines are weaker disinfectants than chlorine, but are more stable, thus extending disinfectant benefits throughout a water utility’s distribution system. They are not used as the primary disinfectant for your water. Chloramines are used for maintaining a disinfectant residual in the distribution system so that disinfected drinking water is kept safe.

Chloramine can also provide the following benefits:

• Since chloramines are not as reactive as chlorine with organic material in water, they produce substantially lower concentrations of disinfection byproducts in the distribution system. Some disinfection byproducts, such as the trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), may have adverse health effects at high levels. These disinfection byproducts are closely regulated by EPA. EPA recently reduced the allowable Maximum Contaminant Levels for total THMs to 80 ug/L (250ug/L in Australia) and now limit HAAs to 60 ug/L. The use of chlorine and chloramines is also regulated by the EPA. We have Maximum Residual Disinfectant Levels of 4.0 mg/L for both these disinfectants. However, our concern is not from their toxicity, but to assure adequate control of the disinfection byproducts.

• Because the chloramine residual is more stable and longer lasting than free chlorine, it provides better protection against bacterial regrowth in systems with large storage tanks and dead-end water mains.

• Chloramine, like chlorine, is effective in controlling biofilm, which is a slime coating in the pipe caused by bacteria. Controlling biofilms also tends to reduce coliform bacteria concentrations and biofilm-induced corrosion of pipes. • Because chloramine does not tend to react with organic compounds, many systems will experience less incidence of taste and odor complaints when using chloramine. (12)

“Chloramine (as CI2) is a water additive used to control microbes, particularly as a residual disinfectant in distribution system pipes. It is formed when ammonia is added to water containing free chlorine. Monochloramine is one form of chloramines commonly used for disinfection by municipal water systems. Other chloramines (di- and tri-) are not intentionally used to disinfect drinking water and are generally not formed during the drinking water disinfection process. Some people who use water containing chloramine in excess of the maximum residual disinfectant level could experience irritating effects to their eyes and nose, stomach discomfort or anemia.” (13)

“Although monochloramine has been shown to be mutagenic in some in vitro studies, it has not been found to be genotoxic in vivo. In the absence of data on human cancer and on the basis of inadequate evidence for the carcinogenicity of monochloramine in experimental animals, monochloramine was evaluated by IARC as not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity (Group 3). The US EPA classified monochloramine in group D, not classifiable as to its human carcinogenicity, in that there is inadequate human and animal evidence. IPCS did not consider that the increase in mononuclear cell leukaemia was treatment-related. In the NTP bioassay in two species, the incidence of mononuclear cell leukaemias in female F344/N rats was increased, but no other increases in tumour incidence were observed”. (14)

(12) https://www.epa.gov/region9/water/chloramine.html

(13) https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/disinfectants.cfm

(14) Monochloramine in Drinking-water Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinkingwater Quality 2004

Morgan  (South Australia) – pH (alkaline)

Average pH: 2016 July -2017 June: 8.775 pH units

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings. Corrosion can be reduced by the formation of a protective layer of calcium carbonate on the inside of the pipe or fitting, and the formation of this layer is affected by pH, temperature, the availability of calcium (hardness) and carbon dioxide. If the water is too alkaline (above pH 8.5), the rapid deposition and build-up of calcium carbonate that can result may eventually block the pipe.

When pH is below 6.5 or above 11, the water may corrode plumbing fittings and pipes. This, however, will depend on other factors such as the material used, the concentration and type of ions in solution, the availability of oxygen, and the water temperature. Under some conditions, particularly in the presence of strong oxidising agents such as chlorine, water with a pH between 6.5 and 7 can be quite corrosive.

Chlorine disinfection efficiency is impaired above pH 8.0, although the optimum pH for monochloramine disinfectant formation is between 8.0 and 8.4. In chloraminated supplies chlorine can react with ammonia to form odorous nitrogen trichloride below pH 7.

Chlorination of water supplies can decrease the pH, while it can be significantly raised by lime leached from new concrete tanks or from pipes lined with asbestos cement or cement mortar. Values of pH above 9.5 can cause a bitter taste in drinking water, and can irritate skin if the water is used for ablutions.

2016 April – Bamaga (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

2016: Bamaga Primary School (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

Primary School: THM result of 253 μg/L recorded 1/4/16. Operational THM monitoring has been undertaken at site utilising HACH THM plus method (10132). Whilst accurate for screening and formation potential testing, this method is not suitable for regulatory reporting. The field THM method has been undertaken as part of an initial risk assessment for disinfection by-products as this had previously been uncharacterised as part of a system assessment. It is recommended operational testing be transferred to a NATA accredited laboratory compliant to ISO17025. Regulatory reporting to DEWS should be considered for approved APHA procedures outlined in section 6232 A, B, C and D of the standard methods manual. Although a result >250μg/L has been noted a non-standard method has been applied in this case outside of contractual monitoring requirements with DILGP. Trend control analysis of the FY 2015 / 16 results indicatmonthly monitoring of THMs performed by a NATA accredited contract laboratory should be programmed for FY 2016 /17.

Drinking Water Quality Management Plan (DWQMP) Annual report – NPA Water Supply System FY 2015 / 2016

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. US EPA

2014/15 + 2018/19 – Bert Button Lookout Cherbourg (Queensland) – E.coli

Bert Button Lookout Cherbourg (Qld) – E.coli
4/4/18: Bert Button Lookout Cherbourg (Queensland) – E.coli Boil Water Alert Notice

28/4/18: Bert Button Lookout Cherbourg (Queensland)

28/11/18: Bert Button Lookout Cherbourg (Queensland) – E.coli. 1 fail count, 39 pass count
2014/15: Bert Button Lookout Cherbourg (Queensland) – E.coli
Incident date 12/2/15: 1mpn/100ml at Bert Button Lookout. Likely cause extended detention times causing dissipation of chlorine.
Incident date 6/8/14: 1mpn/100ml at Bert Button Lookout. Likely cause extended detention times causing dissipation of chlorine.
Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2015?

“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

2010/14 + 2018/19 – Cherbourg (Queensland) – E.coli, Trihalomethanes, Chlorine, Manganese, Colour, Turbidity

2014: Cherbourg (Queensland) – E.coli
Incident date 5/2/14: 1mpn/100ml at Cherbourg Hospital Tap. Probable cause was a faulty chlorinator pump. Resamples clear.
Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2015?

“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

2018/19: Cherbourg (Qld) – Trihalomethanes

2018/19: Cherbourg (Qld) – Trihalomethanes 530mg/L (max), 375.3mg/L (mean)

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. Source: https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminant

2018/19: Cherbourg (Qld) – Chlorine

2018/19: Sample taken from yard in Cherbourg 5mg/L Free Chlorine (max), 1.73mg/L (mean)

2018/19: Sample taken from yard in Cherbourg 5mg/L Total Chlorine (max), 2.33mg/L (mean)

2018/19 Sample taken from Training Room kitchen tap 7.52mg/L Total Chlorine (max), 0.96mg/L (mean). 97.6% compliance

2018/19 Sample taken from Day Care kitchen tap 7.99mg/L Total Chlorine (max), 1.89mg/L (mean). 92.1% compliance

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

2010 – Cherbourg (Queensland) – Manganese

2010 May – Cherbourg (Queensland) – Manganese ~0.3mg/L (high)

Manganese: ADWG Guidelines 0.5mg/L. ADWG Aesthetic Guideline 0.1mg/L
Manganese is found in the natural environment. Manganese in drinking water above 0.1mg/L can give water an unpleasant taste and stain plumbing fixtures

2011 – Cherbourg (Queensland) – Colour

2011 February: Cherbourg – Colour ~37 (highest level)

Based on aesthetic considerations, true colour in drinking water should not exceed 15 HU.

“… Colour is generally related to organic content, and while colour derived from natural sources such as humic and fulvic acids is not a health consideration, chlorination of such water can produce a variety of chlorinated organic compounds as by-products (see Section 6.3.2 on disinfection by-products). If the colour is high at the time of disinfection, then the water should be checked for disinfection by-products. It should be noted, however, that low colour at the time of disinfection does not necessarily mean that the concentration of disinfection by-products will be low…

2011 – Cherbourg – Turbidity

2011 February: Cherbourg – Turbidity ~20NTU (max)

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

 

2015/16 – Kowanyama (Queensland) – Manganese

2015/16 – Kowanyama (Queensland) – Manganese

2015/16 – Kowanyama (Queensland) – Manganese 1.012mg/L (high), av. 0.135mg/L

Manganese: ADWG Guidelines 0.5mg/L. ADWG Aesthetic Guideline 0.1mg/L
Manganese is found in the natural environment. Manganese in drinking water above 0.1mg/L can give water an unpleasant taste and stain plumbing fixtures

2017/18 – Perth Children’s Hospital (Western Australia) – Lead, Legionella

Lead in water at Perth Children’s Hospital prompts national investigation

A NATIONAL probe into whether toxic lead is leaching into drinking water from plumbing inside Australian buildings is under way.

The Australian Building Codes Board has commissioned a research project to investigate potential sources of lead in plumbing materials.

Prompted by the Perth Children’s Hospital lead fiasco and concern about lead contamination in other buildings, the national regulator was asked to investigate the issue by the Building Ministers Forum, a body of Commonwealth, State and Territory ministers.

A recent report into the PCH debacle, stemming from a parliamentary inquiry, called for “urgent action to clarify whether the lead exceedances at PCH was an isolated event”.

Lead leaching from brass plumbing fittings “is a potentially significant public health issue”, it added.

ABCB chief executive Neil Savery said the project would also investigate the effect of water chemistry, quality and temperature on plumbing products/materials, the cumulative effect of multiple products/materials in a water service and the interaction of different products/materials.

The probe will also consider whether the relevant Australian Standards afford enough protection.

Australian Standards allow up to 4.5 per cent of lead content in materials that come into contact with potable water, whereas the US only allows up to 0.25 per cent because of increasing evidence of harm caused by low levels of lead in drinking water. Cheaper brass contains more lead.

WA Master Plumbers chief executive Murray Thomas said following the American step by reducing lead content to almost zero was the “logical pathway”.

However, the WA Government is still resisting calls to investigate the presence of lead in drinking water fountains at Optus Stadium.

Lead levels up to 14 times the Australian Drinking Water Guideline maximum of 0.01mg/L were found in samples collected by The Sunday Times and tested at accredited laboratories.

Building Commissioner Ken Bowron said the Optus Stadium fountains complied with Australia’s WaterMark Certification Scheme. Fountains at Whiteman Park closed last June after sampling revealed elevated lead levels. The taps and fittings, found to be the source of the contamination were also WaterMarked.

Deadly legionella bacteria found in Perth Children’s Hospital drinking water

3 November 2017

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-03/leaked-documents-show-legionella-at-new-perth-childrens-hospital/9117522

A new problem has struck the trouble-plagued Perth Children’s Hospital with the potentially deadly legionella bacteria detected during routine water testing, as the Health Department grapples with an ongoing lead contamination issue.

Child and Adolescent Health Service chief executive Robyn Lawrence confirmed to the ABC that 14 instances of legionella had been found.

The bacteria was discovered in warm water outlets, a shower head and a drinking water fountain.

Legionella is found naturally in lakes and streams but can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made water systems, including large plumbing systems.

People can contract Legionnaires’ disease — a severe, occasionally lethal form of pneumonia — when they breathe in small droplets of water that contain the bacteria.

Last year, one man died and 15 people contracted Legionnaires’ disease when the bacteria was discovered in two water cooler towers in the Sydney CBD.

The WA Australian Medical Association President Omar Khorshid said a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak could be serious.

“There have been deaths in Australia,” Dr Khorshid said.

“Unfortunately though legionnaires can affect the young and it can affect the healthy, so it’s very important to have it eradicated from the water systems.”

In a statement Dr Lawrence the “results detected were at the low end of the accepted scale” and the relevant authority would implement remediation strategies, but she did not detail what that would involve.

The positive samples were collected on October 19 and 20.

“The likely reason is a combination of low hot water temperatures and restricted flow due blocked aerators/inline strainers and/or a lack of flushing resulting in a biofilm build-up at the outlet that harbours and supports the colonisation of legionella,” she said.

A litany of problems

It is the latest in a string of issues for the hospital, ranging from asbestos in the roof panels to contractor disputes and faulty water piping.

The main issue that has prevented the hospital opening is lead contamination in the drinking water, which remains unresolved.

The basement of the hospital has been flooded by a burst pipe, 900 fire doors have had to be ripped out and replaced, and key members of the hospital’s leadership team have resigned.

It is currently costing taxpayers $6 million a month as it sits idle with no patients — that includes about $6000 a day in power bills and $700,000 a month to contractor Capella Parking for car bays that are sitting idle.

On top of these issues, WA health officials recently admitted a raft of other construction issues at the hospital during a budget estimates committee hearing.

These included problems at the on-site childcare facility, mental health unit, isolation rooms and anaesthetic gas delivery.

The WA Government is bracing itself for a lengthy legal battle in its bid to recoup millions of dollars from the head contractor of the hospital, John Holland, over long delays to the project.

John Holland in return is seeking $300 million in compensation from the Government for changes to the project.

The $1.2 billion project is now running more than two years behind schedule, and is not expected to open until the first half of 2018.

2018 May – Geelong (Victoria) – Water Fountains Containing Lead

Geelong water fountains shut off after high lead levels detected

Authorities say Geelong’s water supply is safe, despite high levels of lead being detected in the council’s public drinking fountains.

The City of Greater Geelong shut off 30 water bubblers and more than 140 are being tested across the municipality to determine the cause of the contamination, but the problem is confined to the fountains and not the wider water supply.

The elevated lead levels were discovered in March following testing of a random sample of drinking fountains.

It is not known how long the fountains have breached national guidelines.

Testing will continue but early indications are the affected fountains are those which are infrequently used, meaning water sits in the taps for extended periods of time.

“It appears that some of the parts that make up the tapware may be the cause,” Geelong mayor Bruce Harwood said.

“We are looking into that at the moment and there’ll be due diligence done about replacement of those (fountains) and also further monitoring.”

Water quality manager for Barwon Water, Dr Will Buchanan, said there was no issue with the water supply.

“We’ve got a rigorous monitoring program which maintains the quality of the water supplied,” he said.

Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Angie Bone said people should not be worried, even if they had consumed water from the affected fountains.

“While the levels detected in some of the fountains are above the health guideline value in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, they are not of immediate concern as drinking fountains are not the main source of drinking water,” Dr Bone said.

Department of Health and Human Services figures show of more than 300 cases of elevated blood-lead levels since 2010, only nine patients were from the Geelong region.

Full results are expected in the coming weeks and the council has started a program of flushing all drinking fountains that are still in operation.

“Use the fountains by all means, but give them a bit of a flush before you drink,” Cr Harwood said.

2016/18 – North Lakes (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

2016-17: Koala Court – North Lakes (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

In 2016-2017, there was one instance where the ADWG long-term health limit for Trihalomethanes – THM (0.25mg/L) was not met at a reticulation sampling site. Routine laboratory sampling identified the elevated result (0.28mg/L) at Koala Court, North Lakes. Further testing throughout the network confirmed there were no other elevated levels and this was an isolated event.
Disinfectant (i.e. chlorine) when added to water can react with naturally occurring organic material, to produce THMs. To mitigate this Unitywater has reviewed its secondary chlorine dosing strategy.
The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines states that THM concentrations fluctuating occasionally (for a day or two annually) up to 1 mg/L are unlikely to pose a significant health risk.

2017-18: Koala Court – North Lakes (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

Incident Description: There were two detections of high THM’s from routine samples taken on 6/3/2018. The two locations were the Boundary Rd 32ML Reservoir Dakabin (PN02RE) and Koala Cl North Lakes (PN19DS) with respective results of 0.33mg/L and 0.34mg/L.
Corrective & Preventative Actions: Both sites were supplied with water produced from the Petrie WTP, which through the deterioration of the WTP recorded higher levels of total organic carbon leaving the plant. The Petrie WTP has been decommissioned and the Pine North scheme is now supplied water through the Southern NPI, which will decrease the risk of THM formation in this area.
Follow up sample results: Follow up samples taken on the 23/3/2018 with the two affected sites recording results of 0.9mg/L and 0.99mg/L respectively.

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. US EPA

2015/19 – Forsayth (Queensland) – Bromate, Aluminium, Chlorate, Bromide, Colour, Turbidity, Iron, Manganese

2018/19: Forsayth (Queensland) Bromate

Incident Description: Bromate – Forsayth – 0.040mg/L of Bromate was detected at the Forsayth library,  which is over the health limit of .020mg/L, and incident DWI-7-49-00026 was opened. We have had no further  detections over the health limit since then and only one detection of 0.016 mg/L, which was under the limit. We  send updates along with detection levels to The Drinking Water regulators and Health Department monthly.

Corrective and Preventative Actions We turn over our chlorine as frequently as possible and keep it out of  the sun. We have changed to purchasing hypo in 200L drums and aim to turn it over within 2 to 4 weeks when  possible. This incident is ongoing at this stage while we continue to monitor. Detections seem to be rare.

GUIDELINE: Based on health considerations, the concentration of bromate in drinking water should not exceed 0.02 mg/L.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
Bromate is not a normal component of water but may be formed from bromide during ozonation. Concentrations up to 0.09 mg/L have been reported in ozonated drinking water. Bromate is a strong oxidant and will probably react with organic matter in water, forming bromide as a by-product.
Bromate is used in home hair permanent-wave neutralising solutions. Although it is used in some foods overseas, Australian Food Standards do not allow bromate to be used in food in Australia.
TYPICAL VALUES IN AUSTRALIAN DRINKING WATER
It is unlikely that bromate would be present in Australian reticulated drinking water supplies unless ozonation is used for disinfection.

Forsayth (Queensland) – Aluminium

2015/16: Forsayth (Queensland) Aluminium 4.980mg/L (Highest Level Only), av. 0.526mg/L
Australian Guideline: Aluminium 0.2mg/L

According to the ADWG, no health guideline has been adopted for Aluminium, but that the issue is still open to review. Aluminium can come from natural geological sources or from the use of aluminium salts as coagulants in water treatment plants. According to the ADWG “A well-operated water filtration plant (even using aluminium as a flocculant) can achieve aluminium concentrations in the finished water of less than 0.1 mg/L.

The most common form of aluminium in water treatment plants is Aluminium Sulfate (Alum). Alum can be supplied as a bulk liquid or in granular form. It is used at water treatment plants as a coagulant to remove turbidity, microorganisms, organic matter and inorganic chemicals. If water is particularly dirty an Alum dose of as high as 500mg/L could occur. There is also concern that other metals may also exist in refined alum.

While the ADWG mentions that there is considerable evidence that Aluminium is neurotoxic and can pass the gut barrier to accumulate in the blood, leading to a condition called encephalopathy (dialysis dementia) and that Aluminium has been associated with Parkinsonism dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the NHMRC, whilst also acknowledging studies which have linked Aluminium with Alzheimer disease, has not granted Aluminium a NOEL (No Observable Effect Level) due to insufficient and contradictory data. Without a NOEL, a health guideline cannot be established. The NHMRC has also stated that if new information comes to hand, a health guideline may be established in the future.

In communication with Aluminium expert Dr Chris Exley (Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry
The Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire UK) in March 2013 regarding high levels of Aluminium detected in the South Western Victorian town of Hamilton
“It is my opinion that any value above 0.5 mg/L is totally unacceptable and a potential health risk. Where such values are maintained over days, weeks or even months, as indeed is indicated by the data you sent to me, these represent a significant health risk to all consumers. While consumers may not experience any short term health effects the result of longer term exposure to elevated levels of aluminium in potable waters may be a significant increase in the body burden of aluminium in these individuals. This artificially increased body burden will not return to ‘normal’ levels when the Al content of the potable water returns to normal but will act as a new platform level from which the Al body burden will continue to increase with age.

2015/18: Forsayth (Queensland) – Chlorate

2017/18: Forsayth (Queensland) – Chlorate 6.15mg/L (max)  2.51mg/L (av.)

2018/19 Forsayth (Queensland) Incident Description: Chlorate – Forsayth. DWI-7-49-00015. We have an ongoing incident for the detection of Chlorate, which is a parameter with no water quality criteria. We regularly detect chlorate in the treated  water. We send updates along with detection levels to The Drinking Water regulators and Health Department
monthly.

“… We have an ongoing incident for detection of Chlorate – a parameter with no water quality criteria taken from the Forsayth Library. 1.45, 3.13, 19.5, 8.04 & 1.59 Mg/L was/were detected. We are testing for chlorate quarterly and monitoring the situation. We turn over our chlorine as frequent as possible and keep it out of the sun. We are working towards upgrading our treatment plant”

Etheridge Shire Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2015/16

There was 1 ongoing incident at Forsayth for the detection of chlorate which is a parameter with no water quality criteria…Incident Description: Chlorate – Forsayth. DWI-7-49-00015. We have an ongoing incident for the detection of Chlorate which is a parameter with no water quality criteria. We regularly detect chlorate in the treated water. We send updates along with detection levels to The Drinking Water regulators and Health Department monthly.

Etheridge Shire Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2017/18

Chlorite: ADWG Health 0.3mg/L.

Chlorite and chlorate are disinfection by-products of chlorine dioxide disinfection process.

“… industry are having serious problems meeting chlorite/chlorate limits that were proposed in the new Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, especially for disinfection in long distance pipelines that are dosed with sodium hyptochlorite” pers comm 18/5/11.

“Chlorite occurs in drinking water when chlorine dioxide is used for purification purposes. The
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that chlorite is not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans and is listed in the Group 3 category. Changes in red blood vessels due to oxidative stress are a major concern with excessive levels of Chlorite in drinking water. According to the US EPA, potential health problems for people drinking Chorite above safe drinking water guideline include: Anemia in infants and young children and nervous system effects.” https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm

“Chlorine dioxide (chlorite) is rarely used as a disinfectant in Australian reticulated supplies.
When used, the chlorite residual is generally maintained between 0.2mg/L and 0.4mg/L. It is
particularly effective inthe control of manganese-reducing bacteria. Few data are available on
chlorate levels in Australian water supplies….Chlorine dioxide, chlorite, and chlorate are all
absorbed rapidly by the gastrointestinal tract into blood plasma and distributed to the major
organs. All compounds appear to be rapidly metabolised. Chlorine dioxide has been shown to
impair neurobehavioural and neurological development in rats exposed before birth. Experimental studies with rats and monkeys exposed to chlorine dioxide in drinking water have shown some evidence of thyroid toxicity; however, because of the studies’ limitations, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions (WHO 2005) The primary concern with chlorite and chlorate is oxidative stress resulting in changes in red blood cells. This end point is seen in laboratory animals and, by analogy with chlorate, in humans exposed to high doses in poisoning incidents (WHO 2005).” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Centre

“…Subchronic studies in animals (cats, mice, rats and monkeys) indicate that chlorite and chlorate cause haematological changes (osmotic fragility, oxidative stress, increase in mean corpuscular volume), stomach lesions and increased spleen and adrenal weights… Neurobehavioural effects (lowered auditory startle amplitude, decreased brain weight and decreased exploratory activity) are the most sensitive endpoints following oral exposure to chlorite…” https://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/chlorite-chlorate/indexeng.
php#sec10_1Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

2015/18: Forsayth (Queensland) – Bromide

We have an ongoing incident for detection of Bromide – a parameter with no water quality criteria taken from the Forsayth Library. 0.009 Mg/L was/were detected. Corrective and Preventative Actions We are testing monthly at this stage and monitoring the situation. We turn over our chlorine as frequent as possible and keep it out of the sun.

Etheridge Shire Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2015/16

Incident Description: Bromide – Forsayth – 0.011mg/L of Bromide was detected at the Forsayth library which is a parameter with no water quality criteria and incident DWI-7-49-00022 was opened. We have had 1 detection 0f 0.006mg/L within the 14 monthly tests done since then. We send updates along with detection levels to The Drinking Water regulators and Health Department monthly.

Etheridge Shire Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2017/18

2018/19: Incident Description: Bromide – Forsayth DWI-7-49-00022. We have an ongoing incident for the detection of  bromide, which is a parameter with no water quality criteria. Testing of the raw water shows continues  detections. We send updates along with detection levels to The Drinking Water regulators and Health  Department monthly.

Bromide can be involved in the reaction between chlorine and naturally occurring
organic matter in drinking-water, forming brominated and mixed chloro-bromo by-
products, such as trihalomethanes or halogenated acetic acids, or it can react with
ozone to form bromate. The levels of bromide that can result in the formation of these
substances are well below the health-based values suggested above. This guidance
applies specifically to inorganic bromide ion and not to bromate or organohalogen
compounds, for which individual health-based guideline values have been developed.
https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/chemicals/Fourth_Edition_Bromide_Final_January_2010.pdf

2015/18 – Forsayth (Queensland) – Colour

2015/16: Forsayth – Colour 22 PuCo (highest level)

2017/18: Forsayth – Colour 19 PuCo (max), 4 PuCo (av.)

Based on aesthetic considerations, true colour in drinking water should not exceed 15 HU.

“… Colour is generally related to organic content, and while colour derived from natural sources such as humic and fulvic acids is not a health consideration, chlorination of such water can produce a variety of chlorinated organic compounds as by-products (see Section 6.3.2 on disinfection by-products). If the colour is high at the time of disinfection, then the water should be checked for disinfection by-products. It should be noted, however, that low colour at the time of disinfection does not necessarily mean that the concentration of disinfection by-products will be low…

2016/17 – Forsayth – Turbidity

2016/17: Forsayth – Turbidity 9.9NTU (max)

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

2015/18 Forsayth (Queensland) – Iron

2015/16: Forsayth (Queensland)  – Iron 0.437mg/L (max)

2017/18: Forsayth (Queensland) – Iron 1.6mg/L (max), 0.158mg/L (av.)

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

2017/18 – Forsayth (Queensland) – Manganese

Incident Description: Manganese – Forsayth. – 0.583mg/L of Manganese was detected on the 21-10-2017 at reservoir outlet and 0.612mg/L at the Forsayth Library and incident DWI-7-49-00021 was opened. This happened because our aging DAF system was unable to perform with the raw water quality.

Manganese: ADWG Guidelines 0.5mg/L. ADWG Aesthetic Guideline 0.1mg/L
Manganese is found in the natural environment. Manganese in drinking water above 0.1mg/L can give water an unpleasant taste and stain plumbing fixtures

 

2015/18 – Georgetown (Queensland) – Chlorate, Bromide, Bromate, Colour, Turbidity

2015/18: Georgetown (Queensland) – Chlorate

2017/18: Georgetown (Queensland) – Chlorate 1.81mg/L (max), 0.653mg/L (av.)

“… ongoing incident for detection of Chlorate – a parameter with no water quality criteria taken from the Georgetown Rec Grounds. 0.367, 0.442, 1.70, 1.52 & 0.456 Mg/L was/were detected…We are testing for chlorate quarterly and monitoring the situation. We turn over our chlorine as frequent as possible and keep it out of the sun”

Etheridge Shire Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2015/16

Incident Description: Chlorate – Georgetown DWI-7-49-00014. We have an ongoing incident for detection of Chlorate – a parameter with no water quality criteria. We regularly detect chlorates in our treated water. We send updates along with detection levels to The Drinking Water regulators and Health Department monthly.

Etheridge Shire Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2017/18

Chlorite: ADWG Health 0.3mg/L.

Chlorite and chlorate are disinfection by-products of chlorine dioxide disinfection process.

“… industry are having serious problems meeting chlorite/chlorate limits that were proposed in the new Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, especially for disinfection in long distance pipelines that are dosed with sodium hyptochlorite” pers comm 18/5/11.

“Chlorite occurs in drinking water when chlorine dioxide is used for purification purposes. The
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that chlorite is not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans and is listed in the Group 3 category. Changes in red blood vessels due to oxidative stress are a major concern with excessive levels of Chlorite in drinking water. According to the US EPA, potential health problems for people drinking Chorite above safe drinking water guideline include: Anemia in infants and young children and nervous system effects.” https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm

“Chlorine dioxide (chlorite) is rarely used as a disinfectant in Australian reticulated supplies.
When used, the chlorite residual is generally maintained between 0.2mg/L and 0.4mg/L. It is
particularly effective inthe control of manganese-reducing bacteria. Few data are available on
chlorate levels in Australian water supplies….Chlorine dioxide, chlorite, and chlorate are all
absorbed rapidly by the gastrointestinal tract into blood plasma and distributed to the major
organs. All compounds appear to be rapidly metabolised. Chlorine dioxide has been shown to
impair neurobehavioural and neurological development in rats exposed before birth. Experimental studies with rats and monkeys exposed to chlorine dioxide in drinking water have shown some evidence of thyroid toxicity; however, because of the studies’ limitations, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions (WHO 2005) The primary concern with chlorite and chlorate is oxidative stress resulting in changes in red blood cells. This end point is seen in laboratory animals and, by analogy with chlorate, in humans exposed to high doses in poisoning incidents (WHO 2005).” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Centre

“…Subchronic studies in animals (cats, mice, rats and monkeys) indicate that chlorite and chlorate cause haematological changes (osmotic fragility, oxidative stress, increase in mean corpuscular volume), stomach lesions and increased spleen and adrenal weights… Neurobehavioural effects (lowered auditory startle amplitude, decreased brain weight and decreased exploratory activity) are the most sensitive endpoints following oral exposure to chlorite…” https://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/chlorite-chlorate/indexeng.
php#sec10_1Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

2015/16: Georgetown (Queensland) – Bromide

We have an ongoing incident for detection of Bromide – a parameter with no water quality criteria taken from the Georgetown Rec Grounds. 0.008, & 0.013 Mg/L was/were detected.

Etheridge Shire Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2015/16

Incident Description: Bromide – Georgetown 0.017mg/L of Bromide which has no ADWG Health value was detected on the 15-11-2017 at the Georgetown rec Grounds and incident DWI-7-49-00023 was opened. Since then we have had 5 low detections within 12 monthly samples. We send updates along with detection levels to The Drinking Water regulators and Health Department monthly.

Etheridge Shire Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2017/18

Bromide can be involved in the reaction between chlorine and naturally occurring
organic matter in drinking-water, forming brominated and mixed chloro-bromo by-
products, such as trihalomethanes or halogenated acetic acids, or it can react with
ozone to form bromate. The levels of bromide that can result in the formation of these
substances are well below the health-based values suggested above. This guidance
applies specifically to inorganic bromide ion and not to bromate or organohalogen
compounds, for which individual health-based guideline values have been developed.
https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/chemicals

 

2018/19: Georgetown (Queensland) – Bromate

Incident Description: Bromate – Georgetown 0.072mg/L of Bromate which has a ADWG Health limit of 0.02mg/L was detected on the 11-7-2018 at the Georgetown Rec Grounds L and incident DWI-7-49-00024 was opened. Since then we have had 0 detections over the health limit within 4 tests done monthly. We seem to have occasional detections.

GUIDELINE: Based on health considerations, the concentration of bromate in drinking water should not exceed 0.02 mg/L.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
Bromate is not a normal component of water but may be formed from bromide during ozonation. Concentrations up to 0.09 mg/L have been reported in ozonated drinking water. Bromate is a strong oxidant and will probably react with organic matter in water, forming bromide as a by-product.
Bromate is used in home hair permanent-wave neutralising solutions. Although it is used in some foods overseas, Australian Food Standards do not allow bromate to be used in food in Australia.
TYPICAL VALUES IN AUSTRALIAN DRINKING WATER
It is unlikely that bromate would be present in Australian reticulated drinking water supplies unless ozonation is used for disinfection.

2015/16 – Georgetown (Queensland) – Colour

2015/16: Georgetown – Colour 23 (highest level)

2017/18: Georgetown – Colour 38 Pt/Co (max), 1.16 Pt/Co (av.)

Based on aesthetic considerations, true colour in drinking water should not exceed 15 HU.

“… Colour is generally related to organic content, and while colour derived from natural sources such as humic and fulvic acids is not a health consideration, chlorination of such water can produce a variety of chlorinated organic compounds as by-products (see Section 6.3.2 on disinfection by-products). If the colour is high at the time of disinfection, then the water should be checked for disinfection by-products. It should be noted, however, that low colour at the time of disinfection does not necessarily mean that the concentration of disinfection by-products will be low…

2016/17 – Georgetown – Turbidity

2016/17: Georgetown – Turbidity 15.4NTU (max)

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

2016 June – Mt Isa High School (Queensland) – Chloroacetic Acid

2016/17 – MICC Town High (Mt Isa – Queensland) – Trichloroacetic Acid

On 7th June 2016, the result for trichloroacetic acid at sampling location MICC Town High (S29) was 110 µg/L. This result exceeded the ADWG health guideline limit of 100 µg/L. The result was reported to the DEWS Water Supply Regulation and recorded as incident DWI-7-199-00045. This incident remained open into the new financial year, with a further four tests returning high results in the tri-chloroacetic acid concentration noted on 4th July, 11th July, 13th July and 19th July 2016; with the results being 119, 130, 100 and 102 µg/L respectively. Concurrently Total Haloacetic Acids were also high for all samples between July 5 and August 2, 2016. The THAA exceedances were assessed against the new November 2016 revision of the ADWG and the incident was closed.

Incident Description: On January 31, 2017 the result for Total Haloacetic Acid (THAA) at sampling location MICC Town High (S29) was 0.2mg/l (152 µg/l) which exceeded the Queensland Health advised guideline limit of 0.1mg/l. The result was reported to the DEWS Water Supply Regulation and recorded as incident DWI-7-199-0046.

Corrective and preventative actions: MIWB informed the DEWS Water Supply Regulation of the incident within the incident notification timeframe. The MIWB’s operations and maintenance contractor was informed of the incident. Chlorine contact times were calculated for the primary disinfection tank and the target residual chlorine level was reduced in an effort to reduce the THAA formation. While the incident remained open, two further high readings were noted; one on February 21, and one on February 28, 2017. Both readings were 0.2mg/l (162µg/l each).

Incident Description: On April 24, 2017 the result for Total Haloacetic Acid (THAA) at sampling location MICC Town High (S29) was 0.2mg/l (154 µg/l) which exceeded the Queensland Health advised guideline limit of 0.1mg/l. The result was reported to the DEWS Water Supply Regulation; and recorded as incident DWI-7-199-0047.

Corrective and preventative actions: MIWB informed the DEWS Water Supply Regulation of the incident within the incident notification timeframe. The MIWB’s operations and maintenance Contractors were informed of the incident. Contact times were calculated in the primary disinfection tank and the target residual chlorine level was reduced. During the incident remaining open, four further high readings were noted on 23rd May, 29th May, 5th June and 13th June, 2017 with all of the results being 0.2mg/l (160, 158, 163 and 151 µg/L respectively). THAA sampling frequency was increased from monthly to weekly, and was incorporated into the new verification monitoring plan for the next financial year. An on-line chlorine analyser had also been installed to monitor the semi-treated water extracted from the 50ML tank. This allows more regular monitoring of the cool weather impacts of chlorine contact times which appear to be a key factor in DBP formation.

Mt Isa Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2016/17

ADWG Guideline: 0.1mg/L (100µg/L)

“Chloroacetic acids are produced in drinking water as by-products of the reaction between chlorine and naturally occurring humic and fulvic acids. Concentrations reported overseas range up to 0.16mg/L and are typically about half the chloroform concentration. The chloroacetic acids are used commercially as reagents or intermediates in the preparation of a wide variety of chemicals. Monochloroacetic acid can be used as a pre-emergent herbicide, dichloroacetic acid as an ingredient in some pharmaceutical products, and trichloroacetic acid as a herbicide, soil sterilant and antiseptic.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Council…

There are no epidemiological studies of TCA carcinogenicity in humans. Most of the human health data for chlorinated acetic acids concern components of complex mixtures of water disinfectant by-products. These complex mixtures of disinfectant by-products have been associated with increased potential for bladder, rectal, and colon cancer in humans [reviewed by Boorman et al. (1999); Mills et al. (1998)].” Ref: tmp/Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) CASRN 76-03-9 IRIS US EPA.htm

2015/17 – Chillagoe (Queensland) – Lead, Arsenic

2015/17 – Chillagoe (Queensland) – Lead

2015/16 – Chillagoe (Queensland) – Lead 0.023ug/L (max – treated), av., 0.007ug/L

A treated water sample sourced from a tap immediately downstream of the Chillagoe Water Filtration Plant 2 Mar 2016, was found to have Lead in excess of the ADWG safe drinking level. The incident was reported** to the Regulator immediately upon MSC staff being notified by the Cairns Regional Council laboratory. As the raw water samples (taken on the same day) had negligible Lead concentrations, it was believed that the sample was an anomaly. Subsequent follow-up test results had trace amounts of lead present (0.002, <0.001 & 0.001 mg/L). The lead had not been previously found in significant concentrations in the Chillagoe drinking water supply and hasn’t been found in significant concentrations since.

The previously described Chillagoe Lead incident was reported to the Regulator Mar 2016 and was given the incident number DWI-7-557-00002. No action was taken after the incident was investigated and found to be an anomaly. There were no other incidents or events associated with the MSC potable water supplies reported to the regulator

Mareeba Shire – Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2015/16

2016/17 – Chillagoe (Queensland) – Lead 0.053ug/L (max – treated), av., 0.01575ug/L

A treated water sample, sourced from a tap immediately downstream of the Chillagoe Water Filtration Plant 8 Mar 2017, was found to have Lead in excess of the ADWG safe drinking level. The incident was reported** to the Regulator immediately upon MSC staff being notified by the Cairns Regional Council laboratory. As the raw water samples (taken on the same day) had negligible Lead concentrations (Bore1 0.003 mg/L & Bore3 0.002 mg/L) it was believed that the sample was an anomaly. A subsequent follow up test results had a trace amount of lead present (0.002 mg/L). Monthly tests for lead in the raw, backwash and treated water are currently being conducted with no exceedances in the treated water to date.

Mareeba Shire – Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2016/17

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

2017 March – Chillagoe (Queensland) – Arsenic

2015/16 – Chillagoe (Queensland) – Arsenic 0.012ug/L (max – untreated), av., 0.008ug/L (untreated)

2017 March – Chillagoe (Queensland) – Arsenic 0.012ug/L (untreated), av, 0.0105ug/L (untreated)

In the evening of Monday 8 August 2016 the gas injection system of the Chillagoe Water Treatment Plant faulted and shut down which in turn shut down the Arsenic Treatment Plant. MSC Water Officers investigated the following morning and notified management 1 pm Tuesday 9 August after determining that there was not going to be an immediate resolution. The WSR was notified at 1:07 PM Tuesday 9 August 2016 and a report submitted††.

Arsenic: Australian Drinking Water Guideline = 0.01mg/L

Arsenic is bioaccumulative and symptoms may take 10-15 years to develop after expsoure at high levels. Drinking water can be contaminated with inorganic arsenic through wind blown dust, leaching or runoff from soil, rocks and sediment. Groundwater sources such as bores will usually have higher arsenic levels than surface water. In major Australian reticulated water supplies concentrations of arsenic range up to 0.015mg/L, with typical values less than
0.005mg/L. https://www.health.qld.gov.au/ph/documents/ehu/2676.pdf

2016/17 + 2019/20 – Behana/Copperlode (Queensland) – Lead, Colour, Iron, Manganese, pH, Turbidity

2016/17 – Behana/Copperlode – Lead

2016/17: Behana/Copperlode – Lead 0.033mg/L

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

2016/17 – Behana/Copperlode – Colour

2016/17: Behana/Copperlode – Colour 22 NTU

Based on aesthetic considerations, true colour in drinking water should not exceed 15 HU.

“… Colour is generally related to organic content, and while colour derived from natural sources such as humic and fulvic acids is not a health consideration, chlorination of such water can produce a variety of chlorinated organic compounds as by-products (see Section 6.3.2 on disinfection by-products). If the colour is high at the time of disinfection, then the water should be checked for disinfection by-products. It should be noted, however, that low colour at the time of disinfection does not necessarily mean that the concentration of disinfection by-products will be low…

2016/20 Behana/Copperlode (Queensland) – Iron

2016/17: Behana/Copperlode (Queensland)  – Iron 0.6626mg/L (max)

2019/20: Behana/Copperlode (Queensland)  – Iron 0.372mg/L (max) 0.008mg/L (av.)

“Aesthetic exceedance in December 2019 associated with dirty water event which often result from higher demand causing increased velocity and hence turbidity in water mains. Key
augmentation projects were commissioned between OctoberDecember 2019 which increased turbidity in the network for a short period.” 2019-20 Drinking Water Quality Management Plan

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

2016/20 – Behana/Copperlode (Queensland) – Manganese

A Manganese concentration of 0.8 mg/L was measured in the drinking water from the Glenmore Water Treatment Plant (GWTP) on 11 March 2015. A follow-up sample collected from the GWTP on the same day also exceeded the health guideline value of 0.5 mg/L. Fifteen (15) of the more than 250 samples collected from Rockhampton water supply scheme from 12 to 31 March were also non-compliant for manganese. The exceedances for manganese was due to the very low dissolved oxygen levels (<2 mg/L), high organic carbon load, and greater amounts of dissolved, organically complexed manganese ions in the source water flushed out from Alligator Creek following the Tropical Cyclone Marcia event.

“Aesthetic exceedance in February 2020 associated with dirty water event which often result from higher demand causing increased velocity and hence turbidity in water mains. Key augmentation projects were commissioned between October-December 2019 which increased turbidity in the network for a short period.” 2019-20 Drinking Water Quality Management Plan

Manganese: ADWG Guidelines 0.5mg/L. ADWG Aesthetic Guideline 0.1mg/L
Manganese is found in the natural environment. Manganese in drinking water above 0.1mg/L can give water an unpleasant taste and stain plumbing fixtures

2016/20 – Behana/Copperlode (Queensland) – pH (alkaline)

2016/17 – Behana/Copperlode (Queensland) – pH 9.56 (av. 2016/17)

“(51) Aesthetic exceedances associated with an interaction between the water and cement lined pipes in the reticulation network. Alkaline water above a pH of 8 can impair the efficiency of chlorine disinfection. Council closely monitor disinfection performance through testing microbial indicators to ensure the effectiveness of chlorine is not compromised by elevated pH”. 2019-2020 Drinking Water Quality Management Plant

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings. Corrosion can be reduced by the formation of a protective layer of calcium carbonate on the inside of the pipe or fitting, and the formation of this layer is affected by pH, temperature, the availability of calcium (hardness) and carbon dioxide. If the water is too alkaline (above pH 8.5), the rapid deposition and build-up of calcium carbonate that can result may eventually block the pipe.

Behana/Copperload (Queensland) Turbidity

2019/20: Behana/Copperload (Queensland) Turbidity 5.9NTU (max). 2019/20 av: 0.12NTU

“Aesthetic exceedances are associated with drinking water event “Dirty Water Northern Beaches” please refer to section Notifying the Regulator” 2019-2020 Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap.

2016/17 – Mirriwinni (Queensland) – Cryptosporidium

Mirriwinni (Queensland) – Cryptosporidium

25/7/16: Grere Road, Mirriwinni. Presumptive Cryptosporidium. Investigation into the network occurred, system operating effectively to deactivate organisms. Resamples taken. Trend data analysed to determine system functioning adequately. Resample conducted and results assessed. The system will continue to be monitored and routine sampling will continue.

Cairns Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2016/17

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

2013/2020 – Mountain View/Orchid Valley (Queensland) – Cryptosporidium, Iron, Turbidity, Colour

2013 – Mountain View (Queensland) – Cryptosporidium

In 2013 the routine testing program confirmed three Cryptosporidium detections in the
southern rural schemes (Fishery Falls, Mountain View and Bramston Beach), Boil Water
Notices were required to be issued for two of these instances.

Cryptosporidium

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

Mountain View/Orchid Valley (Queensland) – Iron

2016/17: Mount View/Orchid Valley (Queensland)  – Iron 0.421mg/L (max)

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

2016/20 – Mount View/Orchid Valley (Queensland) – Turbidity

2016/17: Mount View/Orchid Valley (Queensland) – Turbidity 8.3NTU (max)

2017/18: Mount View/Orchid Valley (Queensland) – Turbidity 11NTU (max), 0.9NTU (av)

2019/20: Mount View/Orchid Valley (Queensland) – Turbidity 5.5NTU (max), 0.53NTU (av). One result of 5.51 NTU exceeding the aesthetic maximum limit of 5 NTU in April 2020

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

2017/18 – Mount View/Orchid Valley (Queensland) – Colour

2017/18: Mountain View/Orchid Valley (Queensland) – Colour. 33 Pt/Co (max)

“At times colour is above the ADWG guideline criteria….Generally the colour of treated water at GISC is below the ADWG value, however, large spikes were observed in January 2013 due to an increase in the concentration of manganese in the source water.”

Based on aesthetic considerations, true colour in drinking water should not exceed 15 HU.

“… Colour is generally related to organic content, and while colour derived from natural sources such as humic and fulvic acids is not a health consideration, chlorination of such water can produce a variety of chlorinated organic compounds as by-products (see Section 6.3.2 on disinfection by-products). If the colour is high at the time of disinfection, then the water should be checked for disinfection by-products. It should be noted, however, that low colour at the time of disinfection does not necessarily mean that the concentration of disinfection by-products will be low…

2013/2020 – Fishery Falls (Queensland) – Cryptosporidum, E.coli, Chlorine, pH

2013 – Fishery Falls (Queensland) – Cryptosporidium

In 2013 the routine testing program confirmed three Cryptosporidium detections in the
southern rural schemes (Fishery Falls, Mountain View and Bramston Beach), Boil Water
Notices were required to be issued for two of these instances.

Cryptosporidium

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

2019/20:  Fishery Falls (Qld) – E.coli.

1 number outside of spec results. Incident reported to the Regulator please refer  to section Notifying the  Regulator. 28/1/20 Notification of the detection of estimated 4 CFU/100mL E.coli in a routine verification monitoring sample at Fishery Falls. The sample was collected on a day of heavy rainfall, and a sterile field sample blank collected at the same location also detected E.coli, this is potentially indicative of sampling contamination in this case due to environmental conditions…
E.coli

“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

28/8/17 – Fishery Falls (Queensland) – Chlorine

Notification of a noncompliance with the drinking water guidelines for chlorine. A routine sample collected on the 28/08/2017 had a chlorine residual of 7.0mg/L. Subsequent investigation of the chlorine analyser found an error resulting in the excessive dosing of
chlorine.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

2016/17 – Fishery Falls (Queensland) – pH (alkaline)

2016/17 – Fishery Falls (Queensland) – pH 8.79 (av. 2016/17)

2019/20 – Fishery Falls (Queensland) – Aesthetic exceedances occurring in July-August 2019
and May 2020 ranging  from 8.5-8.9 pH

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings. Corrosion can be reduced by the formation of a protective layer of calcium carbonate on the inside of the pipe or fitting, and the formation of this layer is affected by pH, temperature, the availability of calcium (hardness) and carbon dioxide. If the water is too alkaline (above pH 8.5), the rapid deposition and build-up of calcium carbonate that can result may eventually block the pipe.

2016/20 – Bellenden Ker (Queensland) – pH, Turbidity

2016/17 – Bellenden Ker (Queensland) – pH (alkaline)

2016/17 – Bellenden Ker (Queensland) – pH 9.5 (av. 2016/17)

2019/20 – Bennenden Ker (Queensland) – 17 non compliant samples. Aesthetic exceedances are
associated with an inter- action between the water and cement lined pipes in the reticulation network.

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings. Corrosion can be reduced by the formation of a protective layer of calcium carbonate on the inside of the pipe or fitting, and the formation of this layer is affected by pH, temperature, the availability of calcium (hardness) and carbon dioxide. If the water is too alkaline (above pH 8.5), the rapid deposition and build-up of calcium carbonate that can result may eventually block the pipe.

Bellenden Ker (Queensland) – Turbidity

2019/20: Bellenden Ker Turbidity 9.1NTU (12/12/19)

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap.

2014/18 – Babinda (Queensland) – Giardia, Cryptosporidium, pH

2014/18 – Babinda (Queensland) – Giardia, Cryptosporidum

Council issued residents with a Boil Water Notice on 9 January  2014 following routine water testing revealing low level contamination of the protozoa  Cryptosporidium in the water supply on 8 January 2014.

Notification of the detection of two presumptive and one confirmed Giardia spp. in a 10L sample collected on the 01/03/2017 at the Bruce Hwy. A resample collected on the
02/03/2018 detected one confirmed Cryptosporidium spp. Three subsequent samples collected on 03/03/2018, 04/03/2018 and 05/03/2018 indicated no presence of either Cryptosporidium spp. or Giardia spp.

Giardia

“Although known as a human parasite for 200 years, Giardia has been regarded seriously as an agent of disease only since the 1960s. It has been identified as an important waterborne pathogen, and linked to many outbreaks of illness associated with drinking water, particularly in North America. Although the importance of this organism has been established, there are large gaps in knowledge about it, and there are no tests for identifying the presence of human infectious species in water.

Giardia has a relatively simple life cycle involving two stages: a flagellate that multiplies in the
intestine, and an infective thick-walled cyst that is shed intermittently but in large numbers in faeces. Concentrations of cysts as high as 88,000 per litre in raw sewage and 240 per litre in surface water havebeen reported (Wallis et al. 1996). Giardia is typically present in larger numbers in Australian sewagethan Cryptsoporidium. Cysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water.

There are a number of species of Giardia, but human infections (giardiasis) are usually assigned to one, G. intestinalis (= G. lamblia and G. duodenalis). G. intestinalis infections have been reported from domestic and wild animals, but the host range of human infectious species is uncertain. Although substantial advances have been made in the sampling and counting of cysts, there are currently no established methods to identify human infectious organisms in water. Waterborne outbreaks of giardiasis have generally been linked to consumption of untreated or unfiltered surface water and contamination with human waste.

Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are also emerging as an important source of giardiasis. However, excluding outbreaks, by far the most likely route of transmission is by direct contact with a human carrier. Transmission of Giardia can also occur by contact with infected animals and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

Cryptosporidium

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

2016/17 – Babinda (Queensland) – pH (alkaline)

2016/17 – Babinda (Queensland) – pH 8.8 (av. 2016/17)

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings. Corrosion can be reduced by the formation of a protective layer of calcium carbonate on the inside of the pipe or fitting, and the formation of this layer is affected by pH, temperature, the availability of calcium (hardness) and carbon dioxide. If the water is too alkaline (above pH 8.5), the rapid deposition and build-up of calcium carbonate that can result may eventually block the pipe.

2016/17 – Bartle Frere (Queensland) – Cryptosporidium, Giardia, pH, Turbidity

Bartle Frere (Queensland) – Cryptosporidium

4/7/16: Bartle Frere Road, tap on property. Cryptosporidium. A detailed inspection of the Reservoir was conducted internally and externally. A diver was engaged to assess the reservoir condition and no cause was able to be identified within the reservoir. – Boil Water Advisory was in place 4/07/2016, cancelled 8/7/2016 – trend data and system analysis occurred – re-sampling was conducted until three satisfactory results were obtained, Qld Health and DEWS were consulted to ensure they were satisfied with results (07/07/2016)

“In recent years, Cryptosporidium has come to be regarded as one of the most important waterborne human pathogens in developed countries. Over 30 outbreaks associated with drinking water have beenreported in North America and Britain, with the largest infecting an estimated 403,000 people (Mackenzieet al. 1994). Recent research has led to improved methods for testing water for the presence of humaninfectious species, although such tests remain technically demanding and relatively expensive.

Cryptosporidium is an obligate parasite with a complex life cycle that involves intracellular development in the gut wall, with sexual and asexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts, shed in faeces are responsible for transmission. Concentrations of oocysts as high as 14,000 per litre in raw sewage and 5,800 per litre in surface water have been reported (Madore et al. 1987). Oocysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water under cold conditions (King and Monis 2007).

There are a number of species of Cryptosporidium, with C. hominis and C. parvum identified as the main causes of disease (cryptosporidiosis) in humans. C. hominis appears to be confined to human hosts, while the C. parvum strains that infect humans also occur in cattle and sheep. C. parvum infection sare particularly common in young animals, and it has been reported that infected calves can excrete up to 10 billion oocysts in one day. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to inadequate or faulty treatment and contamination by human or livestock (particularly cattle) waste.

C. hominis and C. parvum can be distinguished from one another and from other Cryptosporidium species  by a number of genotyping methods. Infectivity tests using cell culture techniques have also been developed. Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are an important source of cryptosporidiosis and direct contact with a human carrier is also a common route of transmission.Transmission of Cryptosporidium can also occur by contact with infected farm animals, and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

18/9/17 – Bartle Frere (Queensland) – Giardia

Notification of the detection of one presumptive Giardia spp. in a 10L sample collected on the 15/09/2017 at Bartle Frere Rd. A resample collected on the 18/09/2017 indicated no presence of Giardia spp.

Giardia

“Although known as a human parasite for 200 years, Giardia has been regarded seriously as an agent of disease only since the 1960s. It has been identified as an important waterborne pathogen, and linked to many outbreaks of illness associated with drinking water, particularly in North America. Although the importance of this organism has been established, there are large gaps in knowledge about it, and there are no tests for identifying the presence of human infectious species in water.

Giardia has a relatively simple life cycle involving two stages: a flagellate that multiplies in the
intestine, and an infective thick-walled cyst that is shed intermittently but in large numbers in faeces. Concentrations of cysts as high as 88,000 per litre in raw sewage and 240 per litre in surface water havebeen reported (Wallis et al. 1996). Giardia is typically present in larger numbers in Australian sewagethan Cryptsoporidium. Cysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water.

There are a number of species of Giardia, but human infections (giardiasis) are usually assigned to one, G. intestinalis (= G. lamblia and G. duodenalis). G. intestinalis infections have been reported from domestic and wild animals, but the host range of human infectious species is uncertain. Although substantial advances have been made in the sampling and counting of cysts, there are currently no established methods to identify human infectious organisms in water. Waterborne outbreaks of giardiasis have generally been linked to consumption of untreated or unfiltered surface water and contamination with human waste.

Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are also emerging as an important source of giardiasis. However, excluding outbreaks, by far the most likely route of transmission is by direct contact with a human carrier. Transmission of Giardia can also occur by contact with infected animals and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

2016/17 – Bartle Frere (Queensland) – pH (alkaline)

2016/17 – Bartle Frere (Queensland) – pH 8.6 (av. 2016/17)

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings. Corrosion can be reduced by the formation of a protective layer of calcium carbonate on the inside of the pipe or fitting, and the formation of this layer is affected by pH, temperature, the availability of calcium (hardness) and carbon dioxide. If the water is too alkaline (above pH 8.5), the rapid deposition and build-up of calcium carbonate that can result may eventually block the pipe.

2016/17 – Bartle Frere – Turbidity

2016/17: Bartle Frere – Turbidity 5.1NTU (max)

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

2016/19 – Prairie (Queensland) – Iron, Total Dissolved Solids, Sodium, Chloride, Pesticide (Heptachlor), Strontium, Manganese

2018/19 – Prairie (Queensland) – Lead

2018/19: Prairie (Queensland) – Lead <0.13mg/L (max) 0.0166mg/L (mean).

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

Prairie (Queensland) – Iron

2016/17: Prairie (Queensland)  – Iron 1.2mg/L

2018/19: Prairie (Queensland)  – Iron 9.2mg/L (max), 0.975mg/L (mean)

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

2016/19 – Prairie (Queensland) – Total Dissolved Solids

2016/17: Prairie (Queensland) – Total Dissolved Solids 969mg/L (maximum), 698.4mg/L (average)
2018/19: Prairie (Queensland) – Total Dissolved Solids 680mg/L (maximum), 671.8mg/L (average)

GUIDELINE

“No specific health guideline value is provided for total dissolved solids (TDS), as there are no
health effects directly attributable to TDS. However for good palatability total dissolved solids
in drinking water should not exceed 600 mg/L.

2016/19 – Prairie – Sodium

2016/17: Prairie (Queensland) – Sodium 230mg/L (highest detection) Sodium 216.8mg/L (average detection)

2017/18: Prairie (Queensland) – Sodium 220mg/L (highest detection) Sodium 213.3mg/L (average detection)

2018/19: Prairie (Queensland) – Sodium 220mg/L (max) Sodium 216mg/L (average detection)

“Based on aesthetic considerations (taste), the concentration of sodium in drinking water
should not exceed 180 mg/L….The sodium ion is widespread in water due to the high solubility of sodium salts and the abundance of mineral deposits. Near coastal areas, windborne sea spray can make an important contribution either by fallout onto land surfaces where it can drain to drinking water sources, or from washout by rain. Apart from saline intrusion and natural contamination, water treatment chemicals, domestic water softeners and
sewage effluent can contribute to the sodium content of drinking water.” ADWG 2011

2016/19 – Prairie (Queensland) – Chloride

2016/17: Prairie (Queensland)  Chloride 250mg/L (Highest Level)

2017/18: Prairie (Queensland)  Chloride 250mg/L (Highest Level), 244.4mg/L (av.)

2018/19: Prairie (Queensland)  Chloride 250mg/L (max), 244mg/L (mean)

“Chloride is present in natural waters from the dissolution of salt deposits, and contamination from effluent disposal. Sodium chloride is widely used in the production of industrial chemicals such as caustic soda, chlorine, and sodium chlorite and hypochlorite. Potassium chloride is used in the production of fertilisers.

The taste threshold of chloride in water is dependent on the associated cation but is in the range 200–300 mg/L. The chloride content of water can affect corrosion of pipes and fittings. It can also affect the solubility of metal ions.

In surface water, the concentration of chloride is usually less than 100 mg/L and frequently below 10 mg/L. Groundwater can have higher concentrations, particularly if there is salt water intrusion.

Based on aesthetic considerations, the chloride concentration in drinking water should not exceed 250 mg/L.

No health-based guideline value is proposed for chloride.” 2011 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

Prairie (Queensland) – Heptachlor

2017/18: Prairie (Queensland) Total Heptachlor 0.371ug/L (mean)

2017/18 Drinking Water Quality Management Plan Flinders Shire Council

Heptachlor is a broad spectrum insecticide used in Australia until September 1994 to protect wooden structures against termites. Its other former uses were withdrawn in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Heptachlor epoxide, an oxidation product of heptachlor, is not commercially available.
Heptachlor is moderately persistent in soil. It is transformed slowly to the epoxide, which is very resistant to further chemical or biological degradation.
Heptachlor has been detected at low nanogram per litre concentrations in water supplies in Europe and the United States. It has been found in a number of foods including human milk. The daily adult intake for heptachlor and the epoxide in the United States has been estimated at about 0.000007 mg/day (7 ng/day) and 0.0002 mg/day respectively. The 1990 Australian Market Basket Survey did not find heptachlor or the epoxide in any of the foods tested (NHMRC and NFA 1991).
TYPICAL VALUES IN AUSTRALIAN DRINKING WATER
Heptachlor has not been detected in major Australian drinking water supplies.

Prairie (Queensland) – Strontium

2017/18: Prairie Source (Queensland) Strontium 0.68mg/L (max), 0.604286mg/L (av.)

2017/18: Prairie Reticulation (Queensland) Strontium 0.68mg/L (max), 0.652222mg/L (av.)

2018/19: Prairie Reticulation (Queensland) Strontium 0.73mg/L (max), 0.6815mg/L (av.)

Cobalt, Strontium and Thallium and Vanadium were detected at Torrens Creek while Strontium was detected at Prairie and Hughenden.The detection of these parameters was discussed with Qld Health who have provided Council with advice and guideline values for these parameters. The general advice was that detections of Strontium and Cobalt need not be reported and that a Guideline value for Thallium is provided by the USEPA (0.0005 mg/L). The guideline value for Vanadium is based on the Californian EPA’s value of 0.015mg/L.

Prairie (Queensland) – Manganese

2018/19: Prairie (Qld)  1.3mg/L (max), <0.1826mg/L (mean)

Manganese: ADWG Guidelines 0.5mg/L. ADWG Aesthetic Guideline 0.1mg/L
Manganese is found in the natural environment. Manganese in drinking water above 0.1mg/L can give water an unpleasant taste and stain plumbing fixtures and laundry.

 

 

2014/19 – Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Lead, Iron, Turbidity, Fluoride, Thallium, Cobalt, Strontium, Thallium, Vanadium, pH

2014/15: Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Lead
Torrens Creek Incident: Incident Description:Initial incident occurred at a Private (outside) tap in the Torrens Creek reticulation network. A reading of 0.031mg/L was recorded on the 26/02/2014. Additional tests at the bore and within the network revealed readings below the health limit.
p29. 3 lead samples listed as breaching water quality criteria. highest reading of 0.24mg/L (av. 0.012mg/L
Flinders Shire Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2014/15

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Iron

2016/17: Torrens Creek (Queensland)  – Iron 2.6mg/L (max)

2017/18: Torrens Creek (Queensland)  – Iron 14mg/L (max), 2.8225mg/L (av.)

2018/19: Torrens Creek (Queensland)  – Iron 5.2mg/L (max), 5.2mg/L (mean)

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

2016/17 – Torrens Creek – Turbidity

2016/17: Torrens Creek – Turbidity 18NTU (max), 6.27NTUav.

2017/18: Torrens Creek – Turbidity 91NTU (max), 16.625NTU av.

2018/19: Torrens Creek – Turbidity 10NTU (max), 10NTU av.

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Fluoride

2017/18: Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Fluoride 32mg/L (max), 4.075mg/L (av.)

[these fluoride levels seem excessively high. perhaps a misprint in the DWQMP?

“Fluoride occurs naturally in seawater (1.4 mg/L), soil (up to 300 parts per million) and air (from volcanic gases and industrial pollution). Naturally occurring fluoride concentrations in drinking water depend on the type of soil and rock through which the water drains. Generally, concentrations in surface water are relatively low (<0.1–0.5 mg/L), while water from deeper wells may have quite high concentrations (1–10 mg/L) if the rock formations are fluoride-rich.” 2011 ADWG. Health Guideline: 1.5mg/L

Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Thallium

2017/18: Torrens Creek Source (Queensland) – Thallium 0.0003mg/L, 0.00025mg/L

2017/18: Torrens Creek Reticulation (Queensland) – Thallium 0.0008mg/L, 0.000263mg/L

Cobalt, Strontium and Thallium and Vanadium were detected at Torrens Creek while Strontium was detected at Prairie and Hughenden.The detection of these parameters was discussed with Qld Health who have provided Council with advice and guideline values for these parameters. The general advice was that detections of Strontium and Cobalt need not be reported and that a Guideline value for Thallium is provided by the USEPA (0.0005 mg/L). The guideline value for Vanadium is based on the Californian EPA’s value of 0.015mg/L.

Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Cobalt

2017/18: Torrens Creek Source (Queensland) Cobalt 0.0009mg/L (max), 0.00075mg/L (av.)

2017/18: Torrens Creek Reticulation (Queensland) Cobalt 0.0023mg/L (max), 0.0006mg/L (av.)

2018/19: Torrens Creek Reticulation (Queensland) Cobalt 0.0013mg/L (max), 0.0013mg/L (av.)

Cobalt, Strontium and Thallium and Vanadium were detected at Torrens Creek while Strontium was detected at Prairie and Hughenden.The detection of these parameters was discussed with Qld Health who have provided Council with advice and guideline values for these parameters. The general advice was that detections of Strontium and Cobalt need not be reported and that a Guideline value for Thallium is provided by the USEPA (0.0005 mg/L). The guideline value for Vanadium is based on the Californian EPA’s value of 0.015mg/L.

Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Strontium

2017/18: Torrens Creek Source (Queensland) Strontium 0.071mg/L (max), 0.03275mg/L (av.)

2017/18: Torrens Creek Reticulation (Queensland) Strontium 0.027mg/L (max), 0.021875mg/L (av.)

2018/19: Torrens Creek Reticulation (Queensland) Strontium 0.026mg/L (max), 0.026mg/L (av.)

Cobalt, Strontium and Thallium and Vanadium were detected at Torrens Creek while Strontium was detected at Prairie and Hughenden.The detection of these parameters was discussed with Qld Health who have provided Council with advice and guideline values for these parameters. The general advice was that detections of Strontium and Cobalt need not be reported and that a Guideline value for Thallium is provided by the USEPA (0.0005 mg/L). The guideline value for Vanadium is based on the Californian EPA’s value of 0.015mg/L.

Torrens Creek (Queensland) – Vanadium

2017/18: Torrens Creek Source (Queensland) Vanadium 0.0006mg/L (max), 0.00045mg/L (av.)

2017/18: Torrens Creek Reticulation (Queensland) Vanadium 0.0025mg/L (max), 0.0005mg/L (av.)

2018/19: Torrens Creek Reticulation (Queensland) Vanadium 0.001mg/L (max), 0.001mg/L (mean)

Cobalt, Strontium and Thallium and Vanadium were detected at Torrens Creek while Strontium was detected at Prairie and Hughenden.The detection of these parameters was discussed with Qld Health who have provided Council with advice and guideline values for these parameters. The general advice was that detections of Strontium and Cobalt need not be reported and that a Guideline value for Thallium is provided by the USEPA (0.0005 mg/L). The guideline value for Vanadium is based on the Californian EPA’s value of 0.015mg/L.

Torrens Creek (Queensland) – pH (acidic)

2018/19: Torrens Creek (Queensland) 6.49pH (mean)

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

 

2014/18 + 2021 – Hughenden (Queensland) – E.coli, Lead, Antimony, Iron, Sodium, Strontium, Colour, Taste + Odour

2016 Nov: Hughenden (Queensland) – E.coli
Incident Description: The non-compliance was a detection of E.coli from a routine sample taken on the 23/11/2016 at an outside tap located on the Western side of the Helicopter pad. 7.5 mpn
E.coli organisms were detected, with a disinfection level of 0mg/L.
Corrective and Preventative Actions: The non-compliance was reported to the regulators, Qld Health and the DON. The Reservoir was dosed again and follow samples were taken. Dosing in Hughenden was increased to 3 times a week. The Hospital now has their own disinfection system to ensure they maintain chlorine residuals in excess of 0.5mg/L
Flinders Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2016/17

“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

2014/16: Hughenden (Queensland) – Lead
2014/15: Hughenden (Queensland) Reticulation – Lead 0.012mg/L(max), 0.0009 (mean)
2015/16: Hughenden (Queensland) Reticulation – Lead 0.01mg/L(max), 0.0009 (mean)
2014/15: Hughenden Incident Incident Description: A reading of 0.012mg/L was detected.
Corrective and Preventative Actions: The tap and the reticulation mains were flushed. Further
samples were taken. Other samples taken from different points in the reticulation were compared against the samples form the WTP. The other samples taken on the same day and the additional samples taken from the WTP reported below the Health limit. Council now regularly flushes the water mains in order to assist in the movement of sediment in the mains. Regularly testing of the reticulation network occurs.
Flinders Shire Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2014/15 + 2015/16

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

2016/17 – Hughenden (Queensland) – Antimony

2016/17: Hughenden (Queensland) – Antimony 0.086mg/L “(Bore 2 returned a reading of 0.0086 mg/L. All remaining bores and reticulation samples returned readings of <0.0001mg/L. After discussing exceedance with Council’s designated regulator contact it was determined that the exceedance was not reportable as it had diluted before it reached the reticulation).” Flinders Shire Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2016/17.

Antimony: ADWG Guideline 0.003mg/L. Antimony shows similar toxic effects as arsenic. Can be a problem with antimony-tin solder.

Hughenden (Queensland) – Iron

2016/17: Hughenden (Queensland)  – Iron 5.6mg/L

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

Hughenden (Queensland) – Sodium

2016/17: Hughenden (Queensland) Sodium 230mg/L (max), 210.87av.

2016/17: Hughenden (Queensland) Sodium 240mg/L (max), 194.31av.

“Based on aesthetic considerations (taste), the concentration of sodium in drinking water
should not exceed 180 mg/L….The sodium ion is widespread in water due to the high solubility of sodium salts and the abundance of mineral deposits. Near coastal areas, windborne sea spray can make an important contribution either by fallout onto land surfaces where it can drain to drinking water sources, or from washout by rain. Apart from saline intrusion and natural contamination, water treatment chemicals, domestic water softeners and
sewage effluent can contribute to the sodium content of drinking water.” ADWG 2011

Hughenden (Queensland) – Strontium

2017/18: Hughenden raw water (Queensland) Strontium 0.12mg/L (max), 0.100533mg/L (av.)

2017/18: Hughenden reticulation (Queensland) Strontium 0.24mg/L (max), 118478mg/L (av.)

Cobalt, Strontium and Thallium and Vanadium were detected at Torrens Creek while Strontium was detected at Prairie and Hughenden.The detection of these parameters was discussed with Qld Health who have provided Council with advice and guideline values for these parameters. The general advice was that detections of Strontium and Cobalt need not be reported and that a Guideline value for Thallium is provided by the USEPA (0.0005 mg/L). The guideline value for Vanadium is based on the Californian EPA’s value of 0.015mg/L.

Hughenden community subject to ‘unpleasant’ tap water since early December demands answers

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-23/hughenden-subject-to-unpleasant-tap-water/13082616

Residents of a north-west Queensland town say they have been burdened by discoloured, foul-smelling water for more than a month, with many resorting to buying and filtering water each day.

Some have experienced brown drinking water, while others have reported strong chlorine.

The Flinders Shire Council has assured Hughenden residents that the supply had not been over-chlorinated and the water was “not harmful to health”.

It blamed increased chlorination, granular chlorine, broken pipes, and bugs for the discolouration and foul smell.

During a meeting in December, Queensland Health recommended that the Flinders Shire Council increase chlorine levels to reach Australian Drinking Standard Guidelines.

It was recommended to increase levels to the standard 0.2 milligrams per litre and reduce levels of algae in town water.

That target has still not been reached, but the town has been stuck with discoloured and smelly water ever since.

Water ‘not pleasant’, but ‘not harmful’: mayor

Flinders Shire CEO Daryl Buckingham told the ABC the chlorine level was yet to reach the recommended 0.2 milligram per litre.

He did not say what the chlorine level was currently sitting at.

Mayor Jane McNamara said council staff were working to flush the water in affected areas.

“Businesses that really rely on clean water they’re being made a priority because that’s affecting their business, and food outlets,” she said.

A Hughenden resident who wished to remain anonymous said locals were wary to complain.

“We live in a small community,” the resident said.

Cr McNamara cautioned residents against making complaints on social media as council staff could not respond.

Instead, residents needed to make an official complaint.

 

2015 August – Pentland (Queensland) – Mercury

2015 August – Pentland (Queensland) – Mercury
Mercury Detection– Pentland: Whilst preparing this report it was noticed that there had been a very small detection of Mercury (0.0013mg/L– [0.001mg/L to two significant figures]) in August 2015, this was reported to DEWS 30/11/16. All preceding and subsequent tests showed no detection at all (below threshold) and no explanation can be given for the result. The external tester has now reviewed their reporting of non -compliant results and a more thorough internal evaluation process has also been introduced.
Charters Towers Regional Shire Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2015-16

Mercury: Australian Drinking Water  Guideline 0.001mg/L

Mercury, if it enters the ecosystem can transform into the more toxic methylmercury where it can bioaccumulate. Methylmercury is highly toxic to human embryos, fetuses, infants and children. Mercury has numerous sources including old gold mines, where mercury was used in gold recovery process. It has been estimated that 950 tonnes of
mercury was deposited into Victorian soil, rivers and streams during the various gold rushes.
https://ntn.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/mercury_brief20101.pdf

2016/20 – Ravenswood (Queensland) – Chlorine, Aluminium

2016/17 – Ravenswood (Queensland) – Chlorine

2016/17: Ravenswood (Queensland) – Chlorine 5mg/L (highest level)

*Carpentary Gold Sample

Chlorine Detection– Ravenswood: In July 2016 it was found that several instances of elevated Chlorine residuals detected in Ravenswood Treatment Plant during 2015 had not been reported due to the Operator (Carpentaria Gold Mine) not being aware of the reporting requirement. The levels were just over the reportable threshold of 5.0mg/L and routine test results showed the levels had dropped to normal within a couple of days. The operator is now aware of their obligations. 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.

Charters Towers Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2015/16

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

2017/18 – Ravenswood (Queensland) – Aluminium

2017/18: Ravenswood (Queensland) – Aluminium 0.701mg/L (max), 0.28mg/L (av.)

2019/20: Ravenswood (Queensland) – Aluminium 0.696mg/L (max), 0.308mg/L (av.)

According to the ADWG, no health guideline has been adopted for Aluminium, but that the issue is still open to review. Aluminium can come from natural geological sources or from the use of aluminium salts as coagulants in water treatment plants. According to the ADWG “A well-operated water filtration plant (even using aluminium as a flocculant) can achieve aluminium concentrations in the finished water of less than 0.1 mg/L.

The most common form of aluminium in water treatment plants is Aluminium Sulfate (Alum). Alum can be supplied as a bulk liquid or in granular form. It is used at water treatment plants as a coagulant to remove turbidity, microorganisms, organic matter and inorganic chemicals. If water is particularly dirty an Alum dose of as high as 500mg/L could occur. There is also concern that other metals may also exist in refined alum.

While the ADWG mentions that there is considerable evidence that Aluminium is neurotoxic and can pass the gut barrier to accumulate in the blood, leading to a condition called encephalopathy (dialysis dementia) and that Aluminium has been associated with Parkinsonism dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the NHMRC, whilst also acknowledging studies which have linked Aluminium with Alzheimer disease, has not granted Aluminium a NOEL (No Observable Effect Level) due to insufficient and contradictory data. Without a NOEL, a health guideline cannot be established. The NHMRC has also stated that if new information comes to hand, a health guideline may be established in the future.

In communication with Aluminium expert Dr Chris Exley (Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry
The Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire UK) in March 2013 regarding high levels of Aluminium detected in the South Western Victorian town of Hamilton
“It is my opinion that any value above 0.5 mg/L is totally unacceptable and a potential health risk. Where such values are maintained over days, weeks or even months, as indeed is indicated by the data you sent to me, these represent a significant health risk to all consumers. While consumers may not experience any short term health effects the result of longer term exposure to elevated levels of aluminium in potable waters may be a significant increase in the body burden of aluminium in these individuals. This artificially increased body burden will not return to ‘normal’ levels when the Al content of the potable water returns to normal but will act as a new platform level from which the Al body burden will continue to increase with age.

2015/20 – Charters Towers (Queensland) – E.coli, Cadmium, Lead, Chlorine, Colour, Hardness, Turbidity, Iron

2015/16 – Charters Towers Reservoir – E.coli

E.coli Detection–Charters Towers Reservoir: E.coli was detected in a sample (and its duplicate) collected from the Charters Towers Steel Reservoir and immediately reported – Incident No. DWI-7-479-00009 (20/02/2016) refers. Corrective actions (flushing, retest) were as directed by DEWS; all subsequent testing showed no further detection. Reason was found to be that the
sample was taken from an incorrect sampling point without following correct flushing procedures. Staff have been retrained in correct sampling techniques.
2015/16: Charters Towers Drinking Water Quality Management Plan

“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

2015/16 – Charters Towers Reservoir – Cadmium

Cadmium Detection–Charters Towers Reservoir: On May the 4th 2016 during a routine analysis, it was found by Townsville Laboratories that a sample taken at the Charters Towers Steel reservoir exceeded the ADWG health value of .002mg/L for Cadmium. The reported level was 0.0042 mg/L, the subsequent investigation found that an old galvanised test point was used
giving a false indication. Corrective actions (retest) were as directed by DEWS; all subsequent testing found no elevated Cadmium results (as reported in the investigation report). Gal sample point isolated.
2015/16: Charters Towers Drinking Water Quality Management Plan

ADWG Cadmium Guideline. 0.002mg/L

The primary route of exposure of cadmium is via contaminated water or food. Fertiliser can be a source of excessive cadmium as can rainwater tanks. It has been linked to cancer, lung disorders, kidney disease and autoimmune disease.

2016/17 – Charters Towers Service Area – Lead

2016/17: Charters Towers – Lead 0.012mg/L? (highest level)

2016/17: Charters Towers Drinking Water Quality Management Plan

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

Charters Towers (Qld) Chlorine

2017/18: Charters Towers (Qld) Chlorine 5.71mg/L (max), 1.39mg/L (mean)

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

2016/17 – Charters Towers Service Area – Colour

2016/17: Charters Towers – Colour 1431 Pt-Co Units (highest level), av 66.91

Based on aesthetic considerations, true colour in drinking water should not exceed 15 HU.

“… Colour is generally related to organic content, and while colour derived from natural sources such as humic and fulvic acids is not a health consideration, chlorination of such water can produce a variety of chlorinated organic compounds as by-products (see Section 6.3.2 on disinfection by-products). If the colour is high at the time of disinfection, then the water should be checked for disinfection by-products. It should be noted, however, that low colour at the time of disinfection does not necessarily mean that the concentration of disinfection by-products will be low…

2016/17 – Charters Towers Service Area – Hardness

2015/16: Charters Towers Service Area – Hardness 360.7mg/kg CO3/L, av. 258.85mg/kg CO3/L

2016/17: Charters Towers Service Area – Hardness 571.1mg/kg CO3/L, av. 279.46mg/kg CO3/L

GUIDELINE

“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

2016/17 – Charters Towers Service Area – Turbidity

2016/17: Charters Towers Service Area – Turbidity 1030NTU (max), 59.86av.

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

Charters Towers (Qld) – Iron

2019/20: Charters Towers (Qld) – Iron 0.43mg/L (max), 0.035mg/L (av.)

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

2015/18 – Greenvale Reservoir (Queensland) – Cadmium, Chlorine, Turbidity

2017/18 – Greenvale Reservoir (Queensland) – Cadmium

Cadmium detection – Greenvale Reservoir 07/06/17: Routine testing detected an elevated level of Cadmium in the reservoir water (0.0039ppm), DEWS were immediately advised – Incident No. DWI-7-479-00018. After discussion with DEWS and Department of Health that no action was required until further testing confirmed the presence of Cadmium. Subsequent testing showed no detectable traces of Cadmium.

29/1/18 Greenvale Reservoir (Queensland). Cadmium detection

Routine testing detected an elevated level of Cadmium in the reservoir sample (0.0042mg/L), DNRME was immediately notified – Incident No. DWI-7-479-00027. A ‘Boil Water’ alert was already in place due to high turbidity. There were no other detections of metals that supports leeching of the pipe-line or reservoir. A follow up sample was conducted on 5/2/2018 with a Cadmium result of <0.0001mg/L

ADWG Cadmium Guideline. 0.002mg/L

The primary route of exposure of cadmium is via contaminated water or food. Fertiliser can be a source of excessive cadmium as can rainwater tanks. It has been linked to cancer, lung disorders, kidney disease and autoimmune disease.

Greenvale Reservoir (Queensland) – Chlorine

2017/18: Greenvale Reservoir (Qld) Chlorine 5.63mg/L (max), 2.71mg/L (av.)

High Chlorine level – Greenvale Reservoir 18/10/16: A short term high chlorine level was detected at the Greenvale reservoir, this was immediately reported to DEWS – Incident No. DWI-7-479-00013. Test results taken at the same time from the reticulation showed values below 3ppm. Subsequent testing (internal & external) showed the level had returned to below 5ppm

Charters Towers Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2016/17

Chlorine Detection– Greenvale: In July 2016 it was found that several instances of elevated Chlorine residuals detected in Greenvale Reservoir during 2015 had not been reported due to a breakdown in t he reporting process. The levels were just over the reportable threshold of 5.0mg/L and routine test results showed the levels had dropped to normal within a couple of days, reporting processes have been addressed to minimise the risk of a repeat.
Charters Towers Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2015/16

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.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

2015/18: Greenvale Reservoir (Queensland) – Turbidity

2015/16: Greenvale Reservoir (Queensland) – Turbidity 11.20 NTU (max), av. 3.09NTU

High Turbidity event – Greenvale Reservoir 17/1/17: Due to a high rainfall event the turbidity in the Greenvale reservoir rose to 21.8NTU, DEWS were immediately notified – Incident No. DWI-7-479-00016. Whilst chlorine levels were fine and there was no indication of biological activity the Queensland Health Department recommended a boiled water alert be activated given the treatment process was incapable of addressing the turbidity. The boiled water alert was finally removed 28/4/17 once the turbidity dropped below 1NTU.

High Turbidity event – Greenvale Reservoir 22/5/17: Due to a high rainfall event the turbidity in the Greenvale reservoir rose to 8.4NTU, DEWS were immediately notified – Incident No. DWI-7-479-00017. Whilst chlorine levels were fine and there was no indication of biological activity the Queensland Health Department recommended a boiled water alert be activated given the treatment process was incapable of addressing the turbidity. The boiled water alert was finally removed 8/6/17 once the turbidity dropped below 1NTU.

Charters Towers Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2016/17

High turbidity event – Greenvale Reservoir 11/8/2017: Repairs were carried out on bore pumps at Greenvale on 9/8/17. The pumps were cleaned and flushed prior to starting however upon starting, there was a turbidity spike at the inlet to the reservoir, of 33NTU. DNRME was immediately notified – Incident No. DWI-7-479-00021. The residual chlorine remained above 2.4ppm. Queensland Health recommended a ‘Boil Water’ alert. Verification testing on 14/8/17 indicated the reservoir turbidity of 0.8NTU and the ‘Boil Water’ alert was lifted on 25/8/2018.

High Turbidity event – Greenvale Reservoir 8/1/2018: Due to a rainfall event the turbidity in the Greenvale reservoir rose to 40 NTU. DNRmE were immediately notified – Incident No. DWI-7-479-00025. The residual chlorine was above 2.0ppm. Queensland Health recommended a ‘Boil Water’ alert. The raw water supply in Greenvale is influenced by surface water at the source and turbidity is highly variable, rainfall events consistently contributed to elevated turbidity. Greenvale remained on a ‘Boil Water’ alert until 12/8/2018.

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap.

 

2010/12 – Tin Can Bay/Cooloova Cove (Queensland) – Chlorine

2010/12 – Tin Can Bay/Cooloova Cove (Queensland) – Chlorine

2010/12: Tin Can Bay/Cooloova Cove (Queensland) – Chlorine 5.6mg/L (highest level)

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

2010/12 + 2020/21 – Kilkivan (Queensland) – Chlorate, Lead, Turbidity, Hardness

2010/12: Kilkivan (Queensland) – Chlorate

2010/12: Kilkivan (Queensland) 0.59mg/L (highest level)

Chlorite: ADWG Health 0.3mg/L.

Chlorite and chlorate are disinfection by-products of chlorine dioxide disinfection process.

“… industry are having serious problems meeting chlorite/chlorate limits that were proposed in the new Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, especially for disinfection in long distance pipelines that are dosed with sodium hyptochlorite” pers comm 18/5/11.

“Chlorite occurs in drinking water when chlorine dioxide is used for purification purposes. The
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that chlorite is not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans and is listed in the Group 3 category. Changes in red blood vessels due to oxidative stress are a major concern with excessive levels of Chlorite in drinking water. According to the US EPA, potential health problems for people drinking Chorite above safe drinking water guideline include: Anemia in infants and young children and nervous system effects.” https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm

“Chlorine dioxide (chlorite) is rarely used as a disinfectant in Australian reticulated supplies.
When used, the chlorite residual is generally maintained between 0.2mg/L and 0.4mg/L. It is
particularly effective inthe control of manganese-reducing bacteria. Few data are available on
chlorate levels in Australian water supplies….Chlorine dioxide, chlorite, and chlorate are all
absorbed rapidly by the gastrointestinal tract into blood plasma and distributed to the major
organs. All compounds appear to be rapidly metabolised. Chlorine dioxide has been shown to
impair neurobehavioural and neurological development in rats exposed before birth. Experimental studies with rats and monkeys exposed to chlorine dioxide in drinking water have shown some evidence of thyroid toxicity; however, because of the studies’ limitations, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions (WHO 2005) The primary concern with chlorite and chlorate is oxidative stress resulting in changes in red blood cells. This end point is seen in laboratory animals and, by analogy with chlorate, in humans exposed to high doses in poisoning incidents (WHO 2005).” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Centre

“…Subchronic studies in animals (cats, mice, rats and monkeys) indicate that chlorite and chlorate cause haematological changes (osmotic fragility, oxidative stress, increase in mean corpuscular volume), stomach lesions and increased spleen and adrenal weights… Neurobehavioural effects (lowered auditory startle amplitude, decreased brain weight and decreased exploratory activity) are the most sensitive endpoints following oral exposure to chlorite…” https://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/chlorite-chlorate/indexeng.
php#sec10_1Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

2020/21 – Kilkivan (Queensland) – Lead

2020/21: Kilkivan (Queensland) – Lead 0.014mg/L (max), (av.)

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

Kilkivan (Queensland) – Turbidity

2010/12: Kilkivan (Queensland) – Turbidity 5 NTU (Max).

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

Kilkivan – (Queensland) – Hardness

2020/21: Kilkivan (Queensland) – Hardness 224mg/L (max), 165mg/L (av.) water treatment plant

GUIDELINE

“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

2010/12 + 2017/21 – Imbil (Queensland) – E.coli, Trihalomethanes, Chlorine

2011 – Imbil – (Queensland) – E.coli

16/8/11: Imbil E.coli detected 1 MPN/100mL

“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

Imbil (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

2017/18 Imbil (Qld)  Trihalomethanes – 290 µg/L (max), 227 µg/L (av)

2020/21 (10 Nov 21-March 21) Imbil (Qld)  Trihalomethanes – 370 µg/L (max), 270 µg/L (av)

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. Source: https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminant

2010/12 – Imbil (Queensland) – Chlorine

2010/12: Imbil (Queensland) – Chlorine 5mg/L (highest level)

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

 

2010/12 + 2017/21 – Goomeri (Queensland) – Chlorate, Hardness, Total Dissolved Solids

2010/12: Goomeri (Queensland) – Chlorate

2010/12: Goomeri (Queensland) 0.59mg/L (highest level)

Chlorite: ADWG Health 0.3mg/L.

Chlorite and chlorate are disinfection by-products of chlorine dioxide disinfection process.

“… industry are having serious problems meeting chlorite/chlorate limits that were proposed in the new Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, especially for disinfection in long distance pipelines that are dosed with sodium hyptochlorite” pers comm 18/5/11.

“Chlorite occurs in drinking water when chlorine dioxide is used for purification purposes. The
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that chlorite is not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans and is listed in the Group 3 category. Changes in red blood vessels due to oxidative stress are a major concern with excessive levels of Chlorite in drinking water. According to the US EPA, potential health problems for people drinking Chorite above safe drinking water guideline include: Anemia in infants and young children and nervous system effects.” https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm

“Chlorine dioxide (chlorite) is rarely used as a disinfectant in Australian reticulated supplies.
When used, the chlorite residual is generally maintained between 0.2mg/L and 0.4mg/L. It is
particularly effective inthe control of manganese-reducing bacteria. Few data are available on
chlorate levels in Australian water supplies….Chlorine dioxide, chlorite, and chlorate are all
absorbed rapidly by the gastrointestinal tract into blood plasma and distributed to the major
organs. All compounds appear to be rapidly metabolised. Chlorine dioxide has been shown to
impair neurobehavioural and neurological development in rats exposed before birth. Experimental studies with rats and monkeys exposed to chlorine dioxide in drinking water have shown some evidence of thyroid toxicity; however, because of the studies’ limitations, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions (WHO 2005) The primary concern with chlorite and chlorate is oxidative stress resulting in changes in red blood cells. This end point is seen in laboratory animals and, by analogy with chlorate, in humans exposed to high doses in poisoning incidents (WHO 2005).” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Centre

“…Subchronic studies in animals (cats, mice, rats and monkeys) indicate that chlorite and chlorate cause haematological changes (osmotic fragility, oxidative stress, increase in mean corpuscular volume), stomach lesions and increased spleen and adrenal weights… Neurobehavioural effects (lowered auditory startle amplitude, decreased brain weight and decreased exploratory activity) are the most sensitive endpoints following oral exposure to chlorite…” https://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/chlorite-chlorate/indexeng.
php#sec10_1Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

Goomeri (Queensland) – Hardness

2010/12: Goomeri (Queensland) – Hardness 529mg/L (max), 59mg/L (av.)

2017/18: Goomeri (Queensland) – Hardness 416mg/L, Temporary Hardness 282mg/L

2020/21: Goomeri (Queensland) – Hardness 259mg/L (max), 214mg/L (av.)

Hardness

GUIDELINE

“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

Goomeri (Queensland) – Total Dissolved Solids

2017/18: Goomeri (Queensland) – Total Dissolved Solids 680mg/L

GUIDELINE

“No specific health guideline value is provided for total dissolved solids (TDS), as there are no
health effects directly attributable to TDS. However for good palatability total dissolved solids
in drinking water should not exceed 600 mg/L.

Total dissolved solids (TDS) consist of inorganic salts and small amounts of organic matter that are dissolved in water. Clay particles, colloidal iron and manganese oxides and silica, fine enough to pass through a 0.45 micron filter membrane can also contribute to total dissolved solids.

Total dissolved solids comprise: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, sulfate, bicarbonate, carbonate, silica, organic matter, fluoride, iron, manganese, nitrate, nitrite and phosphates…” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011

2010/12 + 2020/21 – Aramoor (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes, Chlorate, Turbidity, Hardness, Manganese

Aramoor (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

Aramoor (Qld)  10 Nov 2020 to 7 April 2021. THM’s ranging from 270μg/L to 440μg/L

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. Source: https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminant

2010/12: Aramoor (Queensland) – Chlorate

2010/12: Aramoor (Queensland) 0.59mg/L

Chlorite: ADWG Health 0.3mg/L.

Chlorite and chlorate are disinfection by-products of chlorine dioxide disinfection process.

“… industry are having serious problems meeting chlorite/chlorate limits that were proposed in the new Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, especially for disinfection in long distance pipelines that are dosed with sodium hyptochlorite” pers comm 18/5/11.

“Chlorite occurs in drinking water when chlorine dioxide is used for purification purposes. The
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that chlorite is not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans and is listed in the Group 3 category. Changes in red blood vessels due to oxidative stress are a major concern with excessive levels of Chlorite in drinking water. According to the US EPA, potential health problems for people drinking Chorite above safe drinking water guideline include: Anemia in infants and young children and nervous system effects.” https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm

“Chlorine dioxide (chlorite) is rarely used as a disinfectant in Australian reticulated supplies.
When used, the chlorite residual is generally maintained between 0.2mg/L and 0.4mg/L. It is
particularly effective inthe control of manganese-reducing bacteria. Few data are available on
chlorate levels in Australian water supplies….Chlorine dioxide, chlorite, and chlorate are all
absorbed rapidly by the gastrointestinal tract into blood plasma and distributed to the major
organs. All compounds appear to be rapidly metabolised. Chlorine dioxide has been shown to
impair neurobehavioural and neurological development in rats exposed before birth. Experimental studies with rats and monkeys exposed to chlorine dioxide in drinking water have shown some evidence of thyroid toxicity; however, because of the studies’ limitations, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions (WHO 2005) The primary concern with chlorite and chlorate is oxidative stress resulting in changes in red blood cells. This end point is seen in laboratory animals and, by analogy with chlorate, in humans exposed to high doses in poisoning incidents (WHO 2005).” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Centre

“…Subchronic studies in animals (cats, mice, rats and monkeys) indicate that chlorite and chlorate cause haematological changes (osmotic fragility, oxidative stress, increase in mean corpuscular volume), stomach lesions and increased spleen and adrenal weights… Neurobehavioural effects (lowered auditory startle amplitude, decreased brain weight and decreased exploratory activity) are the most sensitive endpoints following oral exposure to chlorite…” https://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/chlorite-chlorate/indexeng.
php#sec10_1Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

Aramoor (Queensland) – Turbidity

2010/12: Aramoor (Queensland) – Turbidity 5 NTU (Max).

2020/21: Aramoor (Queensland) – Turbidity 8.8 NTU (max), 0.07 NTU av. at water treatment plant

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

Aramoor – (Queensland) – Hardness

2020/21: Aramoor (Queensland) – Hardness 228mg/L (max), 171mg/L (av.) at Water Treatment Plant

GUIDELINE

“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

Aramoor (Queensland) – Manganese

2021/21: Aramoor (Qld)  Manganese 0.687mg/L (max), 0.1mg/L (av.) at water treatment plant

Manganese: ADWG Guidelines 0.5mg/L. ADWG Aesthetic Guideline 0.1mg/L
Manganese is found in the natural environment. Manganese in drinking water above 0.1mg/L can give water an unpleasant taste and stain plumbing fixtures and laundry.

2014/19 – Maryborough (Queensland) – E.coli, Trihalomethanes, Hardness, Chlorine

Maryborough (Queensland) – E.coli

2018/19: Maryborough 1 MPN/100mL

“E.coli

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

2014/19: Maryborough (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

2014/15: Maryborough (Queensland) Trihalomethanes 400μg/L (max)

11 addresses breached ADWG’s for Trihalomethanes 2014/15. 41 breaches in total.

2018/19: Maryborough (Queensland) Trihalomethanes 500μg/L (max), 223μg/L (av.)

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. US EPA

Maryborough – Queensland – Hardness

2014/15: Maryborough (Queensland) – Hardness 221mg/L (Highest Detection Only)

GUIDELINE

“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

2018/19 – Maryborough (Queensland) – Chlorine

2018/19: Maryborough (Queensland) – Chlorine 6.9mg/L (max), 1.38mg/L (av.)

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

2014/19 – Hervey Bay (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes, Iron, Turbidity, Chlorine, Colour

2014/19 – Hervey Bay (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

2014/15: Hervey Bay (Queensland) Trihalomethanes 360μg/L (max)

5 addresses breached ADWG’s for Trihalomethanes 2014/15. 8 breaches in total.

2018/19 – Hervey Bay (Queensland) Trihalomethanes 430μg/L (max), 206μg/L (av.)

“The cause of elevated trihalomethanes (THM) is due to high Natural Organic Matter (NOM) in the raw water supplies for Hervey Bay and Maryborough. While NOM is substantially removed through the treatment process, a sufficient amount remains to produce THM’s following chlorine addition for disinfection. THM exceedances occur at times where raw water NOM is high and when treatment processes removal efficiency is lower, for example during high demand conditions.”

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. US EPA

Hervey Bay (Queensland) – Iron

2015/16: Hervey Bay (Queensland)  – Iron 0.315mg/L

2018/19: Hervey Bay (Queensland)  – Iron 0.585mg/L (0.012av.)

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

Hervey Bay (Queensland) – Turbidity

2016/17: Hervey Bay (Queensland) – Turbidity 7.44 NTU (Max).

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

2018/19 – Hervey Bay (Queensland) – Chlorine

2018/19: Hervey Bay (Queensland) – Chlorine 5mg/L (max), 1.02mg/L (av.)

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

Hervey Bay (Queensland) – Colour

2018/19: Whyanbeel Colour 16PtCo (max), 0.17PtCo (av.)

Based on aesthetic considerations, true colour in drinking water should not exceed 15 HU.

“… Colour is generally related to organic content, and while colour derived from natural sources such as humic and fulvic acids is not a health consideration, chlorination of such water can produce a variety of chlorinated organic compounds as by-products (see Section 6.3.2 on disinfection by-products). If the colour is high at the time of disinfection, then the water should be checked for disinfection by-products. It should be noted, however, that low colour at the time of disinfection does not necessarily mean that the concentration of disinfection by-products will be low…

2014/15 – Tiaro (Queensland) – Aluminium

Tiaro (Queensland) – Aluminium

2014/15: Tiaro (Queensland) Aluminium 0.282mg/L (Highest Level Only)
Australian Guideline: Aluminium 0.2mg/L

According to the ADWG, no health guideline has been adopted for Aluminium, but that the issue is still open to review. Aluminium can come from natural geological sources or from the use of aluminium salts as coagulants in water treatment plants. According to the ADWG “A well-operated water filtration plant (even using aluminium as a flocculant) can achieve aluminium concentrations in the finished water of less than 0.1 mg/L.

The most common form of aluminium in water treatment plants is Aluminium Sulfate (Alum). Alum can be supplied as a bulk liquid or in granular form. It is used at water treatment plants as a coagulant to remove turbidity, microorganisms, organic matter and inorganic chemicals. If water is particularly dirty an Alum dose of as high as 500mg/L could occur. There is also concern that other metals may also exist in refined alum.

While the ADWG mentions that there is considerable evidence that Aluminium is neurotoxic and can pass the gut barrier to accumulate in the blood, leading to a condition called encephalopathy (dialysis dementia) and that Aluminium has been associated with Parkinsonism dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the NHMRC, whilst also acknowledging studies which have linked Aluminium with Alzheimer disease, has not granted Aluminium a NOEL (No Observable Effect Level) due to insufficient and contradictory data. Without a NOEL, a health guideline cannot be established. The NHMRC has also stated that if new information comes to hand, a health guideline may be established in the future.

In communication with Aluminium expert Dr Chris Exley (Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry
The Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire UK) in March 2013 regarding high levels of Aluminium detected in the South Western Victorian town of Hamilton
“It is my opinion that any value above 0.5 mg/L is totally unacceptable and a potential health risk. Where such values are maintained over days, weeks or even months, as indeed is indicated by the data you sent to me, these represent a significant health risk to all consumers. While consumers may not experience any short term health effects the result of longer term exposure to elevated levels of aluminium in potable waters may be a significant increase in the body burden of aluminium in these individuals. This artificially increased body burden will not return to ‘normal’ levels when the Al content of the potable water returns to normal but will act as a new platform level from which the Al body burden will continue to increase with age.

2016/18 – Nanango (Queensland) – Chloride, Turbidity, Hardness, Total Dissolved Solids

Nanango – (Queensland) – Hardness

2016/17: Nanango (Queensland) – Hardness 537mg/L (Highest Detection), (Site NAN 7R)

2017/18: Nanango (Queensland) – Hardness 551mg/L (max), 533mg/L (av.) (Site NAN 7R)

2017/18: Nanango (Queensland) – Hardness 618mg/L (max), 559.5mg/L (av.) (Site NAN 6R)

2017/18: Nanango (Queensland) – Hardness 333mg/L (max), 315.6mg/L (av.) (Site NAN 5R)

GUIDELINE

“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

2016/17 – Nanango (Queensland) – Chloride

2016/17:Nanango (Queensland)  Chloride 463mg/L (Highest Level) [site NAN 5R]

2016/17:Nanango (Queensland)  Chloride 490mg/L (Highest Level) [site NAN 6R]

2016/17:Nanango (Queensland)  Chloride 460mg/L (Highest Level) [site NAN 7R]

“Chloride is present in natural waters from the dissolution of salt deposits, and contamination from effluent disposal. Sodium chloride is widely used in the production of industrial chemicals such as caustic soda, chlorine, and sodium chlorite and hypochlorite. Potassium chloride is used in the production of fertilisers.

The taste threshold of chloride in water is dependent on the associated cation but is in the range 200–300 mg/L. The chloride content of water can affect corrosion of pipes and fittings. It can also affect the solubility of metal ions.

In surface water, the concentration of chloride is usually less than 100 mg/L and frequently below 10 mg/L. Groundwater can have higher concentrations, particularly if there is salt water intrusion.

Based on aesthetic considerations, the chloride concentration in drinking water should not exceed 250 mg/L.

No health-based guideline value is proposed for chloride.” 2011 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

Nanango (Queensland) – Turbidity

2016/17: Nanango (Queensland) – Turbidity 34 NTU? (Max). [site NAN 6 R)

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

Nanango (Queensland) Total Dissolved Solids

2017/18: Nanango (Queensland) – Total Dissolved Solids 1130mg/L (max), 1106.3mg/L (av.) (Site NAN 7R)

2017/18: Nanango (Queensland) – Total Dissolved Solids 1110mg/L (max), 1055mg/L (av.) (Site NAN 6R)

2017/18: Nanango (Queensland) – Total Dissolved Solids 1130mg/L (max), 1074.3mg/L (av.) (Site NAN 5R)

GUIDELINE

“No specific health guideline value is provided for total dissolved solids (TDS), as there are no
health effects directly attributable to TDS. However for good palatability total dissolved solids
in drinking water should not exceed 600 mg/L.

Total dissolved solids (TDS) consist of inorganic salts and small amounts of organic matter that are dissolved in water. Clay particles, colloidal iron and manganese oxides and silica, fine enough to pass through a 0.45 micron filter membrane can also contribute to total dissolved solids.

Total dissolved solids comprise: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, sulfate, bicarbonate, carbonate, silica, organic matter, fluoride, iron, manganese, nitrate, nitrite and phosphates…” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011

 

2016/17 – Proston (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes, Chlorine, Hardness, Chloride

2017 – Proston (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

Incident Description: DWI-7-491-67 Proston Scheme
The 4th non-compliance was detected on 4/10/17 of THM 250 ug/L, located at Tingoora Reservoir.

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. Source: https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/in

2017 – Proston (Queensland) – Chlorine

Incident Description: DWI-7-491-69 Proston Scheme
The 5th non-compliance was a detection of high chlorine at 6.2 mg/L located at the Proston Water Treatment Plant on 7/12/17.
Corrective and Preventative Actions:
Training, and procedures have been developed and implemented to prevent a reoccurrence.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

Proston – (Queensland) – Hardness

2016/17: Proston (Queensland) – Hardness 262mg/L (Highest Detection)

GUIDELINE

“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

2016/17 – Proston (Queensland) – Chloride

2016/17: Proston (Queensland)  Chloride 310mg/L (Highest Level)

“Chloride is present in natural waters from the dissolution of salt deposits, and contamination from effluent disposal. Sodium chloride is widely used in the production of industrial chemicals such as caustic soda, chlorine, and sodium chlorite and hypochlorite. Potassium chloride is used in the production of fertilisers.

The taste threshold of chloride in water is dependent on the associated cation but is in the range 200–300 mg/L. The chloride content of water can affect corrosion of pipes and fittings. It can also affect the solubility of metal ions.

In surface water, the concentration of chloride is usually less than 100 mg/L and frequently below 10 mg/L. Groundwater can have higher concentrations, particularly if there is salt water intrusion.

Based on aesthetic considerations, the chloride concentration in drinking water should not exceed 250 mg/L.

No health-based guideline value is proposed for chloride.” 2011 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

2016/18 – Wondai (Queensland) – E.coli, Trihalomethanes, Hardness, Chloride, Total Dissolved Solids

2016/17 – Wondai (Queensland) – E.coli

The 4th non-compliance was detected on 22/12/2016 of E.coli 1 mpn/100mL, located at Tingoora Reservoir

The 5th non-compliance was a detection of E.coli on 13/1/2016 of 2 mpn/100mL located at the Tingoora Reservoir.

South Burnett Regional Council Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2016/17

“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

2016/18 – Wondai (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

2016/17: Wandai (Queensland) Trihalomethanes 242μg/L (max) (site Wonda 3)

2017/18: Wandai (Queensland) Trihalomethanes 260μg/L (max), 194.5μg/L (av) (site Wonda 3)

2016/17: Wandai (Queensland) Trihalomethanes 254μg/L (max) (site Wonda 12)

2017/18: Wandai (Queensland) Trihalomethanes 330μg/L (max), 209.1μg/L (av) (site Wonda 12)

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. US EPA

Wandai – (Queensland) – Hardness

2016/17: Wandai (Queensland) – Hardness 333mg/L (Highest Detection), (Site Wond 10)

2017/18: Wandai (Queensland) – Hardness 296mg/L (max), 225.4mg/L (av.) (Site Wond 10)

GUIDELINE

“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

2016/17 – Wandai (Queensland) – Chloride

2016/17: Wandai (Queensland)  Chloride 300mg/L (Highest Level) [site Wond 10]

“Chloride is present in natural waters from the dissolution of salt deposits, and contamination from effluent disposal. Sodium chloride is widely used in the production of industrial chemicals such as caustic soda, chlorine, and sodium chlorite and hypochlorite. Potassium chloride is used in the production of fertilisers.

The taste threshold of chloride in water is dependent on the associated cation but is in the range 200–300 mg/L. The chloride content of water can affect corrosion of pipes and fittings. It can also affect the solubility of metal ions.

In surface water, the concentration of chloride is usually less than 100 mg/L and frequently below 10 mg/L. Groundwater can have higher concentrations, particularly if there is salt water intrusion.

Based on aesthetic considerations, the chloride concentration in drinking water should not exceed 250 mg/L.

No health-based guideline value is proposed for chloride.” 2011 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

Wondai (Queensland) Total Dissolved Solids

2017/18: Wondai Total Dissolved Solids 694mg/L (max), 521mg/L (av.) [Wondai 10]

GUIDELINE

“No specific health guideline value is provided for total dissolved solids (TDS), as there are no
health effects directly attributable to TDS. However for good palatability total dissolved solids
in drinking water should not exceed 600 mg/L.

Total dissolved solids (TDS) consist of inorganic salts and small amounts of organic matter that are dissolved in water. Clay particles, colloidal iron and manganese oxides and silica, fine enough to pass through a 0.45 micron filter membrane can also contribute to total dissolved solids.

Total dissolved solids comprise: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, sulfate, bicarbonate, carbonate, silica, organic matter, fluoride, iron, manganese, nitrate, nitrite and phosphates…” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011

 

2016/18 – Murgon (Queensland) – E.coli, Trihalomethanes, Hardness, Chloride, Colour, Turbidity, Total Dissolved Solids

2016/18 – Murgon (Queensland) – E.coli

The 3rd non-compliance was detected on 14/9/2016 of 2 mpn/100mL of E.coli located at MURG 5 Hospital Reservoir.

South Burnett Regional Council Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2016/17

“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

2014/17 – Murgon (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

2016/17: Murgon (Queensland) Trihalomethanes 243μg/L (max)

Incident Description: DWI-7-491-66 Murgon Scheme
The 2nd non-compliance was detection of THM sampled on 30/8/17 of 250 ug/L, located at the Murgon Hospital Reservoir.

2017/18: Murgon (Queensland) Triahalomethanes 280μg/L (max), 226.4μg/L (av) Murg 5

2017/18: Murgon (Queensland) Triahalomethanes 260μg/L (max), 205.5μg/L (av) Murg 7

2017/18: Murgon (Queensland) Triahalomethanes 280μg/L (max), 216.3μg/L (av) Murg 4

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. US EPA

Murgon – (Queensland) – Hardness

2016/17: Murgon (Queensland) – Hardness 280mg/L (Highest Detection), (Site Murg 7)

2016/17: Murgon (Queensland) – Hardness 661mg/L (Highest Detection), (Site Murg 7R)

2017/18: Murgon (Queensland) – Hardness 274mg/L (max), 222.5mg/L (av.) (Site Murg 7R)

2017/18: Murgon (Queensland) – Hardness 269mg/L (max), 213.5mg/L (av.) (Site Murg 7)

GUIDELINE

“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

Murgon  (Queensland) – Colour

2016/17: Murgon (Queensland) – Colour 85 (max) [site Boon 7 R]

Based on aesthetic considerations, true colour in drinking water should not exceed 15 HU.

“… Colour is generally related to organic content, and while colour derived from natural sources such as humic and fulvic acids is not a health consideration, chlorination of such water can produce a variety of chlorinated organic compounds as by-products (see Section 6.3.2 on disinfection by-products). If the colour is high at the time of disinfection, then the water should be checked for disinfection by-products. It should be noted, however, that low colour at the time of disinfection does not necessarily mean that the concentration of disinfection by-products will be low…

Murgon (Queensland) – Turbidity

2016/17: Murgon (Queensland) – Turbidity 8 NTU? (Max). [site Murg 7 R)

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap.

2016/17 – Murgon (Queensland) – Chloride

2016/17: Murgon (Queensland)  Chloride 250mg/L (Highest Level) [site Murg 7R]

“Chloride is present in natural waters from the dissolution of salt deposits, and contamination from effluent disposal. Sodium chloride is widely used in the production of industrial chemicals such as caustic soda, chlorine, and sodium chlorite and hypochlorite. Potassium chloride is used in the production of fertilisers.

The taste threshold of chloride in water is dependent on the associated cation but is in the range 200–300 mg/L. The chloride content of water can affect corrosion of pipes and fittings. It can also affect the solubility of metal ions.

In surface water, the concentration of chloride is usually less than 100 mg/L and frequently below 10 mg/L. Groundwater can have higher concentrations, particularly if there is salt water intrusion.

Based on aesthetic considerations, the chloride concentration in drinking water should not exceed 250 mg/L.

No health-based guideline value is proposed for chloride.” 2011 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

Murgon (Queensland) Total Dissolved Solids

2017/18: Murgon (Queensland) – Total Dissolved Solids 635mg/L (max), 505.9mg/L (av.) (Site NAN 7)

GUIDELINE

“No specific health guideline value is provided for total dissolved solids (TDS), as there are no
health effects directly attributable to TDS. However for good palatability total dissolved solids
in drinking water should not exceed 600 mg/L.

Total dissolved solids (TDS) consist of inorganic salts and small amounts of organic matter that are dissolved in water. Clay particles, colloidal iron and manganese oxides and silica, fine enough to pass through a 0.45 micron filter membrane can also contribute to total dissolved solids.

Total dissolved solids comprise: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, sulfate, bicarbonate, carbonate, silica, organic matter, fluoride, iron, manganese, nitrate, nitrite and phosphates…” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011

 

2016/18 – Blackbutt (Queensland) – E.coli, Trihalomethanes, Colour, Turbidity

2016/17 Blackbutt (Queensland) – E.coli

The 1st non-compliance was a detection of from a routine sample taken on 15/12/2016 at Muller park (BLACK 6). E.coli of >200 mpn/100mL was detected.

South Burnett Regional Council Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2016/17

“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

2016/17 Blackbutt (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

2016/17: Blackbutt (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes 289μg/L (max) [Site Black 6]

2016/17: Blackbutt (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes 324μg/L (max) [Site Ben 5]

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. US EPA

Blackbutt  (Queensland) – Colour

2017/18: Blackbutt (Queensland) – Colour 22 (max), 14.5 (av.) [site 9R]

Based on aesthetic considerations, true colour in drinking water should not exceed 15 HU.

“… Colour is generally related to organic content, and while colour derived from natural sources such as humic and fulvic acids is not a health consideration, chlorination of such water can produce a variety of chlorinated organic compounds as by-products (see Section 6.3.2 on disinfection by-products). If the colour is high at the time of disinfection, then the water should be checked for disinfection by-products. It should be noted, however, that low colour at the time of disinfection does not necessarily mean that the concentration of disinfection by-products will be low…

Blackbutt (Queensland) – Turbidity

2017/18: Blackbutt (Queensland) – Turbidity 5 NTU (Max), 0.7NTU (av.). [site Black 6)

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap.

 

2012/17 + 2021 – Mount Morgan Water Treatment Plant (Queensland) – Giardia, E.coli, Turbidity, Aluminium, Taste & Odour, Trihalomethanes

Rockhampton Regional Council to provide a full emergency water supply to Mount Morgan

9 April 2021

Rockhampton Regional Council has commenced using water tankers to provide a full emergency water supply to Mount Morgan following the drop in quality of the water left in the No. 7 Dam.

Around 20 truckloads of water a day will deliver drinking water from Gracemere to the Mount Morgan Water Treatment Plant, which will provide 160 litres of water per person per day.

This announcement comes after issues raised by residents about the taste and odour of the water coming from the dam.

Rockhampton Region Mayor Tony Williams has assured Mount Morgan community that the water is still very much safe to drink.

“We know that as the dam level has fallen – it’s now sitting at 8.6% – residents have experienced a change in the taste of the water coming from their taps as the dam water continues to slowly deteriorate,” Mr Williams said .

“We tried a number of things to tackle this, including bringing a few truckloads of water up a day and adding an extra step to our water treatment process.

“While there has been a small improvement it’s not enough, so we will now start bringing this emergency water supply up from Gracemere.”

In early March, the Council carried out successfully a trial to test the logistics of getting water tankers from Gracemere to Mount Morgan.

The Council is currently taking six truckloads of water a day to Mount Morgan, and Mayor Williams said this will be ramped up to 20 over the next week.

“The State Government had been covering the cost of trucking water to Stanthorpe until their recent rainfall, and we are in discussions with them to do the same for the people of Mount Morgan,” he said.

“This is a temporary emergency measure to ensure the residents have access to good quality drinking water, but Council is absolutely committed to finding a long term sustainable solution for Mount Morgan’s water security and I am looking forward to the public meeting next Tuesday.”

Water and Supporting a Better Environment Councillor Donna Kirkland said there would be no change to how people accessed their water.

“We knew this would be a possibility if there was no significant rainfall, so over a month ago we carried out trials to fine tune the arrangements and logistics of trucking the water up to ensure that we were ready to go,” Ms Kirkland said.

“Around 20 truckloads a day will be driven up via the Razorback, with the water placed into the reservoir at the Mount Morgan Water Treatment Plant.

“There’s no need for Gracemere residents to worry about their supply; we’ll be sending extra water that way if required.

“The water will then be disinfected again just to make sure its quality is still high after the journey, and will then be distributed using the same water distribution system that supplies water to the Mount Morgan community now. You will be able to turn on your taps as normal.

“We will be able to answer questions about this, as well as exploring options for the long term water security of Mount Morgan, at the public meeting next week.”

Divisional Councillor Cherie Rutherford said Council was listening to residents and taking action.

“Every call that’s come through, every email that’s been sent, and every conversation residents have had with us directly: they all play a really important role in our decision making,” Ms Rutherford said.

“There is still enough water left in the dam for a few months, and once treated it’s safe to drink, but we have heard what people have said about the change in the taste.

“We tried a range of things to address that taste, unfortunately from resident feedback it would seem these measures weren’t as effective as we’d hoped. Once this trucking gets going residents should see a real difference.

2015/2016 – Mt Morgan WTP (Queensland) – Giardia

As part of the annual verification monitoring program, samples were collected from the Mount Morgan WTP (potable water) and No. 7 Dam (raw water source) for Giardia analyses. The result obtained for the potable water sample was 1 cyst per 20L while the raw water sample had <1 cyst per 20L. The test results for the potable sample did not contain any other unusually high or non-compliant results for a range of physical-chemical parameters including turbidity.
At the day of sampling, the daily in-house water testing results measured a turbidity of 0.62 NTU, a free chlorine residual of 1.61 mg/L and a pH of 7.53. There were no known excursions to normal operations at the WTP during days prior to the time of sampling. The telemetry data were also within the normal operating range. There was no known immediate impact for the Giardia detection within and downstream of the WTP.

“Although known as a human parasite for 200 years, Giardia has been regarded seriously as an agent of disease only since the 1960s. It has been identified as an important waterborne pathogen, and linked to many outbreaks of illness associated with drinking water, particularly in North America. Although the importance of this organism has been established, there are large gaps in knowledge about it, and there are no tests for identifying the presence of human infectious species in water.

Giardia has a relatively simple life cycle involving two stages: a flagellate that multiplies in the
intestine, and an infective thick-walled cyst that is shed intermittently but in large numbers in faeces. Concentrations of cysts as high as 88,000 per litre in raw sewage and 240 per litre in surface water havebeen reported (Wallis et al. 1996). Giardia is typically present in larger numbers in Australian sewagethan Cryptsoporidium. Cysts are robust and can survive for weeks to months in fresh water.

There are a number of species of Giardia, but human infections (giardiasis) are usually assigned to one, G. intestinalis (= G. lamblia and G. duodenalis). G. intestinalis infections have been reported from domestic and wild animals, but the host range of human infectious species is uncertain. Although substantial advances have been made in the sampling and counting of cysts, there are currently no established methods to identify human infectious organisms in water. Waterborne outbreaks of giardiasis have generally been linked to consumption of untreated or unfiltered surface water and contamination with human waste.

Consumption of contaminated drinking water is only one of several mechanisms by which transmission (faecal-oral) can occur. Recreational waters, including swimming pools, are also emerging as an important source of giardiasis. However, excluding outbreaks, by far the most likely route of transmission is by direct contact with a human carrier. Transmission of Giardia can also occur by contact with infected animals and occasionally through contaminated food.” ADWG 2011

2014 June – Mt Morgan WTP (Queensland) – E.coli

A reticulation sample collected on 22 June 2014 from the Mt Morgan water supply scheme tested positive (1 MPN/100ml) for E. coli. At the time of the sampling the free chlorine residual
measured from the sampling point and supply reservoir were 0.48 mg/L and 1.63 mg/L, respectively. A second split (parallel) sample collected on the 22 June for general physico-chemical testing was also analysed for E. coli but tested negative for the bacteria. All follow-up samples taken from the sample site, supply reservoir, and other reticulation sampling points tested negative for E. coli.

“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

2012/13 – Mount Morgan WTP  (Queensland) Turbidity

2012/13 Mount Morgan WTP (Queensland)

High turbidity WTP Flow rate reduced; Adjusted coagulation dose rates

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.
Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap.

Mount Morgan WTP (Queensland) – Aluminium

2017/18: Mount Morgan WTP Aluminium 0.59mg/L (max), 0.176mg/L (av.)

According to the ADWG, no health guideline has been adopted for Aluminium, but that the issue is still open to review. Aluminium can come from natural geological sources or from the use of aluminium salts as coagulants in water treatment plants. According to the ADWG “A well-operated water filtration plant (even using aluminium as a flocculant) can achieve aluminium concentrations in the finished water of less than 0.1 mg/L.

The most common form of aluminium in water treatment plants is Aluminium Sulfate (Alum). Alum can be supplied as a bulk liquid or in granular form. It is used at water treatment plants as a coagulant to remove turbidity, microorganisms, organic matter and inorganic chemicals. If water is particularly dirty an Alum dose of as high as 500mg/L could occur. There is also concern that other metals may also exist in refined alum.

While the ADWG mentions that there is considerable evidence that Aluminium is neurotoxic and can pass the gut barrier to accumulate in the blood, leading to a condition called encephalopathy (dialysis dementia) and that Aluminium has been associated with Parkinsonism dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the NHMRC, whilst also acknowledging studies which have linked Aluminium with Alzheimer disease, has not granted Aluminium a NOEL (No Observable Effect Level) due to insufficient and contradictory data. Without a NOEL, a health guideline cannot be established. The NHMRC has also stated that if new information comes to hand, a health guideline may be established in the future.

In communication with Aluminium expert Dr Chris Exley (Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry
The Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire UK) in March 2013 regarding high levels of Aluminium detected in the South Western Victorian town of Hamilton
“It is my opinion that any value above 0.5 mg/L is totally unacceptable and a potential health risk. Where such values are maintained over days, weeks or even months, as indeed is indicated by the data you sent to me, these represent a significant health risk to all consumers. While consumers may not experience any short term health effects the result of longer term exposure to elevated levels of aluminium in potable waters may be a significant increase in the body burden of aluminium in these individuals. This artificially increased body burden will not return to ‘normal’ levels when the Al content of the potable water returns to normal but will act as a new platform level from which the Al body burden will continue to increase with age.

Mount Morgan WTP (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

2020-21: Elevated THM’s in reticulated supply. Addition of granulated activated
carbon on the filter media; Strategic mains flushing; Tankering of potable water from
the Rockhampton Water Supply Scheme

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. Source: https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminant

2012/15 – Glenmore Water Treatment Plant (Rockhampton-Queensland) – E.coli, Cylindrospermopsin, Trihalomethanes, Manganese

2012-13:  Rockhampton (Glenmore)  (Queensland): E.coli
The E. coli detection recorded in the 2012-13 reporting period was attributed to the
green tree frogs gaining access to the inside of the service reservoir. A range of
preventative actions were already implemented to reduce this risk of recurrence in all
reservoirs review of rechlorination, vermin-proofing of reservoirs and regular
preventative maintenance checks.

“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

2014/15 – Glemore Water Treatment Plant – Cyanobacteria bloom and cylindrospermopsin detected (Source water)

“Cylindrospermopsin is believed to have been the causative agent in the Palm Island “mystery disease” poisoning incident in Queensland in 1979, in which 148 people were hospitalised (Byth 1980). It was subsequently shown that water from Solomon Dam on Palm Island contained blooms of toxic C. raciborskii (Hawkins et al 1985). C. raciborskii has been found in many water supply reservoirs in northern, central and southern Queensland. Although C. raciborskii
and A. ovalisporum are both considered to be predominantly tropical/sub-tropical in terms of habitat, with most Australian blooms occurring in Queensland, C. raciborskii also occurs in the Murray-Darling River system (Baker and Humpage 1994). In recent years there has been increasing evidence of detection in the River Murray and C. raciborskii was detected in the major blooms that affected several hundred kilometres of the River Murray on the border between New South Wales and Victoria in 2009 and 2010 (NSW Office of Water 2009, MDBA 2010). C. raciborskii is not a scum-forming organism, but forms dense bands below the water surface in stratified lakes, while A. ovalisporum may form thick brown surface scums (Shaw et al 1999). Although no reports of human poisoning attributable to cylindrospermopsin have appeared since the Palm Island incident, recent cattle deaths in Queensland are attributed to
this toxin (Saker et al 1999)”. (Fact Sheet Cylindrospermopsin ADWG 2011).

2014/15 – Glenmore Water Treatment Plant – Trihalomethanes – Rockhampton

THM concentrations exceeding the health guideline value of 250 µg/L were measured in two (2) reticulation sample points and a supply reservoir on 19 March 2015. All follow-up samples from these sites had THM levels less than 250 µg/L however, slight exceedances were detected on 3 other reticulation sample sites on 31 March and 8 April. These elevated levels of THMs were due to chlorine predosing at the GWTP which was undertaken to treat high levels of manganese and associated organic carbon following the Tropical Cyclone Marcia event.

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. US EPA

2014/15 – Glenmore Water Treatment Plant – Manganese – Rockhampton

A Manganese concentration of 0.8 mg/L was measured in the drinking water from the Glenmore Water Treatment Plant (GWTP) on 11 March 2015. A follow-up sample collected from the GWTP on the same day also exceeded the health guideline value of 0.5 mg/L. Fifteen (15) of the more than 250 samples collected from Rockhampton water supply scheme from 12 to 31 March were also non-compliant for manganese. The exceedances for manganese was due to the very low dissolved oxygen levels (<2 mg/L), high organic carbon load, and greater amounts of dissolved, organically complexed manganese ions in the source water flushed out from Alligator Creek following the Tropical Cyclone Marcia event.

Manganese: ADWG Guidelines 0.5mg/L. ADWG Aesthetic Guideline 0.1mg/L
Manganese is found in the natural environment. Manganese in drinking water above 0.1mg/L can give water an unpleasant taste and stain plumbing fixtures

2014/15 – Athelstane Range Reservoir (Rockhampton, Queensland) – Chlorine

2014/15 – Athelstane Range Reservoir (Rockhampton, Queensland) – Chlorine

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.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

2016 February – Branyan Water Treatment Plant (Bundaberg, Queensland) – E.coli

2016 February – Branyan Water Treatment Plant – E.coli

On the 18/02/2016 during routine micro analysis being carried out at the Branyan Water Treatment Plant (WTP) a detection of E.coli was found in the learwater reservoir located within the treatment plant. The result was 3 org/100mL @ 44.5oC. At the time of receiving the detection advice, the water treatment plant had gone into a planned maintenance shutdown with no water being discharged into the reticulation system. As per protocol, this detection was reported to the QWSR. Council was satisfied that this posed no threat to the community as the plant had been shutdown, plus, micro analysis had also been carried out as part of the same routine analysis program in the surrounding area and this did not reveal any other E.coli detections. As part of the planned maintenance shutdown, the reservoir was drained and cleaned. Upon refilling it was retested as per QH requirements. Two consecutive E.coli tests were performed with both returning a “No Detection” result. No adverse health effects were reported due to this incident.

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

2016 March – Childers (Queensland) – E.coli

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

2015/18 – Gooburrum (Queensland) – Nitrate

Gooburrum (Queensland) – Nitrate

On 14 May 2015 during routine analysis, it was found that a sample taken in the Gooburrum WTP reservoir exceeded the ADWG health value of 50.0mg/L for Nitrate. The reported level was 51.32mg/L

2015/16: Gooburrum (Queensland) – Nitrate 52.496mg/L (High), 51.947mg/L (average)

2016/17: Gooburrum (Queensland) – Nitrate 57mg/L (High), 54mg/L (average)

2017/18: Gooburrum (Queensland) – Nitrate 59mg/L (High), 49.4mg/L (average)

Incident Resolved: Gooburrum WTP –Nitrate Exceedance.The remedial work as reported in the 2016/2017 DWQMP Annual Report was completed in February 2018. This work has returned the Nitrate level back under the ADWG Health value (50mg/L). Nitrate levels are now averaging around the mid-thirties.It may be noted that the maximum and average results on page 22 do not reflect this, however this is due to the higher Nitrate levels that were being experienced prior to the completion of the remedial work. Conversely, the minimum result does reflect where the Nitrate level is now sitting…

Nitrate: ADWG Guideline 50mg/L. Nitrate is the product of oxygenated nitrogen created from the breakdown of organic matter; lightning strikes; inorganic pesticides; or explosives. The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines recommend that nitrate levels between 50-100mg/L are a health consideration for infants less than three months, although levels up to 100mg/L can be safely consumed by adults. Mainly a problem in Northern Territory and some communities in Western Australia. “Cue, Meekatharra, Mount Magnet, New Norcia, Sandstone, Wiluna and Yalgoo have been granted an exemption from compliance with the nitrate guideline by the Department of Health. The water supplied is harmless to adults and children over the age of 3 months of age. Carers of infants younger than three months should seek advice from the Community Health Nurse regarding the use of alternative water sources for the preparation of bottle feeds. The Water Corporation provides bottled water free of charge for this purpose.”

2013/20 – Kalkie (Queensland) – Cadmium, Trihalomethanes, Lead

Kalkie (Queensland) – Cadmium.

2013/14: Kalkie (Queensland) 0.01mg/L (highest level detected)

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2013/14

On 17 June 2015 during routine analysis, it was found that a sample taken in the Kalkie WSA exceeded the ADWG health value of 0.002mg/L for Cadmium. The reported level was 0.0023mg/L.

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2014/15

ADWG Cadmium Guideline. 0.002mg/L

The primary route of exposure of cadmium is via contaminated water or food. Fertiliser can be a source of excessive cadmium as can rainwater tanks. It has been linked to cancer, lung disorders, kidney disease and autoimmune disease.

Kalkie (Queensland) Trihalomethanes

Kalkie WSA: The raw water supply for this WSA originates from the Burnett River, which at times, can contain varying elevated levels of natural organics. A total of twenty (20) samples were taken for THM analysis over the year within the Kalkie WSA. Two (2) of these exceeded the ADWG health value of 250μg/L. The average THM value was around 178μg/L

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. US EPA

Kalkie (Queensland) Lead

On 17 June 2015 during routine analysis, it was found that a sample taken in the Kalkie WSA exceeded the ADWG Health value of 0.01mg/L for Lead. The reported level was 0.012mg/L.

2016/17: Kalkie (Queensland) Lead 0.01mg/L

1/9/20: Kalkie (Queensland) Lead 0.026mg/L (max), 0.0035mg/L (av)

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

2013/14 + 2018/19 – Bundaberg (Queensland) – Lead

2013/14 – Bundaberg (Queensland) – Lead

2013/14: Bundaberg Water Service Area – Lead 0.014mg/L (highest level), 0.002mg/L (av.)

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2013/14

2018/19: Bundaberg Water Service Area – Lead 0.017mg/L (highest level), 0.002mg/L (av)

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2018/19

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

2014/5 March – Woodgate (Queensland) – Lead

2014/15 – Woodgate (Queensland) – Lead

On 4 March 2014 during routine analysis it was found that a sample taken in Woodgate exceeded the ADWG health value of 0.01mg/L for Lead. The reported level was 0.018mg/L

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2013/14

On 25 March 2015 during routine analysis, it was found that a sample taken in Woodgate exceeded the ADWG health value of 0.01mg/L for Lead. The reported level was 0.017mg/L.

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2014/15

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

2014 March – Coral Cove (Queensland) – Lead, Nickel

2014 March – Coral Cove (Queensland) – Lead

On 4 March 2014 during routine analysis it was found that a sample taken in Coral Cove exceeded the ADWG health value of 0.01mg/L for Lead. The reported level was 0.015mg/L.

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2013/14

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

Coral Cove (Queensland) – Nickel

On 4 March 2014 during routine analysis it was found that a sample taken in Coral Cove exceeded the ADWG health value of 0.02mg/L for Nickel. The reported level was 0.026mg/L.

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2013/14

Nickel: ADWG Health Guideline 0.02mg/L. A chemical element and silvery white corrosion resistant metal with a golden tinge. 60% of nickel production is used in nickel steel (particularly stainless steel). In water, mainly a problem with nickel plated fittings. Main releases to the environment are from the burning of fossil fuels and in waste discharges from electroplating industries.

2014 March – Elliot Heads (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

2014 March: Elliot Heads –  Queensland

On 4 March 2014 during routine analysis it was found that a sample taken in Elliott Heads exceeded the ADWG, health value of 250μg/L for THM. The reported level was 276μg/L. The Kalkie WTP had experienced elevated levels of algae which would have contributed to this exceedance

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2013/14

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. US EPA

2013/20 – Lake Monduran (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

2013/19: Lake Monduran –  Queensland – Trihalomethanes

Lake Monduran can contain varying elevated levels of natural organics. The current configuration of the Lake Monduran WTP struggles to deal with the elevated levels and therefore at times the THM levels in the treated water can exceed the ADWG, health value of 250μg/L. Three (3) of four (4) samples taken at Lake Monduran WSA throughout the year exceeded the ADWG, health value. The average exceedance was around 326μg/L

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2013/14

Lake Monduran WSA:  In the 2014/15 water year four (4) samples were taken for THM analysis. One (1) of these samples exceeded the ADWG health value. The average THM value was around 233μg/L.

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2014/15

A total of Sixteen (16) samples were taken for THM analysis over the year within the Gregory River WSA. Nine (9) of these exceeded the ADWG, health value. The average exceedance was around 290μg/L.

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2015/16

A total of four (4) samples were taken for THM analysis throughout the year. Two (2) of these slightly exceeded the ADWG health value. Both samples returned a result of 255μg/L

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2016/17

A total of eighteen (18) tests were undertaken for THM analysis over the year within the Gregory River WSA. Eight (8) of these exceeded the ADWG, health value. The average of these exceedances was around 300ug/L

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2017/18

Lake Monduran (Fred Haigh Dam) can also contain elevated levels of natural organics. The existing configuration of the Lake Monduran WTP can have difficulty in treating elevated levels of these organics and therefore, at times, the THM levels in the treated water can exceed the ADWG Health limit of 250ug/L. A total of four (4) samples were taken for THM analysis throughout the year. Three (3) of these tests exceeded the ADWG Health limit. The average of these exceedances was 297ug/L.

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2018/19

Lake Monduran (Fred Haigh Dam) can also contain elevated levels of natural organics. The existing configuration of the Lake Monduran WTP can have difficulty in treating elevated levels of these organics and therefore, at times, the THM levels in the treated water can exceed the ADWG Health limit of 250μg/L. A total of four (4) samples were taken for THM analysis throughout the year. Two (2) of these tests exceeded the ADWG Health limit. The average of these exceedances was 310μg/L.

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2019/20

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. US EPA

2013/14 – Wallaville (Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

Wallaville Water Treatment Area Queensland

The Burnett River can contain varying elevated levels of natural organics. The current configuration of the Wallaville WTP struggles to deal with the elevated levels and therefore at times the THM levels in the treated water can exceed the ADWG, health value of 250μg/L. Four (4) of eight (8) samples taken over various locations and at varying times within the Wallaville WSA exceeded the ADWG, health value. The average exceedance was around 289μg/L.

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2013/14

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. US EPA

2013/20 – Gregory Water Treatment Plant (south of Bundaberg, Queensland) – Trihalomethanes

Gregory River Water Treatment Area (Childers/Woodgate) Queensland

Throughout the year, the Gregory River can contain varying elevated levels of natural organics. The current configuration of the Gregory River WTP struggles to deal with the elevated levels and therefore at times the THM levels in the treated water can exceed the ADWG health value of 250ug/L. Eleven (11) of sixteen (16) samples taken over various locations and at varying times within the Gregory River WSA exceeded the ADWG, health value. The average exceedance was around 294ug/L.

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2013/14

Gregory River WSA: … A total of sixteen (16) samples were taken for THM analysis over the year within the Gregory River WSA. Five (5) of these exceeded the ADWG, health value. The average exceedance was around 343μg/L

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2014/15

A total of Sixteen (16) samples were taken for THM analysis over the year within the Gregory River WSA. Nine (9) of these exceeded the ADWG, health value. The average exceedance was around 290g/L

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2015/16

Gregory River WSA: … A total of Sixteen (16) samples were taken for THM analysis over the year within the Gregory River WSA. Eight (8) of these exceeded the ADWG, health value. The average of these exceedances was around 290μg/L.

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2016/17

A total of eighteen (18) tests were undertaken for THM analysis over the year within the Gregory River WSA. Eight (8) of these exceeded the ADWG, health value. The average of these exceedances was around 300ug/L

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2017/18

Throughout the year, the Gregory River can contain varying elevated levels of dissolved natural organics. The current configuration of the Gregory River WTP struggles to deal with these and therefore at times the THM levels in the treated water can exceed the ADWG Health limit of 250ug/L. A total of sixteen (16) tests were undertaken for THM analysis over the year within the Gregory River WSA. Ten (10) of these tests exceeded the ADWG Health limit. The average of these exceedances was 311ug/L.

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2017/18

Throughout the year, the Gregory River can contain varying elevated levels of dissolved natural organics. The current configuration of the Gregory River WTP struggles to deal with these and therefore at times the THM levels in the treated water can exceed the ADWG Health limit of 250μg/L. A total of sixteen (16) tests were undertaken for THM analysis over the year within the Gregory River WSA. Ten (10) of these tests exceeded the ADWG Health limit. The average of these exceedances was 354μg/L.

Corrective and Preventative Actions
Council is acutely aware of this situation and in conjunction with QH and QWSR, Council diligently carries out quarterly THM analysis with results going to the QWSR. The filtered water is also analysed at a monthly frequency for Total Organic Carbon (TOC) as a surrogate for THM precursors. As indicated, Gregory River water can contain high levels of dissolved organics that are difficult to remove with the current treatment process. BRC has considered various treatment and transfer strategies and has determined that the preferred strategy is to continue sourcing water from the Gregory River at the weir and to build a new treatment plant at the exiting site. In view of the process and hydraulic limitations of the existing plant and the plant’s age, BRC has commenced construction of a new WTP adjacent to the existing plant with construction due for completion in October 2020. The plant will be online early 2021.

Bundaberg Regional Council Drinking Water Quality Annual Report 2019/20

Trihalomethanes Australian Guideline Level 250μg/L (0.25mg/L)

Why and how are THMs formed?
“When chlorine is added to water with organic material, such as algae, river weeds, and decaying leaves, THMs are formed. Residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic material to form a group of chlorinated chemical compounds, THMs. They are tasteless and odourless, but harmful and potentially toxic. The quantity of by-products formed is determined by several factors, such as the amount and type of organic material present in water, temperature, pH, chlorine dosage, contact time available for chlorine, and bromide concentration in the water. The organic matter in water mainly consists of a) humic substance, which is the organic portion of soil that remains after prolonged microbial decomposition formed by the decay of leaves, wood, and other vegetable matter; and b) fulvic acid, which is a water soluble substance of low molecular weight that is derived from humus”. US EPA

2018/21 – Griffith/Lake Wyangan (NSW) Toxin Linked to Motor Neuron Disease Found in Australian Algal Blooms.

Is there a link between motor neurone disease and blue-green algae? NSW expert calls for closer look

Sep 26 2021

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/sep/26/is-there-a-link-between-motor-neurone-disease-and-blue-green-algae-nsw-expert-calls-for-closer-look

A top neurologist has called on the New South Wales government to list motor neurone disease (MND) as a notifiable disease amid suspicions a cluster of diagnoses in the state could be linked to something in the environment.

Prof Dominic Rowe, a neurologist at Macquarie University, has treated 889 MND patients – many from the NSW irrigation town of Griffith – in the past decade.

Rowe is concerned the prevalence of cases in the region could be linked to something in the environment, with researchers investigating links to blue-green algae, pesticides and heavy metals.

But he says his team is limited in their research because MND is not listed as a notifiable disease – one that must be reported to authorities.

If MND were given notifiable disease status, researchers could access location data that would allow them to see where people with the disease live in relation to places like lakes and water bodies, Rowe said.

They have access to “observational” data from patients, but Rowe says this is “not comprehensive”.

“If we just close our eyes and continue holding people’s hands as they die, that’s not satisfactory at all,” he says.

MND is a progressive neurological disorder that leaves people unable to walk, speak, swallow and ultimately breathe.

In Australia, MND has increased in prevalence by around 250% over the past three decades, according to Rowe.

While 5-10% of cases are believed to be genetic, Rowe says he “strongly suspects” something in the environment is driving a rise in the remaining sporadic (non-genetic) cases.

The data from a notification listing would help researchers zero in on cases and scour the surrounding environment for clues about their cause, Rowe says.

He says if an environmental cause can be identified, prevention – and even a cure – may be possible, and that “we should move heaven and earth” to get there.

Not far from Griffith is a lake surrounded on two sides by picturesque farming land. It has become a focal point for researchers looking into high rates of MND in the region.

Michelle Vearing says her family visited Lake Wyangan “every other weekend” while growing up and the kids would spend hours swimming and water skiing in the water. The recreational area of Lake Wyangan is operated by the Griffith city council.

Vearing lost her grandfather and mother to a genetic form of MND and is now supporting her sister Tania Magoci as she battles the disease.

Vearing is a volunteer with the Griffith MND support group, which organises many of its activities through social media. Its Facebook page contain a mix of tributes to people who have died, requests for urine and blood donations for research trials, and fundraising sales of everything from hand-stitched quilts to a treasured rugby league jersey.

“Nearly everyone in town knows someone who has or has passed away from MND,” Vearing says.

Out of the 30 people in the area who have passed away from the disease over the past decade, many had strong connections to Lake Wyangan or other nearby bodies of water, Vearing says.

In recent years the lake has become prone to blooms of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, a natural feature in Australian waters and one experts say is thriving as the climate becomes hotter and drier.

So far the NSW government has rebuffed the proposal to list MND as a notifiable disease.

In June, the NSW health minister Brad Hazzard agreed to meet with representatives from the Macquarie University research team to discuss the proposal, but the meeting was postponed due to the state’s coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, the NSW health department said MND did not meet criteria to be made notifiable, which included “the potential for outbreaks, a necessity for urgent public health response and preventability”.

Jan 2019: What Causes Algal Blooms and How We Can Stop Them

February 2019 – Griffith (New South Wales) – Blue Green Algae

https://tendaily.com.au/shows/theproject/exclusive/a190210prg/do-australian-lakes-and-rivers-contain-a-toxin-that-may-cause-mnd-20190210

We explore the link between NSW waterways and a toxin that might trigger MND.

Professor Dominic Rowe of Macquarie Neurology says, “From 1986 to 2016, there’s been a 250% increase in Motor Neurone Disease as a cause of death in Australia and that can only be environmental…”

Research overseas has linked the neurotoxin BMAA, a by-product of blue-green algae, to MND. This toxin was recently discovered in Lake Wyangan in NSW.

It’s also been found in a number of other drought-affected New South Wales waterways, including along the Darling River.

Professor Rowe says, “If we can understand what in the environment triggers Motor Neurone Disease, conceivably we could prevent [it] from even occurring.”

Tim Trembath, an MND sufferer, lives at Lake Cargelligo, which is 140-kilometers north of Griffith. He’s spent a lot of time at this lake, where there’s been an outbreak of blue-green algae.

Tim says, “Up until about 2010, the lake water was the water that was used for drinking and washing in the town.”

The disease has stripped Tim of his ability to ride his motorbike and he needs regular care. Two of his friends in the 1500-resident town have died from MND.

“Anyone who lives in this town has probably swum in the lake, and the lake has algal blooms in it nearly every summer.”

While it’s easy to assume there’s a link between these waterways and MND, Professor Rowe says, “It is highly unlikely that there’s going to be one specific environmental trigger, it’s likely to be a combination of factors.”

Toxin Linked to Motor Neuron Disease Found in Australian Algal Blooms.

https://theconversation.com/toxin-linked-to-motor-neuron-disease-found-in-australian-algal-blooms-95646?utm

Algal blooms in major Australian rivers are releasing a toxic chemical that may contribute to the development of motor neuron disease (MND).

My colleagues and I tested algae from waterways in New South Wales, and found that a neurotoxin called BMAA was present in 70% of samples, including those from crucial water sources such as the Darling and Murrumbidgee rivers.

This compound is well known overseas, and has been found in waterways in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. But this is the first time it has been detected in Australia. Although its presence has been suspected, it was never specifically tested until now.

Two samples containing BMAA were collected from the Murrumbidgee River, which runs through the NSW Riverina, a hotspot for MND in Australia. Positive samples were also collected in Centennial Park and Botany wetlands in central Sydney, as well as Manly Dam on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

In the past 30 years, Australian rivers have had the dubious honour of hosting some of the largest algal blooms in history. In 1991 a bloom stretched along more than 1,200km of the Darling River, prompting the New South Wales government to declare a state of emergency. The army was mobilised to provide aid to towns.

Since then, southeast Australia has had four large blooms, most recently in 2016. The future isn’t promising either. Rising water temperatures mean blooms are likely to increase in frequency and duration in the future.

Multiple state agencies monitor populations of types of bacteria in Australia, regularly testing water quality and issuing alerts when blooms are present. This testing is necessary because of the impressive number of toxins that cyanobacteria can produce, ranging from skin irritants to liver and neurological toxins. Most of these compounds are relatively fast-acting, meaning that their effects take hold rapidly after exposure.

The neurotoxic compound BMAA, however, is not currently part of regular testing, despite links between long-term exposure to algal blooms and the development of diseases such as MND. BMAA is known to be produced by a type of freshwater and marine bacteria, as well as some species of algae.

How BMAA affects our health

Research in America found that regular participation in water-based recreational activity resulted in a threefold increase in the risk of developing MND. Satellite mapping also revealed that lakes prone to algal blooms were often surrounded by clusters of MND patients.

Southwestern NSW has become a focus for MND researchers since 2014, due to the presence of a hotspot for MND cases around the Riverina. The town of Griffith has reported a prevalence of this disease that is nearly seven times higher than the national average of 8.7 cases per 100,000 people. Hotspots like these can help researchers identify environmental factors that contribute to diseases.

This is particularly important in MND, in which only 5-10% of patients have a family history. The other 90-95% of cases are sporadic, occurring without warning. It is possible that BMAA exposure, in association with genetic, or other environmental risk factors, contributes to the high incidence of MND in the Riverina.

BMAA also has a similar structure to the amino acids that make up the proteins in our body. We hypothesise that this contributes to its toxicity and ability to build up in animal tissue and in plants that are exposed to contaminated water.

Similar to mercury, BMAA can accumulate in the food chain, which means that people could be consuming relatively large amounts of it through their diet. A US animal study found that dietary exposure to BMAA resulted in the formation of plaques and protein tangles in the brain, which are hallmark features of neurodegeneration.

Research now needs to focus on tracking and monitoring algal blooms to detect the presence of BMAA, and determining how long it remains in the ecosystem after these blooms occur.

This can potentially help to reduce human exposure to BMAA. Although the factors that cause MND are many and varied, we hope this understanding could ultimately help to reduce the number of people who develop the disease.

2011 – Yaraka (Queensland) – Chlorate

2011 Aug/Dec: Yaraka (Queensland) – Chlorate

15 Aug 11: 0.33mg/L

13 Dec 11: 1.54mg/L

Chlorite: ADWG Health 0.3mg/L.

Chlorite and chlorate are disinfection by-products of chlorine dioxide disinfection process.

“… industry are having serious problems meeting chlorite/chlorate limits that were proposed in the new Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, especially for disinfection in long distance pipelines that are dosed with sodium hyptochlorite” pers comm 18/5/11.

“Chlorite occurs in drinking water when chlorine dioxide is used for purification purposes. The
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that chlorite is not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans and is listed in the Group 3 category. Changes in red blood vessels due to oxidative stress are a major concern with excessive levels of Chlorite in drinking water. According to the US EPA, potential health problems for people drinking Chorite above safe drinking water guideline include: Anemia in infants and young children and nervous system effects.” https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm

“Chlorine dioxide (chlorite) is rarely used as a disinfectant in Australian reticulated supplies.
When used, the chlorite residual is generally maintained between 0.2mg/L and 0.4mg/L. It is
particularly effective inthe control of manganese-reducing bacteria. Few data are available on
chlorate levels in Australian water supplies….Chlorine dioxide, chlorite, and chlorate are all
absorbed rapidly by the gastrointestinal tract into blood plasma and distributed to the major
organs. All compounds appear to be rapidly metabolised. Chlorine dioxide has been shown to
impair neurobehavioural and neurological development in rats exposed before birth. Experimental studies with rats and monkeys exposed to chlorine dioxide in drinking water have shown some evidence of thyroid toxicity; however, because of the studies’ limitations, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions (WHO 2005) The primary concern with chlorite and chlorate is oxidative stress resulting in changes in red blood cells. This end point is seen in laboratory animals and, by analogy with chlorate, in humans exposed to high doses in poisoning incidents (WHO 2005).” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Centre

“…Subchronic studies in animals (cats, mice, rats and monkeys) indicate that chlorite and chlorate cause haematological changes (osmotic fragility, oxidative stress, increase in mean corpuscular volume), stomach lesions and increased spleen and adrenal weights… Neurobehavioural effects (lowered auditory startle amplitude, decreased brain weight and decreased exploratory activity) are the most sensitive endpoints following oral exposure to chlorite…” https://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/chlorite-chlorate/indexeng.
php#sec10_1Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

2009/12 – Longreach (Queensland) – E.coli, Fluoride, Turbidity, Chlorate, Trichloroacetic Acid

2009 July – 2011 November – Longreach (Queensland) – E.coli
Number of samples 213. Max 9, Average 0.14
No E.coli detected since January 2010. 7 samples above ADWG

“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

2009/11 – Longreach (Queensland) – Fluoride
2009/11: Longreach (Queensland) – The only quality parameter that exceeds the ADWG health limit is fluoride, which ranges from 5.5 to 6 mg/L (6 in the Snapshot Monitoring). This is precisely the feature that will be used for beneficial purposes by adding borewater at 10% to the treated river water to provide fluoride in the specified range of 0.6 to 0.8 mg/L (quarterly average).

“Fluoride occurs naturally in seawater (1.4 mg/L), soil (up to 300 parts per million) and air (from volcanic gases and industrial pollution). Naturally occurring fluoride concentrations in drinking water depend on the type of soil and rock through which the water drains. Generally, concentrations in surface water are relatively low (<0.1–0.5 mg/L), while water from deeper wells may have quite high concentrations (1–10 mg/L) if the rock formations are fluoride-rich.” 2011 ADWG.

Longreach (Queensland) – Turbidity

2009-11: Longreach (Queensland) – Turbidity 10.5 NTU (Maximum detection during year), 1.99NTU av.

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap.

2011 Dec: Longreach (Queensland) – Chlorate

13 Dec 11: 0.75mg/L

Chlorite: ADWG Health 0.3mg/L.

Chlorite and chlorate are disinfection by-products of chlorine dioxide disinfection process.

“… industry are having serious problems meeting chlorite/chlorate limits that were proposed in the new Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, especially for disinfection in long distance pipelines that are dosed with sodium hyptochlorite” pers comm 18/5/11.

“Chlorite occurs in drinking water when chlorine dioxide is used for purification purposes. The
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that chlorite is not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans and is listed in the Group 3 category. Changes in red blood vessels due to oxidative stress are a major concern with excessive levels of Chlorite in drinking water. According to the US EPA, potential health problems for people drinking Chorite above safe drinking water guideline include: Anemia in infants and young children and nervous system effects.” https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm

“Chlorine dioxide (chlorite) is rarely used as a disinfectant in Australian reticulated supplies.
When used, the chlorite residual is generally maintained between 0.2mg/L and 0.4mg/L. It is
particularly effective inthe control of manganese-reducing bacteria. Few data are available on
chlorate levels in Australian water supplies….Chlorine dioxide, chlorite, and chlorate are all
absorbed rapidly by the gastrointestinal tract into blood plasma and distributed to the major
organs. All compounds appear to be rapidly metabolised. Chlorine dioxide has been shown to
impair neurobehavioural and neurological development in rats exposed before birth. Experimental studies with rats and monkeys exposed to chlorine dioxide in drinking water have shown some evidence of thyroid toxicity; however, because of the studies’ limitations, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions (WHO 2005) The primary concern with chlorite and chlorate is oxidative stress resulting in changes in red blood cells. This end point is seen in laboratory animals and, by analogy with chlorate, in humans exposed to high doses in poisoning incidents (WHO 2005).” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Centre

“…Subchronic studies in animals (cats, mice, rats and monkeys) indicate that chlorite and chlorate cause haematological changes (osmotic fragility, oxidative stress, increase in mean corpuscular volume), stomach lesions and increased spleen and adrenal weights… Neurobehavioural effects (lowered auditory startle amplitude, decreased brain weight and decreased exploratory activity) are the most sensitive endpoints following oral exposure to chlorite…” https://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/chlorite-chlorate/indexeng.
php#sec10_1Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

Longreach (Queensland) – Trichloroacetic Acid

Breaches to ADWG listed only

2011 February 8: Longreach (Queensland) 104ug/L

2011 March 15: Longreach (Queensland) 109ug/L + 102ug/L

2012 February 29: Longreach (Queensland) 106ug/L

2012 April 3: Longreach (Queensland) 110ug/L

Australian Guidelines Trichloroacetic Acid 0.100mg/L, Dichloroacetic Acid 0.100mg/L

“Chloroacetic acids are produced in drinking water as by-products of the reaction between chlorine and naturally occurring humic and fulvic acids. Concentrations reported overseas range up to 0.16mg/L and are typically about half the chloroform concentration. The chloroacetic acids are used commercially as reagents or intermediates in the preparation of a wide variety of chemicals. Monochloroacetic acid can be used as a pre-emergent herbicide, dichloroacetic acid as an ingredient in some pharmaceutical products, and trichloroacetic acid as a herbicide, soil sterilant and antiseptic.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Council…

There are no epidemiological studies of TCA carcinogenicity in humans. Most of the human health data for chlorinated acetic acids concern components of complex mixtures of water disinfectant by-products. These complex mixtures of disinfectant by-products have been associated with increased potential for bladder, rectal, and colon cancer in humans [reviewed by Boorman et al. (1999); Mills et al. (1998)].” Ref: tmp/Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) CASRN 76-03-9 IRIS US EPA.htm

2009-2011 – Isisford (Queensland) – E.coli, Turbidity, Chlorine, Chlorate

2009 April – 2009 December – Isisford (Queensland) – E.coli
Number of samples 123. Max 200, Average 2.3
No E.coli detected since December 2009

“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

Isiford (Queensland) – Chlorine
2009-11: Isisford (Queensland) – Chlorine Free Residual 5mg/L (highest level only)

Based on health considerations, the guideline value for total chlorine in drinking water is 5 mg/L.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

Isisford (Queensland) – Turbidity

2009-11: Isisford (Queensland) – Turbidity 14 NTU (Maximum detection during year), 2.4NTU av.

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap.

2011 Aug-Dec: Isisford (Queensland) – Chlorate

15 Aug 11: 0.33mg/L

13 Dec 11: 1.22mg/L

Chlorite: ADWG Health 0.3mg/L.

Chlorite and chlorate are disinfection by-products of chlorine dioxide disinfection process.

“… industry are having serious problems meeting chlorite/chlorate limits that were proposed in the new Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, especially for disinfection in long distance pipelines that are dosed with sodium hyptochlorite” pers comm 18/5/11.

“Chlorite occurs in drinking water when chlorine dioxide is used for purification purposes. The
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that chlorite is not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans and is listed in the Group 3 category. Changes in red blood vessels due to oxidative stress are a major concern with excessive levels of Chlorite in drinking water. According to the US EPA, potential health problems for people drinking Chorite above safe drinking water guideline include: Anemia in infants and young children and nervous system effects.” https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm

“Chlorine dioxide (chlorite) is rarely used as a disinfectant in Australian reticulated supplies.
When used, the chlorite residual is generally maintained between 0.2mg/L and 0.4mg/L. It is
particularly effective inthe control of manganese-reducing bacteria. Few data are available on
chlorate levels in Australian water supplies….Chlorine dioxide, chlorite, and chlorate are all
absorbed rapidly by the gastrointestinal tract into blood plasma and distributed to the major
organs. All compounds appear to be rapidly metabolised. Chlorine dioxide has been shown to
impair neurobehavioural and neurological development in rats exposed before birth. Experimental studies with rats and monkeys exposed to chlorine dioxide in drinking water have shown some evidence of thyroid toxicity; however, because of the studies’ limitations, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions (WHO 2005) The primary concern with chlorite and chlorate is oxidative stress resulting in changes in red blood cells. This end point is seen in laboratory animals and, by analogy with chlorate, in humans exposed to high doses in poisoning incidents (WHO 2005).” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Centre

“…Subchronic studies in animals (cats, mice, rats and monkeys) indicate that chlorite and chlorate cause haematological changes (osmotic fragility, oxidative stress, increase in mean corpuscular volume), stomach lesions and increased spleen and adrenal weights… Neurobehavioural effects (lowered auditory startle amplitude, decreased brain weight and decreased exploratory activity) are the most sensitive endpoints following oral exposure to chlorite…” https://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/chlorite-chlorate/indexeng.
php#sec10_1Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

2010/11 – Ilfracombe (Queensland) – E.coli, Chlorate

2010 October – Ilfracombe (Queensland) – E.coli
There was one positive E.coli reading in the two year period. Follow-up sampling proved negative

“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

2011 Aug-Dec: Ilfracombe (Queensland) – Chlorate

15 Aug 11: 0.97mg/L

13 Dec 11: 0.97mg/L

Chlorite: ADWG Health 0.3mg/L.

Chlorite and chlorate are disinfection by-products of chlorine dioxide disinfection process.

“… industry are having serious problems meeting chlorite/chlorate limits that were proposed in the new Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, especially for disinfection in long distance pipelines that are dosed with sodium hyptochlorite” pers comm 18/5/11.

“Chlorite occurs in drinking water when chlorine dioxide is used for purification purposes. The
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that chlorite is not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans and is listed in the Group 3 category. Changes in red blood vessels due to oxidative stress are a major concern with excessive levels of Chlorite in drinking water. According to the US EPA, potential health problems for people drinking Chorite above safe drinking water guideline include: Anemia in infants and young children and nervous system effects.” https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm

“Chlorine dioxide (chlorite) is rarely used as a disinfectant in Australian reticulated supplies.
When used, the chlorite residual is generally maintained between 0.2mg/L and 0.4mg/L. It is
particularly effective inthe control of manganese-reducing bacteria. Few data are available on
chlorate levels in Australian water supplies….Chlorine dioxide, chlorite, and chlorate are all
absorbed rapidly by the gastrointestinal tract into blood plasma and distributed to the major
organs. All compounds appear to be rapidly metabolised. Chlorine dioxide has been shown to
impair neurobehavioural and neurological development in rats exposed before birth. Experimental studies with rats and monkeys exposed to chlorine dioxide in drinking water have shown some evidence of thyroid toxicity; however, because of the studies’ limitations, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions (WHO 2005) The primary concern with chlorite and chlorate is oxidative stress resulting in changes in red blood cells. This end point is seen in laboratory animals and, by analogy with chlorate, in humans exposed to high doses in poisoning incidents (WHO 2005).” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Centre

“…Subchronic studies in animals (cats, mice, rats and monkeys) indicate that chlorite and chlorate cause haematological changes (osmotic fragility, oxidative stress, increase in mean corpuscular volume), stomach lesions and increased spleen and adrenal weights… Neurobehavioural effects (lowered auditory startle amplitude, decreased brain weight and decreased exploratory activity) are the most sensitive endpoints following oral exposure to chlorite…” https://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/chlorite-chlorate/indexeng.
php#sec10_1Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

2015/16 – Glenden (Queensland) – Dissolved Oxygen

Glenden (Queensland) – Dissolved Oxygen

2015/16: Glenden (Queensland) Dissolved Oxygen 97.6% (max), av. 73.188%. 1 exceedence during year.

Based on aesthetic considerations, it is desirable that the dissolved oxygen concentration in drinking water be greater than 85% saturation.
No health-based guideline value has been set for dissolved oxygen.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
Drinking water will generally contain an adequate concentration of dissolved oxygen; however, under some circumstances the oxygen concentration may be reduced. This may occur, for instance, where water has been drawn from deep storages, where there is considerable growth of microorganisms in a distribution system, or following prolonged periods of high water temperature.
Low oxygen concentrations or anoxic conditions enable nuisance anaerobic microorganisms to grow, producing by-products that affect the aesthetic quality of the water and increase corrosion of pipes and fittings.
There are a number of such nuisance microorganisms. Manganese-reducing bacteria produce black manganese deposits which can slough off pipes and soil laundry. Sulfate-reducing bacteria can produce hydrogen sulfide, giving drinking water a ‘rotten egg’ smell. Nitrate-reducing bacteria can produce nitrite. Iron-reducing bacteria can increase the concentration of ferrous ion in solution which will lead to the deposition of insoluble ferric salts when aeration is increased.
Localised pH changes associated with the growth of nuisance microorganisms can cause rapid corrosion in metal pipes.
Water from groundwater sources will generally have low oxygen concentrations and while this may cause no difficulties for most supplies, some supplies may need aeration to improve water quality (e.g. taste and odour). ADWG 2011

2015/17 – St Lawrence (Queensland) – Selenium, Aluminium, Dissolved Oxygen, Hydrogen Sulfide, Manganese

St Lawrence – Queensland – Selenium

2015/16: St Lawrence (Queensland) – Selenium 1.32mg/L

GUIDELINE

“Based on health considerations, the concentration of selenium in drinking water should not
exceed 0.01 mg/L.

Selenium and selenium salts are widespread in the environment. Selenium is released from natural and human-made sources, with the main source being the burning of coal. Selenium is also a by-product of the processing of sulfide ores, chiefly in the copper refining industry.

The major use of selenium is in the manufacture of electronic components. It is used in several other industries, and selenium compounds are used in some insecticides, in hair shampoos as an anti-dandruff agent, and as a nutritional feed additive for poultry and livestock.

Selenium concentrations in source waters are generally very low and depend on local geochemistry, pH and the presence of iron salts. Concentrations in drinking water supplies overseas are generally below 0.01 mg/L but groundwater concentrations as high as 6 mg/L have been reported in the United States.”

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011

St Lawrence (Queensland) – Aluminium

2016/17: St Lawrence (Queensland) Aluminium 0.59mg/L (Highest Level Only)
3 exceedences during year
Australian Guideline: Aluminium 0.2mg/L

According to the ADWG, no health guideline has been adopted for Aluminium, but that the issue is still open to review. Aluminium can come from natural geological sources or from the use of aluminium salts as coagulants in water treatment plants. According to the ADWG “A well-operated water filtration plant (even using aluminium as a flocculant) can achieve aluminium concentrations in the finished water of less than 0.1 mg/L.

The most common form of aluminium in water treatment plants is Aluminium Sulfate (Alum). Alum can be supplied as a bulk liquid or in granular form. It is used at water treatment plants as a coagulant to remove turbidity, microorganisms, organic matter and inorganic chemicals. If water is particularly dirty an Alum dose of as high as 500mg/L could occur. There is also concern that other metals may also exist in refined alum.

While the ADWG mentions that there is considerable evidence that Aluminium is neurotoxic and can pass the gut barrier to accumulate in the blood, leading to a condition called encephalopathy (dialysis dementia) and that Aluminium has been associated with Parkinsonism dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the NHMRC, whilst also acknowledging studies which have linked Aluminium with Alzheimer disease, has not granted Aluminium a NOEL (No Observable Effect Level) due to insufficient and contradictory data. Without a NOEL, a health guideline cannot be established. The NHMRC has also stated that if new information comes to hand, a health guideline may be established in the future.

In communication with Aluminium expert Dr Chris Exley (Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry
The Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire UK) in March 2013 regarding high levels of Aluminium detected in the South Western Victorian town of Hamilton
“It is my opinion that any value above 0.5 mg/L is totally unacceptable and a potential health risk. Where such values are maintained over days, weeks or even months, as indeed is indicated by the data you sent to me, these represent a significant health risk to all consumers. While consumers may not experience any short term health effects the result of longer term exposure to elevated levels of aluminium in potable waters may be a significant increase in the body burden of aluminium in these individuals. This artificially increased body burden will not return to ‘normal’ levels when the Al content of the potable water returns to normal but will act as a new platform level from which the Al body burden will continue to increase with age.

St Lawrence (Queensland) – Dissolved Oxygen

2016/17: St Lawrence (Queensland) Dissolved Oxygen 102.4% (max), av. 90.06%. 1 exceedence during year.

Based on aesthetic considerations, it is desirable that the dissolved oxygen concentration in drinking water be greater than 85% saturation.
No health-based guideline value has been set for dissolved oxygen.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
Drinking water will generally contain an adequate concentration of dissolved oxygen; however, under some circumstances the oxygen concentration may be reduced. This may occur, for instance, where water has been drawn from deep storages, where there is considerable growth of microorganisms in a distribution system, or following prolonged periods of high water temperature.
Low oxygen concentrations or anoxic conditions enable nuisance anaerobic microorganisms to grow, producing by-products that affect the aesthetic quality of the water and increase corrosion of pipes and fittings.
There are a number of such nuisance microorganisms. Manganese-reducing bacteria produce black manganese deposits which can slough off pipes and soil laundry. Sulfate-reducing bacteria can produce hydrogen sulfide, giving drinking water a ‘rotten egg’ smell. Nitrate-reducing bacteria can produce nitrite. Iron-reducing bacteria can increase the concentration of ferrous ion in solution which will lead to the deposition of insoluble ferric salts when aeration is increased.
Localised pH changes associated with the growth of nuisance microorganisms can cause rapid corrosion in metal pipes.
Water from groundwater sources will generally have low oxygen concentrations and while this may cause no difficulties for most supplies, some supplies may need aeration to improve water quality (e.g. taste and odour). ADWG 2011

St Lawrence (Queensland) – Hydrogen Sulfide

2016/17 – St Lawrence (Queensland) – 1mg/L 1 exceedence during year

Based on aesthetic considerations, the concentration of hydrogen sulfide in drinking water should not exceed 0.05 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for hydrogen sulfide, or sulfide, as the aesthetic guideline is considerably below the concentration that would cause health problems.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
Hydrogen sulfide is formed in drinking water by the hydrolysis of soluble sulfides, or through the reduction of sulfate by the action of microorganisms. Both processes require anoxic conditions. In well-oxygenated water, sulfide will be chemically or biologically oxidised to sulfate or elemental sulfur, and concentrations are extremely low. Higher concentrations can occur in anoxic water drawn from deep storages.
In water, hydrogen sulfide will be in equilibrium with the sulfide and hydrosulfide ions. The ratio will depend on pH, temperature and salinity. At pH 7.4, about a third will be present in undissociated form, with the remainder present as hydrosulfide. Above pH 10, the sulfide ion will be the dominant form; below pH 5, undissociated hydrogen sulfide will predominate.
Hydrogen sulfide has an obnoxious ‘rotten egg’ gas odour, with a taste and odour threshold of 0.05 mg/L. High concentrations in air can have a deceptively sweet smell and cause ‘olfactory fatigue’ (a deadening of the sense of smell).
Hydrogen sulfide is used industrially in the production of sulfur, sulfuric acid, inorganic sulfides, thiophenes and other organic compounds. It occurs as a by-product in a number of processes including petrol refining, coke ovens, paper mills, iron smelters, food processing and tanneries. It is present in sewers and is a major component of sewage odour.
Data on the concentration of hydrogen sulfide in food are scarce, although a number of foods and drinks are known to contain sulfides.

St Lawrence (Queensland) – Manganese

2015/16: St Lawrence (Queensland) – Manganese 0.5mg/L (maximum)

3 ADWG exceedences.

Manganese: ADWG Guidelines 0.5mg/L. ADWG Aesthetic Guideline 0.1mg/L
Manganese is found in the natural environment. Manganese in drinking water above 0.1mg/L can give water an unpleasant taste and stain plumbing fixtures and laundry.

2010 + 2015/17 – Nebo (Queensland) – Benzene, Dissolved Oxygen, Hardness, Total Dissolved Solids

Residents assured drinking water safe

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-11-15/residents-assured-drinking-water-safe/2336908

Moranbah and Nebo residents, south-west of Mackay in north Queensland, are being assured their water is safe to drink, after the discovery of benzene in three coal seam gas wells last week.

A spokesman for the Isaac Regional Council says Moranbah is supplied from groundwater supplies from the Burdekin and Eungella dam, and not from underground supplies.

He says Nebo’s supply is from an underground aquifer.

Arrow Energy says trace levels of benzene have been found in the three wells outside Moranbah and is unlikely to pose a public health risk.

Nebo (Queensland) – Dissolved Oxygen

2016/17: Nebo (Queensland) Dissolved Oxygen 85.9% (max), av. 70.7%. 11 exceedences during year.

2015/16: Nebo (Queensland) Dissolved Oxygen 80.5% (max), av. 65.482%. 5 exceedences during year.

Based on aesthetic considerations, it is desirable that the dissolved oxygen concentration in drinking water be greater than 85% saturation.
No health-based guideline value has been set for dissolved oxygen.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
Drinking water will generally contain an adequate concentration of dissolved oxygen; however, under some circumstances the oxygen concentration may be reduced. This may occur, for instance, where water has been drawn from deep storages, where there is considerable growth of microorganisms in a distribution system, or following prolonged periods of high water temperature.
Low oxygen concentrations or anoxic conditions enable nuisance anaerobic microorganisms to grow, producing by-products that affect the aesthetic quality of the water and increase corrosion of pipes and fittings.
There are a number of such nuisance microorganisms. Manganese-reducing bacteria produce black manganese deposits which can slough off pipes and soil laundry. Sulfate-reducing bacteria can produce hydrogen sulfide, giving drinking water a ‘rotten egg’ smell. Nitrate-reducing bacteria can produce nitrite. Iron-reducing bacteria can increase the concentration of ferrous ion in solution which will lead to the deposition of insoluble ferric salts when aeration is increased.
Localised pH changes associated with the growth of nuisance microorganisms can cause rapid corrosion in metal pipes.
Water from groundwater sources will generally have low oxygen concentrations and while this may cause no difficulties for most supplies, some supplies may need aeration to improve water quality (e.g. taste and odour). ADWG 2011

Nebo – (Queensland) – Hardness

2016/17: Nebo (Queensland) – Hardness 487.57mg/L (Highest Detection), (258.08mg/L av)

6 exceedences during year

GUIDELINE

“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

2016/17 – Nebo (Queensland) – Total Dissolved Solids

2016/17: Nebo – Queensland Total Dissolved Solids 880mg/L (high) 561mg/L av.
25 exceedences during year
2015/16: Nebo – Queensland Total Dissolved Solids 754mg/L (high) 506mg/L av.
13 exceedences during year

GUIDELINE

“No specific health guideline value is provided for total dissolved solids (TDS), as there are no
health effects directly attributable to TDS. However for good palatability total dissolved solids
in drinking water should not exceed 600 mg/L.

2014/17 – Moranbah (Queensland) – Turbidity

Moranbah (Queensland) – Turbidity

2016/17: Moranbah (Queensland) – Turbidity 5.6 NTU (Maximum detection during year), 0.99NTU av.

2014/15: Moranbah (Queensland) – Turbidity 6.19 NTU (Maximum detection during year)

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap

2014/17 – Middlemount (Queensland) – Dissolved Oxygen, Chlorine, Manganese

Middlemount (Queensland) – Dissolved Oxygen

2016/17: Middlemount (Queensland) Dissolved Oxygen 99% (max), av. 91.93%. 1 exceedence during year.

2015/16: Middlemount (Queensland) Dissolved Oxygen 96% (max), av. 88.967%. 2 exceedences during year.

Based on aesthetic considerations, it is desirable that the dissolved oxygen concentration in drinking water be greater than 85% saturation.
No health-based guideline value has been set for dissolved oxygen.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
Drinking water will generally contain an adequate concentration of dissolved oxygen; however, under some circumstances the oxygen concentration may be reduced. This may occur, for instance, where water has been drawn from deep storages, where there is considerable growth of microorganisms in a distribution system, or following prolonged periods of high water temperature.
Low oxygen concentrations or anoxic conditions enable nuisance anaerobic microorganisms to grow, producing by-products that affect the aesthetic quality of the water and increase corrosion of pipes and fittings.
There are a number of such nuisance microorganisms. Manganese-reducing bacteria produce black manganese deposits which can slough off pipes and soil laundry. Sulfate-reducing bacteria can produce hydrogen sulfide, giving drinking water a ‘rotten egg’ smell. Nitrate-reducing bacteria can produce nitrite. Iron-reducing bacteria can increase the concentration of ferrous ion in solution which will lead to the deposition of insoluble ferric salts when aeration is increased.
Localised pH changes associated with the growth of nuisance microorganisms can cause rapid corrosion in metal pipes.
Water from groundwater sources will generally have low oxygen concentrations and while this may cause no difficulties for most supplies, some supplies may need aeration to improve water quality (e.g. taste and odour). ADWG 2011

Middlemount (Queensland) – Chlorine
2014/15: Middlemount (Queensland) – Chlorine Free Residual 6.3mg/L

Based on health considerations, the guideline value for total chlorine in drinking water is 5 mg/L.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

Middlemount (Queensland) – Manganese

2014/15: Middlemount (Queensland) – Manganese 4.5mg/L (maximum)

Manganese: ADWG Guidelines 0.5mg/L. ADWG Aesthetic Guideline 0.1mg/L
Manganese is found in the natural environment. Manganese in drinking water above 0.1mg/L can give water an unpleasant taste and stain plumbing fixtures and laundry.

2014/17 – Dysart (Queensland) – Chlorine, Turbidity, Manganese

Dysart (Queensland) – Chlorine
2015/16: Dysart (Queensland) – Chlorine Free Residual 7.81mg/L

Based on health considerations, the guideline value for total chlorine in drinking water is 5 mg/L.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
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

Dysart (Queensland) – Turbidity

2016/17: Dysart (Queensland) – Turbidity 92 NTU (Maximum detection during year), 7.54NTU av.

Chlorine-resistant pathogen reduction: Where filtration alone is used as the water treatment
process to address identified risks from Cryptosporidium and Giardia, it is essential
that filtration is optimised and consequently the target for the turbidity of water leaving
individual filters should be less than 0.2 NTU, and should not exceed 0.5 NTU at any time
Disinfection: A turbidity of less than 1 NTU is desirable at the time of disinfection with
chlorine unless a higher value can be validated in a specific context.

Aesthetic: Based on aesthetic considerations, the turbidity should not exceed 5 NTU at the
consumer’s tap.

Dysart (Queensland) – Manganese

2014/15: Dysart (Queensland) – Manganese 1.7mg/L (maximum). 0.096mg/L (average)

7 samples exceeded guidelines

 

Manganese: ADWG Guidelines 0.5mg/L. ADWG Aesthetic Guideline 0.1mg/L
Manganese is found in the natural environment. Manganese in drinking water above 0.1mg/L can give water an unpleasant taste and stain plumbing fixtures and laundry.

2015/17 – Clermont (Queensland) – Manganese, Dissolved Oxygen

Clermont (Queensland) – Manganese

2016/17: Clermont (Queensland) – Manganese 0.1061mg/L (maximum). 0.13mg/L (average)

1ADWG exceedence.

2015/16: Clermont (Queensland) – Manganese 0.2mg/L (maximum). 0.102mg/L (average)

3 ADWG exceedences.

Manganese: ADWG Guidelines 0.5mg/L. ADWG Aesthetic Guideline 0.1mg/L
Manganese is found in the natural environment. Manganese in drinking water above 0.1mg/L can give water an unpleasant taste and stain plumbing fixtures and laundry.

Clermont (Queensland) – Dissolved Oxygen

2016/17: Clermont (Queensland) Dissolved Oxygen 99% (max), av. 87%. 6 exceedences during year.

2015/16: Clermont (Queensland) Dissolved Oxygen 92% (max), av. 83.317%. 3 exceedences during year.

Based on aesthetic considerations, it is desirable that the dissolved oxygen concentration in drinking water be greater than 85% saturation.
No health-based guideline value has been set for dissolved oxygen.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
Drinking water will generally contain an adequate concentration of dissolved oxygen; however, under some circumstances the oxygen concentration may be reduced. This may occur, for instance, where water has been drawn from deep storages, where there is considerable growth of microorganisms in a distribution system, or following prolonged periods of high water temperature.
Low oxygen concentrations or anoxic conditions enable nuisance anaerobic microorganisms to grow, producing by-products that affect the aesthetic quality of the water and increase corrosion of pipes and fittings.
There are a number of such nuisance microorganisms. Manganese-reducing bacteria produce black manganese deposits which can slough off pipes and soil laundry. Sulfate-reducing bacteria can produce hydrogen sulfide, giving drinking water a ‘rotten egg’ smell. Nitrate-reducing bacteria can produce nitrite. Iron-reducing bacteria can increase the concentration of ferrous ion in solution which will lead to the deposition of insoluble ferric salts when aeration is increased.
Localised pH changes associated with the growth of nuisance microorganisms can cause rapid corrosion in metal pipes.
Water from groundwater sources will generally have low oxygen concentrations and while this may cause no difficulties for most supplies, some supplies may need aeration to improve water quality (e.g. taste and odour). ADWG 2011

2016/18 – Carmila (Queensland) – Dissolved Oxygen

Carmila (Queensland) – Dissolved Oxygen

2016/17: Carmilla (Queensland) Dissolved Oxygen 100% (max), av. 83.49%. 9 exceedences during year.

2017/18: Carmilla (Queensland) Dissolved Oxygen 104.39% (max), av. 94.31 (av.) 2 exceedences during year.

Based on aesthetic considerations, it is desirable that the dissolved oxygen concentration in drinking water be greater than 85% saturation.
No health-based guideline value has been set for dissolved oxygen.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
Drinking water will generally contain an adequate concentration of dissolved oxygen; however, under some circumstances the oxygen concentration may be reduced. This may occur, for instance, where water has been drawn from deep storages, where there is considerable growth of microorganisms in a distribution system, or following prolonged periods of high water temperature.
Low oxygen concentrations or anoxic conditions enable nuisance anaerobic microorganisms to grow, producing by-products that affect the aesthetic quality of the water and increase corrosion of pipes and fittings.
There are a number of such nuisance microorganisms. Manganese-reducing bacteria produce black manganese deposits which can slough off pipes and soil laundry. Sulfate-reducing bacteria can produce hydrogen sulfide, giving drinking water a ‘rotten egg’ smell. Nitrate-reducing bacteria can produce nitrite. Iron-reducing bacteria can increase the concentration of ferrous ion in solution which will lead to the deposition of insoluble ferric salts when aeration is increased.
Localised pH changes associated with the growth of nuisance microorganisms can cause rapid corrosion in metal pipes.
Water from groundwater sources will generally have low oxygen concentrations and while this may cause no difficulties for most supplies, some supplies may need aeration to improve water quality (e.g. taste and odour). ADWG 2011

2016 December – Currumbin Waters (Queensland) – E.coli

2016 December – Currumbin Waters (Queensland) – E.coli
Incident Description: On 12 December 2016, during routine verification monitoring, there was a positive detection of E. coli (1 MPN /100mL) recorded at a sample tap in the Currumbin Waters WSD. The free chlorine residual was <0.05 mg/L.
https://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/documents/bf/52375556-drinking-water-quality-annual-report.pdf

“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

2016 December – Reedy Creek (Queensland) – E.coli

2016 December – Reedy Creek (Queensland) – E.coli
Incident Description: On 12 December 2016, during routine verification monitoring, there was a positive detection of E. coli (1MPN /100mL) recorded at a sample tap in the Reedy Creek
WSD. The free chlorine residual was 0.39 mg/L.
https://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/documents/bf/52375556-drinking-water-quality-annual-report.pdf

“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

2014/7 – Stapylton (Queensland) – E.coli, Chlorate

2017 May – Stapylton (Queensland) – E.coli
Incident Description: On 31 May 2017, during routine verification monitoring, there was a positive detection of E. coli (1 MPN/100mL) recorded at a sample tap in the Stapylton WSD. The free chlorine residual was 1.1 mg/L.
https://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/documents/bf/52375556-drinking-water-quality-annual-report.pdf

“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

2015: Stapylton (Queensland) – Chlorate

2015: Stapylton (Queensland) – Chlorate 0.99mg/L (max)

Southern Regional Pipeline (SRP) – Stapylton (Chlorate, 0.99 mg/L, 22/04/2015). Seqwater reviewed the delivery of this water to the remainder of the SRP including off-takes to the distribution system reservoirs and undertook further testing. The affected water was found to have been sufficiently diluted by blending with water supplied from the Gold Coast’s WTPs so that water supplied to the community was within the criteria in the Seqwater DWQMP.

SEQWater Annual Drinking Water Quality Plan 2014/15

Chlorite: ADWG Health 0.3mg/L.

Chlorite and chlorate are disinfection by-products of chlorine dioxide disinfection process.

“… industry are having serious problems meeting chlorite/chlorate limits that were proposed in the new Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, especially for disinfection in long distance pipelines that are dosed with sodium hyptochlorite” pers comm 18/5/11.

“Chlorite occurs in drinking water when chlorine dioxide is used for purification purposes. The
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that chlorite is not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans and is listed in the Group 3 category. Changes in red blood vessels due to oxidative stress are a major concern with excessive levels of Chlorite in drinking water. According to the US EPA, potential health problems for people drinking Chorite above safe drinking water guideline include: Anemia in infants and young children and nervous system effects.” https://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm

“Chlorine dioxide (chlorite) is rarely used as a disinfectant in Australian reticulated supplies.
When used, the chlorite residual is generally maintained between 0.2mg/L and 0.4mg/L. It is
particularly effective inthe control of manganese-reducing bacteria. Few data are available on
chlorate levels in Australian water supplies….Chlorine dioxide, chlorite, and chlorate are all
absorbed rapidly by the gastrointestinal tract into blood plasma and distributed to the major
organs. All compounds appear to be rapidly metabolised. Chlorine dioxide has been shown to
impair neurobehavioural and neurological development in rats exposed before birth. Experimental studies with rats and monkeys exposed to chlorine dioxide in drinking water have shown some evidence of thyroid toxicity; however, because of the studies’ limitations, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions (WHO 2005) The primary concern with chlorite and chlorate is oxidative stress resulting in changes in red blood cells. This end point is seen in laboratory animals and, by analogy with chlorate, in humans exposed to high doses in poisoning incidents (WHO 2005).” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Centre

“…Subchronic studies in animals (cats, mice, rats and monkeys) indicate that chlorite and chlorate cause haematological changes (osmotic fragility, oxidative stress, increase in mean corpuscular volume), stomach lesions and increased spleen and adrenal weights… Neurobehavioural effects (lowered auditory startle amplitude, decreased brain weight and decreased exploratory activity) are the most sensitive endpoints following oral exposure to chlorite…” https://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/chlorite-chlorate/indexeng.
php#sec10_1Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

2015/19 – Croydon (Queensland) – E.coli, Arsenic, Fluoride

2019 – Croydon (Queensland) – E.coli

2019 – Croydon (Queensland) – E.coli (1 sample, out of 45, exceeding water quality criteria)

“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

Croydon (Queensland) – Arsenic

2015/15 Croydon (Queensland) Arsenic 0.011mg/L

https://www.croydon.qld.gov.au/documents/98276/41515595/Drinking%20Water%20Quality%20Management%20Plan%20Annual%20Report%202015-2016.pdf

Arsenic: Australian Drinking Water Guideline = 0.01mg/L

Arsenic is bioaccumulative and symptoms may take 10-15 years to develop after expsoure at high levels. Drinking water can be contaminated with inorganic arsenic through wind blown dust, leaching or runoff from soil, rocks and sediment. Groundwater sources such as bores will usually have higher arsenic levels than surface water. In major Australian reticulated water supplies concentrations of arsenic range up to 0.015mg/L, with typical values less than
0.005mg/L. https://www.health.qld.gov.au/ph/documents/ehu/2676.pdf

2019 – Croydon (Queensland) – Fluoride (Source Water Butterfly North 2019)

2019: Croydon (Queensland) Fluoride 2.3 mg/L (max), 2.1mg/L (av. mean)

“Fluoride occurs naturally in seawater (1.4 mg/L), soil (up to 300 parts per million) and air (from volcanic gases and industrial pollution). Naturally occurring fluoride concentrations in drinking water depend on the type of soil and rock through which the water drains. Generally, concentrations in surface water are relatively low (<0.1–0.5 mg/L), while water from deeper wells may have quite high concentrations (1–10 mg/L) if the rock formations are fluoride-rich.” 2011 ADWG. Health Guideline: 1.5mg/L

2015 September – Burketown (Queensland) – Lead, Aluminium, Iron

Burketown (Queensland) – Lead

2015 September: Burketown (Water Treatment Plant) (Queensland) – Lead 0.012mg/L (maximum detection)

Lead Australian Drinking Water Guideline 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

Burketown (Queensland)  – Iron

2015 September: Burketown NPRS (Queensland)  – Iron 1.36mg/L (Highest level only)

Tablelands Regional Council Annual Drinking Water Quality Management Plan 2016-17

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

Burketown (Queensland) – Aluminium

2015 September: Burketown NRPS (Queensland) Aluminium 0.61mg/L (Highest Level Only)
Australian Guideline: Aluminium 0.2mg/L

According to the ADWG, no health guideline has been adopted for Aluminium, but that the issue is still open to review. Aluminium can come from natural geological sources or from the use of aluminium salts as coagulants in water treatment plants. According to the ADWG “A well-operated water filtration plant (even using aluminium as a flocculant) can achieve aluminium concentrations in the finished water of less than 0.1 mg/L.

The most common form of aluminium in water treatment plants is Aluminium Sulfate (Alum). Alum can be supplied as a bulk liquid or in granular form. It is used at water treatment plants as a coagulant to remove turbidity, microorganisms, organic matter and inorganic chemicals. If water is particularly dirty an Alum dose of as high as 500mg/L could occur. There is also concern that other metals may also exist in refined alum.

While the ADWG mentions that there is considerable evidence that Aluminium is neurotoxic and can pass the gut barrier to accumulate in the blood, leading to a condition called encephalopathy (dialysis dementia) and that Aluminium has been associated with Parkinsonism dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the NHMRC, whilst also acknowledging studies which have linked Aluminium with Alzheimer disease, has not granted Aluminium a NOEL (No Observable Effect Level) due to insufficient and contradictory data. Without a NOEL, a health guideline cannot be established. The NHMRC has also stated that if new information comes to hand, a health guideline may be established in the future.

In communication with Aluminium expert Dr Chris Exley (Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry
The Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire UK) in March 2013 regarding high levels of Aluminium detected in the South Western Victorian town of Hamilton
“It is my opinion that any value above 0.5 mg/L is totally unacceptable and a potential health risk. Where such values are maintained over days, weeks or even months, as indeed is indicated by the data you sent to me, these represent a significant health risk to all consumers. While consumers may not experience any short term health effects the result of longer term exposure to elevated levels of aluminium in potable waters may be a significant increase in the body burden of aluminium in these individuals. This artificially increased body burden will not return to ‘normal’ levels when the Al content of the potable water returns to normal but will act as a new platform level from which the Al body burden will continue to increase with age.

2015/16 – Julia Creek (Queensland) – Fluoride, Sodium

2015/16 – Julia Creek – Fluoride
2015/16: Julia Creek (Queensland) – Fluoride 6.34mg/L (highest detection), 3.09mg/L average detection.
34 breaches during year

“Fluoride occurs naturally in seawater (1.4 mg/L), soil (up to 300 parts per million) and air (from volcanic gases and industrial pollution). Naturally occurring fluoride concentrations in drinking water depend on the type of soil and rock through which the water drains. Generally, concentrations in surface water are relatively low (<0.1–0.5 mg/L), while water from deeper wells may have quite high concentrations (1–10 mg/L) if the rock formations are fluoride-rich.” 2011 ADWG.

2015/16 – Julia Creek – Sodium

2015/16: Julia Creek (Queensland) – Sodium 288mg/L (highest detection) Sodium 135mg/L (average detection)

1 breach during year

“Based on aesthetic considerations (taste), the concentration of sodium in drinking water
should not exceed 180 mg/L….The sodium ion is widespread in water due to the high solubility of sodium salts and the abundance of mineral deposits. Near coastal areas, windborne sea spray can make an important contribution either by fallout onto land surfaces where it can drain to drinking water sources, or from washout by rain. Apart from saline intrusion and natural contamination, water treatment chemicals, domestic water softeners and
sewage effluent can contribute to the sodium content of drinking water.” ADWG 2011

2015/20 – McKinlay (Queensland) – E.coli, Fluoride, Total Dissolved Solids, pH, Ammonia, Sodium

Boil water alert for McKinlay township

Sep 10, 2020

https://www.northweststar.com.au/story/6920061/boil-water-alert-for-mckinlay-township/

This alert applies to all residents in the township of McKinlay from September 10 until further notice.

McKinlay Shire Council says it is working closely with Queensland Health to resolve the situation.

“McKinlay Shire Council is working at identifying and rectifying this issue as soon as possible and apologise for the inconvenience,” Council said.

“Council are currently undertaking chlorination, flushing and re-sampling of the system. This whole process may take approximately 2 weeks.

“The boil water alert will stay in effect until McKinlay Shire Council and Queensland Health are confident there is no longer a public health concern”.

Consuming unboiled drinking water could lead to illness, especially for vulnerable people (e.g. those who are very young, elderly or those with weak immune systems).

If you believe the water has made you sick, contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84), your local doctor or local hospital and advise them of your concerns.

People should use cooled boiled water or bottled water for: drinking, brushing teeth, preparing and cooking foods, washing raw foods such as fruit and vegetables, preparing beverages and making ice, preparing baby formula, sponge-bathing infants.

Unboiled drinking water can be used for: showering and bathing other than infants (avoid getting water in the mouth), washing dishes by hand or in a dishwasher, washing clothes, flushing toilets.

People should bring drinking water to a rolling boil and then allow water to cool before using it or storing it in a clean, closed container for later use.

25/7/17: McKinlay Township – E.coli
• Boil Water Alert was sent out to the community while the incident remained open;
• Follow up sampling occurred to ensure three (3) clear samples were taken
• Daily flushing (approx. 4 hours) occurred due to low turnover of water
• The two (2) storage tanks were chlorinated; no chlorine residual reading was taken due to lack of testing equipment
20/11/17: McKinlay Township – E.coli
• Boil Water Alert was sent out to the community while the incident remained open;
• Follow up sampling occurred to ensure three (3) clear samples were taken
• Daily flushing (approx. 4 hours) occurred due to low turnover of water
• The two (2) storage tanks were chlorinated; no chlorine residual reading was taken due to lack of testing equipment
14/3/18: McKinlay Township – E.coli
• Boil Water Alert was sent out to the community while the incident remained open;
• Follow up sampling occurred to ensure three (3) clear samples were taken
• Daily flushing (approx. 4 hours) occurred due to low turnover of water
• The two (2) storage tanks were chlorinated
• Bird Proofing was undertaken on the storage tank to ensure that there is no bird intrusion
“E.coli

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

24/1/18 – McKinlay (Queensland) – Fluoride

24/1/18: • The township has readings around 1.45mg/L every month however some months see the level exceed the health guideline limit of 1.5mg/L
• McKinlay Township has an open incident with results to be reported every month

Fluoride

“Fluoride occurs naturally in seawater (1.4 mg/L), soil (up to 300 parts per million) and air (from volcanic gases and industrial pollution). Naturally occurring fluoride concentrations in drinking water depend on the type of soil and rock through which the water drains. Generally, concentrations in surface water are relatively low (<0.1–0.5 mg/L), while water from deeper wells may have quite high concentrations (1–10 mg/L) if the rock formations are fluoride-rich.” 2011 ADWG. Health Guideline: 1.5mg/L

2015/16 – McKinlay (Queensland) – Total Dissolved Solids

2015/16: McKinlay (Queensland) – Total Dissolved Solids 621mg/L (maximum), 600mg/L (average)
6 breaches during year

GUIDELINE

“No specific health guideline value is provided for total dissolved solids (TDS), as there are no
health effects directly attributable to TDS. However for good palatability total dissolved solids
in drinking water should not exceed 600 mg/L.

2017/18 – McKinlay (Queensland) – Ammonia

Based on aesthetic considerations (corrosion of copper pipes and fittings), the concentration
of ammonia (measured as ammonia) in drinking water should not exceed 0.5 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value is set for ammonia.

“…Most uncontaminated source waters have ammonia concentrations below 0.2 mg/L. High concentrations (greater than 10 mg/L) have been reported where water is contaminated with animal waste. Ammonia is unlikely to be detected in chlorinated supplies as it reacts quickly with free chlorine. Ammonia in water can result in the corrosion of copper pipes and fittings, causing copper stains on sanitary ware. It is also a food source for some microorganisms, and can support nuisance growths of bacteria and algae, often with a resultant increase in the nitrite concentration.” ADWG 2011

McKinlay (Queensland) – pH (alkaline)

The McKinlay Township samples are just over the max aesthetic limit of 8.5

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings. Corrosion can be reduced by the formation of a protective layer of calcium carbonate on the inside of the pipe or fitting, and the formation of this layer is affected by pH, temperature, the availability of calcium (hardness) and carbon dioxide. If the water is too alkaline (above pH 8.5), the rapid deposition and build-up of calcium carbonate that can result may eventually block the pipe.

When pH is below 6.5 or above 11, the water may corrode plumbing fittings and pipes. This, however, will depend on other factors such as the material used, the concentration and type of ions in solution, the availability of oxygen, and the water temperature. Under some conditions, particularly in the presence of strong oxidising agents such as chlorine, water with a pH between 6.5 and 7 can be quite corrosive.

Chlorine disinfection efficiency is impaired above pH 8.0, although the optimum pH for monochloramine disinfectant formation is between 8.0 and 8.4. In chloraminated supplies chlorine can react with ammonia to form odorous nitrogen trichloride below pH 7.

Chlorination of water supplies can decrease the pH, while it can be significantly raised by lime leached from new concrete tanks or from pipes lined with asbestos cement or cement mortar. Values of pH above 9.5 can cause a bitter taste in drinking water, and can irritate skin if the water is used for ablutions.

2017/18 – McKinlay (Queensland) – Sodium

McKinlay around 220mg/L

“Based on aesthetic considerations (taste), the concentration of sodium in drinking water
should not exceed 180 mg/L….The sodium ion is widespread in water due to the high solubility of sodium salts and the abundance of mineral deposits. Near coastal areas, windborne sea spray can make an important contribution either by fallout onto land surfaces where it can drain to drinking water sources, or from washout by rain. Apart from saline intrusion and natural contamination, water treatment chemicals, domestic water softeners and
sewage effluent can contribute to the sodium content of drinking water.” ADWG 2011

2015/16 – Kynuna (Queensland) – Iron, Manganese, Colour, Turbidity

Kynuna (Queensland) – Iron

2015/16: Kynuna (Queensland)  – Iron 4.7mg/L (Highest level only – Reticulation), average 1.66mg/L

10 breaches during the year

Based on aesthetic considerations (precipitation of iron from solution and taste),
the concentration of iron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
No health-based guideline value has been set for iron.

Iron has a taste threshold of about 0.3 mg/L in water, and becomes objectionable above 3 mg/L. High iron concentrations give water an undesirable rust-brown appearance and can cause staining of laundry and plumbing fittings, fouling of ion-exchange softeners, and blockages in irrigation systems. Growths of iron bacteria, which concentrate iron, may cause taste and odour problems and lead to pipe restrictions, blockages and corrosion. ADWG 2011

Kynuna (Queensland) – Manganese

2015/16: Kynuna (Queensland) – Manganese 0.19mg/L (av. 0.09mg/L)

5 breaches during the year

Manganese: ADWG Guidelines 0.5mg/L. ADWG Aesthetic Guideline 0.1mg/L
Manganese is found in the natural environment. Manganese in drinking water above 0.1mg/L can give water an unpleasant taste and stain plumbing fixtures and laundry.

Kynuna  (Queensland) – Colour

2015/16: Kynuna (Queensland) – Colour 21 TCU (Highest Level Only)

1 breach during the year

Based on aesthetic considerations, true colour in drinking water should not exceed 15 HU.

“… Colour is generally related to organic content, and while colour derived from natural sources such as humic and fulvic acids is not a health consideration, chlorination of such water can produce a variety of chlorinated organic compounds as by-products (see Section 6.3.2 on disinfection by-products). If the colour is high at the time of disinfection, then the water should be checked for disinfection by-products. It should be noted, however, that low colour at the time of disinfection does not necessarily mean that the concentration of disinfection by-products will be low…

Kynuna (Queensland) – Turbidity

2015/16