Iron lev­els three times too high in North­ern Beaches

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page -

HIGH iron lev­els are be­ing blamed for dirty wa­ter flow­ing through taps in Thuringowa.

Dozens of North­ern Beaches res­i­dents com­plained to Thuringowa City Coun­cil ear­lier this month about the brown wa­ter spew­ing from their taps.

NQ Wa­ter an­a­lysed sam­ples and found what they called ‘slightly el­e­vated iron lev­els’ in wa­ter from the Paluma Dam.

But NQ Wa­ter chair­man Ian Hamil­ton yes­ter­day wa­tered down res­i­dents’ con­cern, say­ing the ex­cess iron pre­sented no health risk.

Out­spo­ken Di­vi­sion One coun­cil­lor San­dra Ch­es­ney dis­agreed, said it was not good enough that thou­sands of North­ern Beaches res­i­dents were be­ing forced to drink poor qual­ity wa­ter.

She said res­i­dents in Rolling­stone, Toomulla, Toolakea, Bush­land Beach and now Black River were all be­ing fed dirty wa­ter from Paluma Dam.

‘‘Res­i­dents should be very con­cerned that the wa­ter qual­ity is not the same as that of town res­i­dents,’’ Cr Ch­es­ney said.

Iron lev­els found in North­ern Beaches sam­ples was as high as .85mg/L, al­most three times higher than Aus­tralian Drink­ing Wa­ter Guide­lines, which rec­om­mends lev­els un­der .3mg/L. The guide­lines state iron is not a health con­cern un­til it reaches 3mg/L.

‘‘The ex­perts say its not dan­ger­ous, but I don’t think enough re­search has been done to re­ally know,’’ Cr Ch­es­ney said.

Mr Hamil­ton said wa­ter from Paulma Dam was be­ing used to sup­ple­ment the Crys­tal Creek sup­ply.

He said the wa­ter came from rain­for­est and was ex­cel­lent qual­ity. ‘‘Un­til Crys­tal Creek be­gins flow­ing again, there is not much we can do.’’

NQ Wa­ter CEO Ken Diehm said a wa­ter treat­ment plant north of Rolling­stone was due for com­ple­tion by June, 2009.

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