Iron levels three times too high in Northern Beaches
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.