Poi­son fear in wa­ter sup­ply

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

FOR the first time the North­ern Ter­ri­tory Gov­ern­ment will re­strict the wa­ter sup­ply in Katherine due to con­tam­i­na­tion from old toxic fire­fight­ing foams used at Top End army bases.

About 11,000 res­i­dents will be af­fected by at least two months of mea­sures be­gin­ning on Au­gust 21 at a time of peak de­mand dur­ing the NT dry sea­son. Health Min­is­ter Natasha Fyles says lim­it­ing irrigation times were an ad­di­tional pre­cau­tion­ary ef­fort to keep the use of ground­wa­ter im­pacted by decades- long use of poi­sonous chem­i­cals at the nearby RAAF Tin­dal base to a min­i­mum. “I want to re­as­sure res­i­dents their drink­ing wa­ter is ab­so­lutely safe,” she said.

Since Novem­ber, pol­lu­tant lev­els have spiked above the rec­om­mended safe health limit four times but the Gun­ner gov­ern­ment won’t re­veal by how much. The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment also con­tin­ues to pro­vide al­ter­na­tive drink­ing wa­ter to about 50 Katherine homes.

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