Drinking Water Report
2010-11 drinking water summary
This drinking water report draws on information provided by Rockhampton Regional Council and Central Highlands Regional Council. The townships displayed on the map have drinking water results supplied by these councils.
Drinking water results for 2010-11 were mostly good with no exceedances of health guidelines in any townships. There were 2 exceedance of aesthetic guidelines in 1 township. See the exceedance table below for more details.
Drinking water reports have been prepared by applying the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines to data provided by local councils. These results are then averaged and graded using the Drinking water method.
Why is this a potential issue?
Where alum is used as a coagulant in water treatment, post-flocculation effects can occur if the soluble aluminium concentration in drinking water exceeds 0.2 mg/L. Depending on pH, a whitish gelatinous precipitate of aluminium hydroxide can be formed in the distribution system which may result in customer complaints about ‘milky coloured’ water. There is public concern over the possible health effects of aluminium, however, no health-based guideline is set for aluminium. Intake of aluminium from food and beverages is approximately 5–7 mg/day. Drinking water contributes less than 2% of the total daily intake. Exceedances of the aesthetic threshold of aluminium occasional occur in the region.
What can be done?
Aluminium concentrations in drinking water can be reduced using the conventional water treatment practices of flocculation and filtration. 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.
Why is this a potential issue?
The level of total dissolved solids (TDS) in drinking water is an aesthetic issue as elevated levels affect the taste of the water. For good palatability TDS in drinking water should not exceed 600 mg/L. Exceedances of this level of TDS occasionally occur in the region but remain below 900 mg/L which is regarded as the threshold between fair quality and poor quality drinking water. No specific health guideline value is provided for TDS, as there are no health effects directly attributable to TDS. The measurement of the electrical conductivity of water is used as an indirect method of determining TDS.
What can be done?
It is difficult to remove dissolved solids from drinking water. Suitable technologies include reverse osmosis, ion exchange, and distillation, but all of these require considerable energy input and can be expensive to operate. Lime softening may also be effective where high TDS is mainly due to hardness. Some rural communities may have elevated TDS owing to the characteristics of the groundwater used as the raw water supply.
About drinking water reports
For more information see the FAQ's page
Drinking water reports have been prepared by applying the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines to your data. These results are then averaged and graded using the Drinking water method. Both Aesthetic and Health guidelines are used with results for raw water. Treated water results are available when the water has been treated and data is available.
Treated vs. Raw: What's the difference?
Raw water comes from creeks, rivers dams and underground bores this water has not been treated for use as drinkable water or other uses. Councils and other suppliers of water to townships process this raw water to make it more drinkable, potable or useful by purifying, clarifying, softening or deodorizing it.
Health vs. Aesthetic Guidelines: What's the difference?
The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines include two different types of guideline value:
A health-related guideline value, which is the concentration or measure of a water quality characteristic that, based on present knowledge, does not result in any significant risk to the health of the consumer over a lifetime of consumption;
An aesthetic guideline value, which is the concentration or measure of a water quality characteristic that is associated with acceptability of water to the consumer; for example, appearance, taste and odour.
Data gaps may occur in some years in some council areas. Data gaps may also occur where third party data is not supplied for Rockhampton Region and Central Highlands.
These reports are provided as a guide only and come with the following warnings:
- Raw water should never be used for drinking water until it has been treated by a duly regulated entity (such as a regional council).
- The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines recognise that occasionally there may be health or aesthetic related test results that fall outside the guidelines and that these results are not necessarily an immediate threat to health. The guidelines do not require a 100% result in all cases. All test results above the guidelines are investigated and actions, if necessary, taken.
- These reports are based on third party data. Third parties may not be sampling for all of the indicators that are important in determining suitability of water for drinking purposes