WATER ALERT: Chinchilla residents advised of Boil Water Alert on Sunday, February 25.
WATER ALERT: Chinchilla residents advised of Boil Water Alert on Sunday, February 25. Graham Broadhead

Questions around council's knowledge of E.coli in town water

CHINCHILLA residents were advised by Western Downs Regional Council of a boil water alert on Sunday, despite Darling Downs Public Health Unit being informed by council on Thursday.

The Darling Downs Public Health Unit (DDPHU) were informed of the presence of E.coli in Chinchilla's drinking water by the Western Downs Regional Council last Thursday, February 22, according to a statement released by the DDPHU.

This is despite Western Downs mayor Paul McVeigh stating council was only made aware of the issue on Sunday, February 25.

"We were alerted yesterday morning that we had higher levels of E.coli in the water system, so council has immediately increased the treatment with chlorine to eliminate that problem,” Cr McVeigh said.

Western Downs Regional Council issued a water alert via their Facebook page and through a letter drop on Sunday, February 25, advising residents to boil their drinking water until further notice due to a "water quality issue”.

Cr McVeigh told Chinchilla News water testing was underway at the Chinchilla Water Treatment Plant and would continue for at least three days to ensure the water was drinkable for residents.

There have been no indications of an outbreak of illness due to the E.coli bacteria found, according to the manager of Environmental Health at DDPHU Peter Boland, who stated there had been no admissions to Chinchilla Hospital related to the contaminant.

Cr McVeigh said water run off from recent rainfall in the area is thought to be the cause of the presence of E.coli in the town's water supply.

Chinchilla has now become the third town in the Western Downs region to receive a water boil alert in recent months.

Cr McVeigh has been approached for further comment.

Residents can find information about E.coli on http://conditions.health.qld.gov.au/Health Condition/condition/14/33/666/Escherichia-coli-E.-coli-detections-in-drinking-water


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