A water-quality testing programme for public water supply has been launched in Queensland.
Key points:The program will check water quality using water tests, water quality monitoring equipment and lab testsCommunity water providers in Queensland are already required to have water quality testing equipment and labs at their disposalCommunity water suppliers in Queensland will now be able to use lab tests to assess the quality of their waterSource: Water AustraliaCommunity water supplies in Queensland already have lab tests, laboratory tests and lab testing equipment at their fingertips, but the state government has decided to introduce a similar program for public supply.
Water Quality Testing Equipment and Lab TestingIn February, Queensland announced that it was going to have its water quality tested using water testing equipment.
In the announcement, Water Minister Ian McDonald said that water testing was an important tool for Queenslanders.
“It’s a critical element of ensuring our water is free of harmful chemicals, but we also want to be able get a clear picture of the water that we’re drinking, the water we’re consuming, and to make that more easily available to us,” he said.
“The testing equipment can be used to perform this testing.”
Community water supply providers in the state will be able use the testing equipment to ensure their water is at safe levels of chlorine and phthalates.
The testing programme will include water testing labs, lab tests and water quality analysis, as well as water quality assessment tools such as a water quality analyzer.
“We’ll be able utilise these equipment to make a decision whether our water or public supply is safe for the community,” Mr McDonald said.
Community water systems will also be able take part in the testing, and the testing process will be overseen by the state Health Department.
What’s more, testing will also give Queenslanders the option of getting the water tested themselves.
“We will have the ability to ask for the water to be tested ourselves,” Mr Cook said.
A number of community water suppliers already have water testing devices at their hand.
How to test your waterCommunity water services in Queensland can currently test their water at three levels of concentration, as follows:1.
0.3 parts per billion (ppb)2.
0 (parts per billion)3.
0-2.5 parts per million4.
0,001 parts per trillion5.
10,000 parts per cubic metreCommunity water users in Queensland currently use water quality test kits for all water samples taken, and Mr McDonald noted that water quality tests were only currently available for public consumption.
The lab tests will allow community water users to test for their own water quality levels.
Why is this important?
“I think we should be testing the water of the community and public water, and if we can make sure that we are testing the quality and safety of the public water and we’re making sure that it’s safe to use, then we can use that to make decisions on how to manage the water supply in the community better,” Mr McDougall said.
“That will be very helpful for the future.”
What happens if the water quality isn’t at the safe level?
If your water sample is below the 3 ppb concentration and you are concerned that the water is not safe to consume, you can contact the water regulator.
This can be done at any point of the sample, but you should contact the regulator first.
It is important to note that the regulator will only take the sample for a short time, so it may take up to 24 hours before you can have a further test.
Once you have tested the water, the regulator has the ability, in their discretion, to determine if the sample is safe or not.
If you are not satisfied with the water you have sampled, you may wish to contact the State Health Department to have it tested.
When testing, it is important that the sample be returned to the water source within 72 hours of being taken.
If the sample doesn’t return, the sample will be sent back to the lab for further testing.
Community Water Users in Queensland have been required to submit samples for laboratory testing, but that has now been expanded to all water users.
Community water service providers have been asked to submit all samples within 72hrs of being collected, and all samples must be returned within 72hours of collection.