E. coli found in Wallaville water

MANDY Reynolds is grateful she does not rely on town water, after the Wallaville supply was contaminated with E. coli bacteria this week.

Miss Reynolds said she finds the tap water “undrinkable” so she has a tank.

Without it, she would have to boil every drop of water that passed the lips of her family- from drinking and cooking, right down to the water her kids used to brush their teeth.

Routine testing brought the contamination to light earlier this week, and Bundaberg Regional Council sent an urgent message door to door in Wallaville, with a letter advising residents to take precautions.

“A chlorination unit failed,” Bundaberg Regional Council chief executive officer Peter Byrne said.

“We found 38 parts (of E. coli) per millilitre, and zero is required so it was unacceptable.”

Mr Byrne said the faulty equipment had been replaced and the mains system had been flushed.

While the system is now up to scratch, Mr Byrne said residents should continue to boil their water until $40,000 worth of more improvements to the plant had been carried out.

“We believe it's safe but until we get the new works in place, we want people to continue to be cautious,” he said.

“Hopefully that will be within a month.”

But Miss Reynolds said the recent issues were a drop in the ocean compared to the long-term problem of Wallaville's foul-tasting water.

“I've never trusted the town water here,” Miss Reynolds said.

“It's always had a bad smell, it tastes terrible, and it discolours all your white clothes brown when you wash with it.”

She said most residents in the area used tank water for everything except washing dishes and showering, because the taste was so terrible.

Mr Byrne said the council was aware of the on-going water quality issues.

“In the longer-term, we would like to undertake further modifications to the plant, to improve colour, odour and palatability of the water,” he said.

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