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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 4 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1665..


(Question No 1371)

Mrs Dunne asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1) In relation to a recent article in the Canberra Chronicle reporting that Canberra residents have noticed a stronger smell or taste of chlorine in their drinking water in recent weeks, what is the reason for an increase in taste and smell of chlorine in the water supply?

(2) How many complaints has the Government received regarding a problem with smell or taste of water?

(3) What water testing does the Government conduct to monitor the safety and potability of the water supply?

(4) What are the main constituents looked for in water testing?

(5) How often is testing carried out?

(6) What have been the average readings for the constituents tested in our water supply each month for the last 18 months?

(7) Are there any concerns regarding an increase in turbidity of the water supply? If so, please provide details;

(8) Have there been any persons in the A.C.T. with any sort of health condition due to problems with water? if so, how many were detected and what caused the illness?

(9) For each of the constituents above, at what levels does the Government inform the public of problems with water supply?

(10) At what level of turbidity does the Government inform the public of problems with water supply?

Mr Quinlan

: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) ACTEW advises me that with the warmer weather and lower water flows during January 2004 there was a slight rise in the number of non-specific bacteria within the distribution system. In response to this, ACTEW increased the chlorine concentration at the Mt Stromlo water treatment plant, from 2.00 mg/L to a slightly higher level of 2.20 mg/L. This chlorine level is well within the 5mg/L limit outlined in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

(2) I am advised that ACTEW has received the following complaints regarding the taste or odour of water:

Complaint type

August 2002 to December 2003

January 2004 to March 2004













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