Thursday, January 5, 2017

Water still on alert up country

TASWATER reminds its customers at Fentonbury, Westerway and National Park that a boil-water alert remains in place until further notice due to ongoing water quality issues. The three localities have been on a boil-water alert since September 30.

"We can confirm there has been no improvement in catchment conditions causing an increase in the turbidity of the water to the extent that current disinfection practices may not remove all of the microbes and potentially poses a threat to public health," TasWater customer services manager Jayne Shepherd said.

"As a precaution, the boil water alert remains in place. We are currently investigating an initial temporary solution while we develop a permanent solution that will provide safe and reliable drinking water to Fentonbury, Westerway and National Park customers that meets the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines," she said.

Ms Shepherd said the water company would keep its customers informed through regular updates on the progress of the solutions.

TasWater customers at Fentonbury, National Park and Westerway should bring water to a boil by heating it  until a continuous and rapid stream of air-bubbles is produced from the bottom of a pan or kettle. Kettles with automatic cut-off switches are suitable and variable temperature kettles should be set to boil. After heating, water must be allowed to cool before using it and be stored in a clean, closed container for later use. Care should be taken to avoid scalding injuries.

Customers should boil all water used for:

  • drinking
  • brushing teeth
  • washing and preparing food or beverages
  • preparing baby formula
  • making ice.

Unboiled water may be used for:
  • showering and bathing (avoid swallowing water). As a precaution babies and toddlers should be sponge bathed to prevent them swallowing water
  • washing dishes by hand or in a dishwasher, providing dishes are air-dried before being used after washing
  • washing clothes.

The Department of Health and Human Services advises that consumption of unboiled water could lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and a general feeling of being unwell. If you are concerned that you may have been affected by contaminated water please contact your GP and advise them about this alert.

The Chief Veterinary Officer has advised TasWater that there is no increased risk to animals drinking reticulated water in towns under a boil water alert. Animals typically have access to, and consume, water from a range of other sources (puddles, watercourses, dams, toilets).

The alert will be in effect until TasWater and the Department of Health and Human Services are confident that there is no longer a public health concern. If you have any health concerns, please contact your doctor in the first instance or the Department of Health and Human Services on 1800 671 738. TasWater customer services can be contacted by emailing enquiries@taswater.com.au, by calling 13 69 92 or online at www.taswater.com.au.

TasWater provides a 20% reduction on variable water charges in areas where there has been a public health alert in place for an extended period of time. Customers at Westerway, Fentonbury and National Park will have the discount applied to your next account, backdated to September 30, 2016.

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