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Drinking fountains temporarily switched off

News Article Date: 
Friday, 8 June 2018

Warrnambool’s public drinking water fountains have been temporarily shut off following testing which revealed two fountains had marginally elevated levels of lead in the water.

“Council, working with Wannon Water, decided to test the water at the drinking fountains following the discovery in Geelong of fountains delivering water with lead levels above recommended limits,” Director City Infrastructure Scott Cavanagh said.

“We initially tested five drinking fountains and found that one was at the lead limit of 0.01 parts per million and another just above at 0.03 parts per million.

“We’re now testing the remaining 25 drinking water fountains in the city.

“Drinking fountains that are waiting to be tested or which have elevated lead levels in the water will remain out of service until the issue is rectified.

“Early indications are that this is an issue with plumbing hardware.

“We know that Wannon Water regularly tests for lead in drinking waters throughout the region and results are well within the Australian Drinking Water Guideline limits.”

Following the findings at Geelong, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Charles Guest advised that:

People do not need to be worried if they have consumed water from the affected drinking fountains. While the levels of lead detected are above the health guideline value in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, they are not of immediate concern, as drinking water fountains are not the main source of daily drinking water.

The impacts of plumbing materials in contact with drinking water is an emerging issue worldwide. Experts and regulators across Australia are working together to better understand the issue, with the aim of minimising exposure to lead from drinking water.


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