News

Residents on the boil: Maclean contaminated water mystery

Kyle Watkins and Matt Bell of Clarence Valley Council work inside the Maclean Lookout reservoir yesterday without finding any contamination source.
Kyle Watkins and Matt Bell of Clarence Valley Council work inside the Maclean Lookout reservoir yesterday without finding any contamination source.

AS RESIDENTS in the Maclean Lookout area endure day 14 of a "boil water alert" from Clarence Valley Council today, the source of contamination of the Lookout Reservoir remains a mystery.

About 300 properties in approximately the top third of Maclean Hill have been affected by the bacterial contamination and some residents have complained about being "forgotten" by the council.

"If this was happening at the top of Yamba Hill you can bet it would be fixed by now," said one affected resident who asked not to be named.

But the council's manager water cycle Greg Mashiah said this was far from the truth and that council crews, State Government officers and private contractors had been hard at work on the issue since the contamination was discovered and residents notified on December 21.

"Council responds exactly the same no matter which area," Mr Mashiah said.

He said the bacterial levels, although initially higher than the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, dropped to an acceptable level in the days that followed the alert.

He said the boil recommendation remained in place as a precaution because the source of the contamination had not been found.

Mr Mashiah admitted the timing of the contamination had contributed to a significant delay, possibly up to week, and he had apologised to residents for this.

Asked why no media release was issued about the "boil water alert", Mr Mashiah said the intention was to not panic those in Maclean that were not directly affected by the contamination.

He explained the vast majority of Maclean's properties were serviced by two much larger reservoirs in Roderick St with water drawn mostly from the Nymboida River.

Efforts to get to the bottom of the contamination were stepped up yesterday as CVC workers emptied the reservoir, cleared the silt at the bottom, replaced an old rusty ladder and refilled it by pumping water from the Roderick St reservoir.

Residents' water supply was interrupted for parts of yesterday as this happened, though some in the affected area reported having plenty of water.

Mr Mashiah said crews could not find any evidence of animal contamination in the reservoir and, though any holes at the top of the structure were very small, further netting was being installed.

He said a contamination of the majority of Maclean's water four or five years ago was caused by a single possum defecating in the water supply and when the possum was relocated the problem was fixed.

"It just goes to show how sensitive the monitoring is," he said.

As to the mysterious cause of this contamination, Mr Mashiah said authorities may never know, but there was a small chance it could be backflow from a resident's wrongly installed rainwater tank.

"But we don't have the resources to be able to test every address for this," he said.

Though he could not confirm when the boil water alert could be lifted, Mr Mashiah said he hoped it would be early next week when test results were back.

Some residents took to the Clarence Valley Ratepayers, Residents and Business Owners Facebook page to vent their frustrations, one thread receiving 65 comments.

Topics:  maclean



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

'Night stalker' suspect arrested over rapes, was on bail

A number of sexual offences spanning from 2008 to 2016 are believed to be linked.

"Night stalker" suspect was let out on the streets on bail last year.

Roosters, lions and Chinese culture for club

Celebrate Chinese New Year with Seagulls Club on Sunday

Celebrate your second New Year's at Seagulls

Airservices to test for contamination in Cobaki

Toxic chemicals found in firefighting foam previously used at the Gold Coast Airport have spread to the boundary of the site.

Airservices Australia will test seafood in Cobaki Broadwater

Local Partners

Lion roars to straight to No 1 at Aussie box office

Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar in a scene from the movie Lion.

THE Australian-made movie a hit, while Rogue One nears record mark.

Ozzy Osbourne fell asleep during his driving test

Not a good idea to give Ozzy a Ferrari

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Search for Merseybeat magic continues

The Searchers are coming to Twin Towns in February as part of a national tour.

"It's a free spirited country with a relaxed attitude to everything”

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Why investors are flocking to Moranbah

Moranbah homes are selling like hotcakes, creating a supply problem

Investors are scrambling to get into the market

Casuarina tops Tweed house market at $870,000

Casuarina recorded the region's top median prices for both houses ($870,000) and units ($435,000).

Buyers jumping at chance to get into Tweed property market

Beautiful Terranora acreage

77 Mahers Lane, Terranora.

Check out this week's feature property.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!