Murwillumbah resident Robyn Lemaire has concerns about the yellow-coloured water coming out of her taps.
Murwillumbah resident Robyn Lemaire has concerns about the yellow-coloured water coming out of her taps. Jason O’Brien

Yellow water is safe, says council

YELLOW-coloured water has caused a Murwillumbah resident to question Tweed Shire Council’s $75 million upgrade of the Bray Park Water Treatment Plant.

Murwillumbah Ratepayers and Residents Association president Robyn Lemaire said she first noticed the water discol- ouring last week when her daughter refused to get in the bath because it looked like “urine”.

“My first thought was the filtration system wasn’t working properly,” Ms Lemaire said.

“The Tweed Shire Council sent someone out who said there had been other water complaints in the area. The Tweed has such a growing population, people don’t want to drink water that looks bad, and it won’t look good at all for the Tweed.”

A Tweed Shire Council spokeswoman said the discoloured water was caused by issues at the Bray Park Water Treatment Plant in dealing with manganese in the raw water supply, which is common after periods of rain.

“Council has received calls from residents from different areas of the Tweed over the past few weeks, however as the problem has occurred in isolated pockets and is only an aesthetic issue and not a health concern, no wide- spread alert has been issued by council,” the spokeswoman said.

“Discoloured water occurs when there is a sudden change in the flow of water through the distribution pipes, which sometimes stirs up harmless sediments that have settled in the pipes over a long period of time.

“These sediments contain iron and manganese that may cause staining to washing.

“Although unsightly, the discoloured water is harmless to health and the water is safe to drink.”

Ms Lemaire said the new filtration system did not seem to filter out the manganese, but the council spokeswoman said it had nothing to do with the filtration.

“Council sets a standard of less the 0.02 milligrams per litre of manganese. Manganese only becomes a health issue when the manganese levels are greater than 0.5 milligrams per litre,” she said.

“These issues are unrelated to the ultrafiltration process at the heart of the water treatment plant. Manganese is instead treated by oxidisation, which is a separate process to filtration.

Anyone experiencing discoloured laundry due to discoloured water is asked to contact council on (02) 6670 2400 for a cleaning kit.



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