Thursday, May 28, 2009

San Diego Update

As many readers of this blog would be aware, the City of San Diego has been toying with the idea of indirect potable water recycling for at least a decade now. However, as the city generally credited with having popularised the term ‘toilet to tap’, it may be no surprise that negative public perception has been a major obstacle.

I came across an excellent article today in the San Diego News Network. It’s a fairly solid article providing a good current perspective on the situation. It’s worth reading if –like me- you’re interested in this kind of stuff... and if you’re not, you’re really reading the wrong blog site!

Overcoming the stigma of ‘toilet-to-tap’ water

From water officials to academics, and private business experts, all agree that the reuse of water for drinking is safe, affordable and necessary. But what about the yuk factor?

By E.A. Barrera, SDNN
San Diego News Network
Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Water resource specialist Chris Reilly would often take his sixth grade students to waterways - streams, ponds, estuaries - when he was a teacher for the Boulder Creek YMCA in Santa Cruz. A 1985 graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a future water resource specialist with the San Diego County Water Authority, he would take the kids on field trips to discuss nature, water and the life-cycle of all living things on the planet.

“I would have them look at the life in the water and think about the water they were playing in or drinking,” said Reilly, who spent 12 years with the San Diego County Water Authority and now serves Northern California’s Indian Valley as Water Master for the California Department of Water Resources. “I would remind them that the water they were studying was the same water the dinosaurs had once drank and lived on. All water is recycled and the same water that was around 5 million years ago is still with us. There is no such thing as new water.”

With the city of San Diego declaring a Level 2 drought alert and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issuing a water shortage emergency, water specialists like Reilly feel it is critical communities across the state develop as many water retention, conservation and reserve capabilities as possible.

“We can’t afford to take anything off the table and that includes indirect potable reuse water that is very safe when the proper filtration systems are in place,” Reilly said.

For almost two decades, San Diego has debated the use of Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR) water as a source of replenishing the reservoirs in the city and county for its drinking supply. From water officials at the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) and the local water districts within the county, to academics, and private business experts, all agree that the reuse of water for drinking is safe, affordable and necessary.

But buttressing this argument is the “yuk factor” associated with the concept of drinking treated sewage water, and the belief by many that trying to blend sewage water into the drinking supply is a recipe for disease and a public health disaster. The term “toilet-to-tap” has become the rallying cry for opponents to IPR, who include San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.

“Mayor Sanders is concerned with the public’s perception of indirect potable reuse and feels there are other priorities which the city should focus on - mainly in the area of conservation of water,” said Bill Harris, deputy press secretary to Sanders.

In San Diego County, water is delivered and collected through three primary sources: The Sacramento/San Joaquin River, the Colorado River, and the many reservoirs built within the region. But more than 80 percent of the county’s water comes from the Colorado River, with less than 15 percent collected through local sources. According to the Southern California Metropolitan Water District (MWD), most water supplies in Southern California begin as snowmelt or rainfall that flows into rivers. However, 75 percent of that runoff occurs in the northern parts of the state, while the majority of California’s population lives in the south.

In order to bring that water supply down to residents in Southern California, the water is carried through aqueducts that are several hundred miles long. Whether from the Colorado River - that has a point of origin just north of Colorado’s Grand Lake in the Rocky Mountains - or snow melt and rain runoff transported south via aqueduct, MWD notes both federal and state rules protect the drinking water along its journey.

Under Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, water safety is monitored and regulated so that it will be safe before coming in human contact. Several agencies - including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the State Water Resources Control Board, the California Department of Health Services, and of course, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California - keep an eye on water, even before it reaches a treatment plant.

Nevertheless, millions of people also make use of the river water and other sources, fueling the complaint by IPR advocates that there is something inherently cleaner about water originating from these sources over supplies already being used.

“There seems to be a myth that water coming down the Colorado is ‘pure Rocky Mountain spring water.’ In fact, nothing could be further from the truth,” said San Diego State University professor Phillip Pryde in 2004.

Pryde, who served as chairman of the San Diego County Water Authority’s Reclamation Committee, noted that water from the Colorado River passed through several towns and cities on its way to San Diego.

“Tens of thousands of recreational users of the river make direct use of it for ‘fast, fast relief’ while floating down it or swimming in it (as do, in some cases, their pets),” he said. “A portion of this water goes directly into our drinking water plants without prior treatment. It may be argued that it’s highly diluted, if that makes people feel better, but it still contains untreated human wastes.”

The process for treatment of water involves a multi-phase filtration system broken down into nine steps.

During the first two steps, the water passes through various screens and sedimentation, including beds of anthracite coal, which removes most suspended solids from the water. According to experts familiar with the process, the water at this point is safe for irrigation and other non-drinking uses.

After these initial steps, the water is sent through a treatment called “microfiltration” which further filters out any remaining solids. Water is then run through a procedure called reverse osmosis, which pumps the water through special membranes whose pores are so small, only water molecules or something smaller are said to be able to pass. During a 1998 debate on the topic, the SDCWA issued a pamphlet describing the differences in size between water molecules and other molecules, by claiming that if a water molecule were the size of a tennis ball, a virus would be the size of a semi-truck, a bacteria the size of a pyramid, and a protozoa the size of a volcano. The SDCWA further stated that even the molecules of microscopic metals and other inorganic compounds, as well as organic compounds, would be too large to pass through the Reverse Osmosis membrane.

After the Reverse Osmosis procedure, the water is further cleaned by introducing Ion Exchange, which reduces nitrate concentrations to negligible levels, much as a water softener works. Then Ozone, a disinfectant, is released into the water for further cleansing.

In the next phase, the recycled water is blended into the surface water reservoirs of San Diego, where it is mixed with the raw water supply. From the reservoir, the water is once again run through the normal filtration process before being distributed to the general public.

“The re-purified water is cleaner than the water that comes out of the tap,” Reilly said. “Then that water is blended in with the reservoirs and run through the normal filtration process, so that nobody should be worried about the safety of that water.”

Former Ramona Municipal Water Water Disrict manager Tom Brammell agreed.

“Personally, drinking recycled water is OK with me,” Brammell said. The filtration and dilution make the water extremely clean.”

San Diego River at Alpine County supervisor Bill Horn, an avocado rancher, said re-purified water was so clean he often had to add components into the mix before using it for his crops.

Horn’s board colleague - Pam Slater-Price said it was important the region look at every option for sources of water.

“We definitely have to do it. We no longer have the luxury of not using Indirect Potable Reuse water and in fact are already doing it,” said Slater-Price. “People have the conception of water coming from the Colorado River or other natural sources as pristine and they may be repulsed by the thought of sewage water being reused for drinking. But when you understand that all water is reused and the system of treatment in place cleans the water so thoroughly that it is cleaner than when it comes out of the tap, then you realize it is something we can do and is necessary.”

Yet worries about the health of the water persist and memories of the 1993 cryptosporidium outbreak in Milwaukee fuel continued fears about what can happen when sewage water is mixed into a drinking water supply. Cryptosporidium is a virus which passes through the intestines of animals, mostly cattle, and exits through their fecal matter. It can cause severe stomach flu-like symptoms, such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and low grade fever. The disease is particularly susceptible to waterborne delivery.

In healthy persons, the infection can last up to two weeks, according to Dr. William R. Mac Kenzie in a 1994 article for the New England Journal of Medicine. But in people with weak immune systems, such as the elderly, babies and those diagnosed with other illnesses such as the HIV virus, cryptosporidium infection can be deadly. During the Milwaukee outbreak, 50 cryptosporidium-associated deaths were reported, according to the Wisconsin Bureau of Public Health. The outbreak resulted from flooding which overwhelmed the Milwaukee sewage system.

“A heavy snowfall followed by spring flooding and a heavy storm contributed to sending record amounts of overflow from the Milwaukee Harbor into Lake Michigan,” Mac Kenzie wrote. “This caused sewer overflows and a sewage bypass which created an overworked waste water treatment plant system and sent the cryptosporidium virus into the water.”

San Diego does not suffer flooding problems from heavy snow and ice, but other natural disasters do occur, including wildfires and even the occasional earthquake. But, Reilly said, what happened in Milwaukee resulted from older technology that has been improved in the last 15 years.

“That outbreak was a result of mechanical failures within the treatment plant and it is always possible mechanical devices will break and some portion of the treatment process will fail. But there are so many backup systems and safety procedures in place, that you have to trust they will work in the case of a natural disaster,” he said.

Mike Espiritu, the former water quality superintendent with the Helix Water District, shares Reilly’s view. During San Diego’s debate over reusable water a decade ago, Espiritu said that what happened in Milwaukee would not happen in San Diego.

“Milwaukee was an aberration. They were ill-prepared. Every one of their multiple barrier systems broke down. San Diego’s system is much better. The safeguards we have in San Diego would prevent such an accident,” he said in 1998.

Slater -Price said that before she ever voted on a system for using IPR water, she would discuss the safety conditions with all available water experts and would tour the treatment plants, making sure health safeguards were in place.

Yet the term “Toilet-to-Tap” persists and registers in the public arena very easily. Originating from Gerald Silver, an angry Encino homeowner’s association president who used the phrase in 1995 during a debate over IPR in Los Angeles, the phrase quickly became the term most opponents used to refer to the idea of IPR.

In San Diego, when the plan was put to public review in 1998, angry protestors including then city councilmember George Stevens, assemblymember Howard Wayne, and former San Diego city councilmember Bruce Henderson used the term to state their opposition to IPR.

Bernie Rhinerson, who served as chair of the SDCWA in 2003, said inflammatory language such as phrases like “toilet-to-tap” were more for political purposes than scientific ones.

“It’s used because the public is still against it,” he said. But all the science I’ve read says (IPR) is a viable source of potable water. Diversity of water supplies has to be at the center of our commitment to provide enough water for residents.”

During an October 2007 water conservation summit held at the University of San Diego, mayor Sanders spoke to a large collection of academics, engineers and other water experts. While he supported their efforts on conservation and the use of non-drinking recycled water for agriculture and landscapes, his opposition to IPR created frustration with many of the other speakers.

Among them was James Stayer, Division Manager for the PBS&J West Water/Wastewater Group, which is based in Carlsbad. The firm works on water and water reuse projects tin California, Nevada and Arizona. Stayer blamed both politicians and the media for the continued use of the term toilet-to-tap.

“This is a drought proof water supply and the media is to blame for creating this image of toilet to tap. It does not allow any room for meaningful discussion of the subject,” said Stayer.

But Slater-Price, in assessing why an idea that so many agree works well is still not in use after more than a decade of debate, said the blame for the lack of support among the public was universal.

“There are a lot of people living with ignorance on this subject and it is not just politicians. We have not done a good job of explaining this, but neither have those in academia and professional circles. A lot of them were way ahead of the public on this topic and they don’t seem to understand that. It is incumbent on all of us who care about this and want to see IPR put in place to do a better job educating people why it is needed.”


Mark said...

I've been meaning to ask about this for a while. Over the last couple of years we have been told about IPR in Orange County (adjacent to San Diego County in SoCal).

Does IPR really happen in Orange County? If so, why is this point neglected from the articles on the San Diego IPR debate?

I understand that reuse for holding back salt-water intrusion does take place.

Stuart Khan said...

G'day Mark,

Yes, IPR does really happen in Orange County. It doesn't get mentioned so much in reference to San Diego since the two schemes appear somewhat different. The Orange County scheme involves recharge of the aquifer that is then used as part of the potable water supply. The most recent incarnation of the scheme is known as the Groundwater Replenishment System (GRS), which you can read about here . As couple of extracts from that site:

"The water will then be used to keep the ocean out of our groundwater basin and be percolated into deep aquifers where it eventually becomes part of our natural drinking water supply. The GWR System water exceeds all federal and state drinking water standards. The underground basin provides more than half of the water used by north and central Orange County."

"Every major body of water in the nation contains some amount of purified wastewater. For the past twenty years, Californians have been drinking some reclaimed water that has been blended into our natural sources of drinking water supplies, whether it's Colorado River water, Northern California water, or groundwater.

Orange County and other communities inject purified water into seawater intrusion barriers, where it blends with groundwater. The groundwater is then pumped out and piped to homes and businesses. In areas of Los Angeles County, as well as many areas throughout the country and the world, reclaimed water has been used to recharge groundwater basins for decades".


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the plant in Brisbane , QUeensland is for purifying sewage wate or sea water?

Anonymous said...

The plant in Queensland will be recycling wastewater to potable standards. see:


Mark said...

I wonder whether this San Diego project is already on the scrap heap since I can't imagine anyone building this kind of infrastructure in exchange for an IOU from Arnie.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Australia recently proposed national regulations to force people to accept sewage effluent in their drinking water. The government
has followed EPA's lying example on sludge science risk assessment to justify the new regulation. EPA lets the states write the
laws on reclaimed water to get around the NPDES rules. What the sewer scientists say about animal testing with sewage effluent,
"there are ethical issues that have to be addressed before this type of testing can be applied, and applicability to humans can vary."
But, its OK to force people to drink reclaimed effluent with no testing. This form of population control could lead to mass extinction
and we will not need to worry about global warming..


By Jim Bynum Retired Safety Consultant

Even U.S. EPA would not attempt to regulate reclaimed water. EPA guidelines reflect states' policy.
EPA states, "Given the unknowns, limitations, and uncertainty with the current state of science and technology,
it is not possible to establish the threshold at which no observed effect would occur, just as it is not reasonable to
expect current scientific techniques to demonstrate the absence of an impact on human health."

In Australia, the proponents of sewage recycling do not want to take any responsibility for the science used to force
sewage reuse on the public and especially firefighters. They say it is safe, but don't quote them.
Draft statement:
The greatest risks to consumers of drinking water are pathogenic microorganisms; protection of water sources and
treatment are of paramount importance and must never be compromised Although a great deal of attention has been paid
to chemical quality of recycled water used to augment drinking water supplies, the risks posed by pathogens remain
significant. Impacts can be acute, severe and widespread.

Biological screening, including in-vivo and in-vitro assays, has been used to test recycled water (NRC 1998; NEWater
website6). Whole animal tests typically use mice and rats, and guideline values for many chemicals have been generated
from this type of testing. However, there are ethical issues that have to be addressed before this type of testing can be
applied, and applicability to humans can vary.

Australia faces growing pressures on health funding because of the ageing of the population, technological changes and
increasing patient expectations. One of the technological changes appears to be that Australia followed the U.S. EPA's lead
in promoting chemical and pathogen contaminate sewage sludge as a fertilizer rather than focusing on protecting public
health. Ethical issues have not been considered since, the Draft Guidelines will continue to authorize the spreading of
pathogens in the environment which increasingly cause human soft tissue and necrotizing infections that are extremely
difficult and expensive to treat. "There is huge lack of public information about the effects of chemicals on human health
and the environment; 80-90% of all chemicals lack basic information." The Reclaimed Water Guidelines not only further
erodes protection of public health, but puts the national economy at risk based on speculation by waste industry
representatives that by some magic potion, and lack of knowledge, the pollutants (pathogens & chemicals) in reclaimed
water will not harm, or kill, enough people to be noticed.

Anonymous said...


By Jim Bynum Retired Safety Consultant

Draft statement:
One outcome of risk assessments is to identify the level of uncertainty and specific areas where further information and
research is required to fill knowledge gaps. Proponents need to have a realistic perception of the limitations of
predictions, and convey this to stakeholders.

Risk assessment is the tool of lazy inept government politicians with an agenda who don't have the guts to find
the answers the public needs and allow half-truths and outright lies to be published, as in this case, as scientific
facts to be used in court cases to "prove" the dead and dying are only imagining that the pathogens listed could
cause serious health problems from exposure drinking sewage. On the other hand, scientists claim the world is
over populated, so could this be a backhanded way for the government to resolve the over population problem?

An apt description of risk assessment was given by Josephine Cooper (EPA's Assistant Administrator for
External Affairs) in an article "Helping the Public Weigh Health Threats" in the EPA Journal for December, 1984 when she
said, "With microscopes, spectrographs and sophisticated calculations, scientists weave a cloth of uncertain threads. The
blanket they produce is supposed to offer the public security--security based on uncertain beliefs in uncertain risks with
uncertain solutions. (p. 11)

Just as in when U.S. EPA used risk assessment to "prove" biosolids was safe, it only implies the government should be
honest, which is followed by a public relations program intended to fool the stakeholders. As an example, U.S. EPA spent
millions of dollars on a sewage sludge biosolds pollutant risk assessment "proving" sludge used as a fertilizer was safe. It
even had the U.S. National Academy of Science (NAS) put its stamp of approval on the program in 1996. However, U.S.
EPA's 1995 Guide to the Part 503 Risk Assessment, on page 110, stated that it did not consider organic chemicals or
pathogens a part of the risk assessment. Not only that, but it did not consider the 1989 list of cancer causing organic and
heavy metal inorganic pollutants to be cancer causing in biosolids, thus, making fools out of the scientists who served on
the NAS Committee.

Anonymous said...


Draft statement:
Risk management plans are predicated on prevention and on addressing contamination as close to
the source as possible. Sewage will always contain pathogenic microorganisms. However,
chemical quality depends on inputs and can therefore be influenced by trade-waste control
programs. Questions about chemical quality have led to a great deal of public uncertainty in
relation to drinking water augmentation. Trade-waste programs are essential for preventing or
minimising contamination of source waters before treatment.

Risk management plans are a product of government and scientific imagination. If you don't know what pathogenic
microorganisms and chemicals are in the sewage and therefor in reclaimed water, trade-waste
control programs become an inside joke of the regulators who establish limits and waste industry. As an example, U.S.
EPA established trade-waste controls on 10 inorganic chemical pollutants in it's part 403 pretreatment standards for which
it would allow removal credits for the pollutant to be discharged to the treatment plants, and those were the only pollutants
addressed in the 503 sludge biosolids policy. Not only that, but the levels of pollutants allowed in biosolids, prohibited it
from being disposed of within 75 feet of a permitted part 503 surface disposal landfill boundary. Canada adopt a similar
policy for biosolids dumped on farmland and the Walkerton outbreak resulted.

Draft statement:
Lack of regulatory oversight has contributed to outbreaks of waterborne illness from drinking
water supplies. A lack was identified as an important factor in the Walkerton outbreak in Canada,
where seven people died from drinking contaminated water (Hrudey and Hrudey 2005).
Independent regulatory surveillance and auditing should be applied to drinking water
augmentation. The public has a reasonable expectation that such schemes will be subject to
rigorous regulatory oversight. Surveillance and auditing verify that recycled water systems are
being managed and operated correctly and at a high standard, and that public health is being
protected. Outcomes should be published in publicly available reports.

In Clark County, Nevada in 1993-94, thirty-two people died in a Cryptosporidiosis outbreak associated with municipal
drinking water, despite state-of-the-art water treatment and water quality better than that required by current federal
standards. This outbreak highlights the importance of surveillance for Cryptosporidiosis and the need for guidelines for the
prevention of waterborne-Cryptosporidium infection among HIV-infected persons.

Anonymous said...


Draft statement:
Processes, technologies and other preventive measures selected need to be robust, with reliable
engineering techniques incorporated into design and operation. Preventive measures need to be
maintained and monitored to minimise variability in performance and the potential for failure.
However, it is unrealistic to expect that failure will never occur. Where failure occurs, corrective
action must be implemented immediately.

Depending on design and operational processes, technologies and engineering techniques to minimize performance and
failures when promoting public contact with the resulting biosolids and reclaimed water is a fools game. Assuming that it
would be possible to remove all pathogens and their toxins as well as chemicals with the best management, design and
engineering technologies, and there is no studies to show that they can, a failure could be catastrophe to public health and
as in th case of Milwaukee, the catastrophe nature of the outbreak was not recognized until it had infected 400,000 people.

Draft statement:
Designers, operators and managers of schemes must have appropriate skills and training
Everyone involved in the design, management, operation and audit of recycled water systems
needs to have sufficient knowledge and skills to undertake their role. They also need to be aware
of the consequences of failure or poor performance. Responsibilities and accountabilities need to
be identified, communicated and understood.

Knowledgeable Committees can lay out the requirements of what should happen, but this is the waste industry who's
charge is getting rid of wastewater in the cheapest manner possible with the least amount of oversight. What are the
consequences of failure or poor performance when they are attempting to follow government guidelines? For the public,
the consequences of failure or poor performance may be disease, cancer, neurological or physical problems and even
death -- for the rest someone may at best get fired after all the finger pointing

Anonymous said...


Draft statement:
4.2.4 Hazard identification and risk assessment
Summary of actions
• Define the approach to hazard identification and risk assessment.
• Identify and document hazards and hazardous events for each component of the recycled water
• Estimate the level of risk for each hazardous event and each hazard.
• Determine significant risks and document priorities for risk management.
• Evaluate the major sources of uncertainty associated with each hazard and hazardous event, and
consider actions to reduce uncertainty.

Define approach to hazard identification and risk assessment
As defined in the ADWG (NHMRC–NMMRC 2004):
• a hazard is a biological, chemical, physical or radiological agent that has the potential to
cause harm
• a hazardous event is an incident or situation that can lead to the presence of hazard (what can
happen and how)
• risk is the likelihood that identified hazards will cause harm in exposed populations.

Effective risk management involves identifying all potential hazards and hazardous events, and
assessing the level of risk that they present to public health. Parameters identified as potential
risks by stakeholders, including community members, need to be carefully considered.

The method used needs to be fully understood by everyone involved in the process. Also, it needs
to be transparent not only to those directly involved but also to scrutiny by stakeholders and
external auditors. Confidence is needed that the process will identify all significant hazards and

Hazard identification and risk assessment in this case is comparable to blind regulators and scientists gathered around an
elephant trying to describe the different components. In effect, with no data on thousands of chemicals for which no test
is available, an unknown level pathogens which will either not be tested or no test is available, and knowing their will be
plant failures, the only safety is to pray the elephant does not run wild and destroy everything in its path..

Anonymous said...


Draft statement:
Realistic expectations for hazard identification and risk assessment are important. For example,
for any recycled water scheme, a detailed quantitative risk assessment will be possible only for a
limited range of contaminants. Hazard identification and risk assessment are predictive activities
that will often include subjective judgment and inevitably involve uncertainty. Factors that can
contribute to uncertainty include:
• lack of data
• variability in parameter concentrations, and limited data on the extent of this variability
• lack of knowledge on significance of parameters (eg questions such as ‘Do chemicals that
affect macroinvertebrates or fish affect humans?’ and ‘Are microorganisms detected in
stormwater infectious for humans?’). Variability and knowledge uncertainty are discussed in
Chapter 2 of Phase 1 of the water recycling guidelines (NRMMC–EPHC 2006).
These difficulties do not mean that risk assessment should not be performed or that it is not
useful. Complete databases and knowledge are rarely available. One outcome of risk assessments
is to identify the level of uncertainty and specific areas where further information and research is
required to fill knowledge gaps. Proponents need to have a realistic perception of the limitations
of predictions, and convey this to stakeholders.


What many people do not realize is that government risk assessors can reach any conclusions they set out to reach. After
all they are the ones who choose the data and assumptions and make the policy decisions that go into the risk assessment.
So they can manipulate data to achieve any quantitative result they choose.

Because the general public as a whole lack the technical knowledge and do not understand fully the components of risk
assessment such as hazard identification, dose response and exposure, government risk assessors have successfully used
risk assessment to set limits or not to set limits to the benefit of the sewage treatment plants who are looking for a cheap
method of disposal of sewage sludge and effluents.

Anonymous said...


Draft statement:

Summary of actions
• Develop a recycled water policy, endorsed by senior managers, to be implemented within an
organisation or by participating agencies.
• Ensure that the policy is visible and is communicated, understood and implemented by employees
and contractors.
Stormwater can also contain a wide variety of biological and chemical contaminants, although
concentrations will generally be lower than those found in sewage. Industrial discharges should
be managed to minimise impacts, and stormwater should be protected from human and livestock

• average drinking water consumption is assumed to be 2 L per day for adults and 1 L per day
for children

• drinking water should be safe for use by the general population through all stages of life,
including childhood and older age; life is assumed to last for an average of 70 years

• drinking-water quality may not be sufficient for particular purposes such as renal dialysis and
other medical applications, and cleaning of contact lenses; water-quality requirements for
such purposes are outside the scope of these guidelines

• those who are severely immunocompromised may also need to take additional steps due to
greatly increased susceptibility to infection, but should do so under guidance from their
medical practitioner.

Basically, the draft guidelines assumes that if you are in the mid-range of life, have a healthy immune system, no medical
problems and there is no system failure, the government sponsored waste industry program will not harm to many people,
providing you don't understand the scheme behind the program.

Anonymous said...

You may get a life threatening infection through direct contact, the air, the water or your food.

By Jim Bynum

What? You say sewage treatment plants don't get gastroenteritis and besides that is nasty stuff that went
down your toilet, and you wouldn't dare touch anything with sewage in it or on it? Have I got a surprise for
you? You are right, sewage is nasty. It is loaded with bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxic chemicals, hormone
disrupters, drug residues that scientists admit they know little or nothing about. However, you may have
direct contact with unlabeled sewage in the fertilizer used on your lawn and garden. You may also have
direct contact with sewage or inhale the toxic contaminates in sewage when it is used to irrigate, or
fertilize, city parks, or school grounds. Besides your home garden, you may buy food that has been
fertilized or irrigated with sewage.

You say, how do you know if you have been infected with this nasty stuff in sewage? Actually, you may not
even know you have been infected. Some infections could go unnoticed for 20 or 30 years until you get a
really serious disease. More than likely the first symptoms will appear to be the flu or food poisoning that
may be very mild or it could be life threatening and even fatal. There are some bad bugs (bacteria, viruses
and parasites) in sewage that are drug resistant and can't even be treated, like E. coli 0157:H7 and viruses.
If some of these little bugs get in cuts or scrapes, the infection can destroy the soft tissue and that will
require surgery to remove the dead tissue. Some little bugs are so small they can go straight to the brain
to cause disease. Others cause cancer and respiratory diseases. " the most important point is that sewage treatment plants are not designed to kill or
destroy bacteria, parasites and viruses.

Anonymous said...

in 1993, the
human form of the parasite Cryptosporidium got into the drinking water supply in Milwaukee, Over 400,000
people were infected, 4,000+ were hospitalized and about 400 people died.

You ask, how could that happen? EPA only requires testing for some indicator organisms in most probable
numbers. No one seems sure what they are, since they are not the same as those used by the Public Health
Service. Scientists have argued for years the test only reveal about one percent of the bacteria present in
the sample. What is even worse is that test calls for heat shocking the sample before testing to inactivate
most of the bacteria. Moreover, there is no testing after the sewage water or sludge biosolids leave the
sewage treatment plant. Reactivation of the bacteria as it travels through the pipeline or while the sludge
biosolids is in storage is documented, yet, no one knows what drug-resistant diseases organisms (or how
many it take to infect you) are in the final sewage product you may contact on lawns, parks and school

EPA has no standard, or procedure, for killing or destroying disease organism toxins in sewage effluent
water or sewage sludge biosolids, Its strange but EPA does say if you are exposed to these disease
organisms polluting sewage they may cause death, disease, cancer, etc.. At best, some disease organisms
may be appear to be reduced by the faulty test or inactivated for a short time due to heat or stress or lack
of food, until an upset occurs and the treatment plant gets gastroenteritis - diarrhea.
chemicals and deadly disease organisms concentrated in the sludge.

.EPA researchers first wrote about the DNA and gene swapping parties in 1982.
According to EPA virologist Mark Meckes, these DNA and gene swapping parties in the treatment plant
created drug-resistant bacteria that were leaving the treatment plants. The results of the DNA and gene
swapping parties in the sewage treatment plants have been documented since the 50s and as late as 2006.

Yet, EPA and its partners have promoted the use of reclaimed sewage effluent water for irrigating food
crops (Salinas Valley, California -- 76 million foodborne illnesses (1999)), public parks, lawns, and school
grounds (Papillomavirus pandemic - 25 million infected children and young women). It is used for
recharging drinking water aquifers (Sierra Vista, Arizona -- Salmonella and cancer outbreak that can't be
explained by CDC). Reclaimed sewage effluent is also used in building cooling towers (legionnaires
disease - sick building syndrome). Then we have three viruses that are known to cause cells to develop
excessive fat that may be in reclaimed water and sludge bisolids.

These deadly little bugs and chemicals can have an effect on every organ in our body.

When you or your children are exposed to disease organism such as Salmonella or E. coli, either when
dining out, on your lawn, city park or school ground, the stomach upset from "food poisoning" will be
classified as gastroenteritis and like the treatment plant you will spew disease organisms out into the
environment. If you are unlucky enough to be exposed to other disease organisms and chemicals, you may
not survive, unless you have an extremely powerful immune system. This is not a farmers problem, it is our
problem, the epidemics are here, and it is time to stop it.

Anonymous said...

During the 70s some 70 billion dollars was spent building sewage treatment plants to clean up our water and get harmful
disease organisms and chemicals out of the public environment. Now the waste regulators and industry are resorting to a
third world solution to dispose of sewage effluent and sludge where we and our children can not avoid exposure.

Anonymous said...

E. coli - Death - Disease - Chronic Illness:
the results of:
Politics - Religion and Magic

Jim Bynum

While this article focuses on E. Coli 0157:H7, there are over 1,400 pathogenic disease organisms that can be very
deadly to humans. That means that they are going to be in treated sewage water effluent and and the best treated
sludge, including biosolids compost. However, there is very little information readily available concerning individual
disease organisms and the damage they can do to the human body.. E. coli 0157:H7 appears to be one of the most
misunderstood disease organism with current national exposure.

Escherichia Coli (E. coli 0157:H7) contaminated produce have killed a large number of people across the country in
the last few months. Due to the unique nature of the toxin producing gene in the bacteria, there is no treatment for the
original infection. For those who didn't die, the resulting disease associated with the E. coli organism in food has left
about 10 percent of the people hospitalized, some with life threatening organ failure.

For most of us (who have suffered through a bout of food poisoning), while we can emphasize with the innocent
victims, we are thankful it wasn’t us or our loved ones. Most of us fail to realize that those victims who suffered kidney
and/or other organ failure will also suffer long term chronic illness. What the generally public does not understand is
that many people who were infected and appeared to fully recover, may also develop other chronic illnesses.

Strangely enough, this appears to be a result of a combination of politics, religion and magic in the waste control and
disposal sectors of government. Politics has given us laws that were designed to protect us from exposure to E. coli
and other disease organisms in our food, water and air. As a religious nation “under god” we believe and support the
Christian politicians who swear on the Bible they only have our best interest at heart and the laws will protect us -- mostly from ourselves.

For politics and religion in government, magic has replaced law and science. Under the current law and science of
magic national policy, adopted into law by most states, the closer E. coli and other disease organisms can be disposed
of near you, the safer you will be, and there is no reason for state officials to investigate your imagined health
complaints. The courts and state environmental departments are there to make sure you don’t try to protect yourself
from those corporations who are authorized by the state to use their magic to protect your health.

The primary introduction to E. coli for most of us is Gastroenteritis: a watery diarrhea which has been playfully called
Montezuma’s revenge. This is caused by E coli enterotoxin acting on the bowels. Generally it is not too serious, even
though you might wish you were dead before its over, just to stop the suffering. With E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria, it is still
Gastroenteritis, but the toxin breaks down the walls of the bowels and you have a bloody diarrhea. If the bacteria is
killed, it releases even more deadly toxins which causes even more damage to the body.

Anonymous said...

Most people really don't want to see the graphic damage pathogens in sludge biosolids and reclaimed water can do to the human
body. But, with necrotizing infections rampaging across the United States you should see what can happen to your
loved ones.

Anonymous said...


February 20, 2009 11:00pm
.FLESH-eating bacteria resistant to antibiotics have found their way from hospital sewers into rivers and streams throughout Queensland.

Scientists who made the startling discovery in 2006 have expressed alarm that the State Government failed to follow up their report or act on their recommendations.

Secret tests on waste water discharged from 28 Queensland hospitals and clinics revealed the widespread presence of MRSA (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and VRE (Vancomycin resistant Enterococci
A Central Queensland University scientist who helped carry out the research told me 97 per cent of hospital sewage discharge lines tested positive for antibiotic resistant bacteria.

He said 70 per cent of hospital discharges tested positive for both MRSA and VRE.

"We got a lot more of those bacteria than we thought possible," he said.

"The MRSA and VRE are a major source of deaths from medical infections.

"Strangely, they are not routinely tested in water management systems.

"A sample can come back lacking in, for instance, E. coli bacteria, so it's wrongly assumed that it's safe. The report was completed in 2006 and became the centre of a Crime and Misconduct Commission investigation.

During the investigation the anti-corruption watchdog raided the homes and offices of at least four businessmen with links to the Australian Labor Party.

Shamefully, the report was not released by the State Government and the scientists doubt if any of their recommendations were implemented.

"There was a wall of silence," one scientist said.

"We heard nothing."

Anonymous said...

Running out of places to put the stuff, diseased toxic chemical waste that was considered too contaminated to discharge into the ocean has now been promoted and marketed with the help of obliging P.R firms as a safe user friendly product and dumped into the public drinking water supplies.

I can't think of a more stupid Government system than one that deliberately poisons the drinking water and food supplies then hires a P.R firm to explain why this is 'good' for us.
Citizens have a right to enjoy a safe healthy environment without any additional risks to their lives.

No matter how terrible the situation gets, how many deaths are involved, the Government will simply declare that the polluters (water industry players) were in compliance and blame the public on poor hygiene.

Sewerage was once considered a human health hazard and liability until the Government realised the potential for huge financial rewards. These parasites will profit from human suffering.

Anonymous said...

Several months ago, I posted commemts on Stuart Khans website expressing my concerns and outrage at the Governments forced introduction of recycled sewage (and fluoride) into the public drinking water supplies. My response to the critics commemts has been a bit delayed due to suffering ongoing (Physical) health problems, legacy of the Government/chemical waste industry, more on that later, I am in the process of setting up my own website, Toxic legacy, which will be up and running soon and will provide factual information, not Government propaganda. Many thanks to those who wrote in support of my concerns. Very much appreciated, To those who can only critisize in defense of the so called 'technology' used to recycle sewage, without providing any supporting data to back the 'wild' safety claims, your ignorance is astounding, Ignorance breeds stupidity, only knowledge breeds understanding. Dressing up a belief in jargon, doesn't make a science. It's clearly obvious that these people haven't the ability to ferret out the truth. Try finding something constructive to do with your idle time. Educating yourselves on the high human health risks and consequences of drinking recycled sewage as well as the Governments real motives behind its introduction may be a good start.

Although it is clearly obvious that there are still some gulllible people in the community who will continue to ' swallow' the Governments efforts to 'catapult' the recyled sewage propaganda, there is however an increasing number of intelligent people who have come to see through it. Like the boy who cried wolf, the Australian public authority is enduring a largely self inflicted crises of credibility.

True to form the Australian government has proposed solutions that is a mixture-- Destructive and cheap. Recycled sewage is based on fraudulent science and political power grabs that has nothing to do with protecting public health.
P.R firms were hired to 'tap dance' the highly questionable idea past the people. The 'solution ' had already been decided, the Government simply needed the idea sold to the uninformed public. The recycled sewage product was 'sold' to the public with massive and expensive P.R efforts that conspired to lie and deceive and wear down resistance until the public yielded. The P.R campaigns which involved stupid, pointless 'recycled sewage' taste testing demonstrations were likened to a beer sales convention. The recycled sewage product didn't gain public acceptance but the arrogant, contemptuous Government bulldozed ahead with their plans to dump the toxic diseased waste into the public drinking water supplies in great haste, regardless. 'To defend their recycled sewage product the Government manufactured their own 'independant experts' who have developed a 'science' to aid and abet the profiteering Government, while P.R firms and the obliging media were hired to spread the propaganda. The Government thinks the population is easier to control through propaganda and media manipulation. It's time that these sleazy practices engineered by the Government and their highly paid corporations were held up to public scrutiny.

The Government has been actively negotiating and signing international trade and investment agreements which include trade in water. We are being sold out to the big multi-national corporations. Recycling sewage into drinking water is taking place at all levels of Government in every state regardless of the plentiful water supplies. It is a global Government agreement. High financial stakes have colluded to close honest discussion on recycled sewage. It's not good enough to give people a choice between a poorly run Government system and a private sector that's both run for profit. Water is a basic human need and right, not a commodity to be be delivered on a for-profit basis.

More to follow

Meredith Jayne

Anonymous said...

I lived in various third world countries for eighteen years and in Europe for twelve before coming here ... never had water issues for a single day anywhere. Now I find myself in a "true" third world - or semi communist state - bombarded by idiotic, unrelenting propaganda about 3 minute showers and "don't flush your toilets" etc. Welcome to the lucky country! Where no long term planning was EVER undertaken by any Government for 200 years to provide some 20 million people with the most fundamental human necessity of all. There are countries out there that have 20 million people in one city alone and hundreds of big cities in one country alone!! Welcome to the lucky country where water, infrastructure, transport systems and so on are still languishing in the dark ages. The propaganda ministers told me to live in as dirty a way as possible while we witnessed archaic water pipes burst on a regular, frequent basis and see all that rainwater go to waste in Queensland and elsewhere because there are no means of collecting it!!! I can see that brainwashing communities still works (judging by many comments over here). And before any narrow-minded person tells me to "go back to where I came from" and that no more immigrants should be allowed in, I say this: I AM going ... back to civilised, forward-thinking places that live in the 21st century. Goodbye to the lucky country.

Posted by: Pasto

Anonymous said...

You have to appreciate what a great job the government has done to make us feel guilty for their poor planning and inability to create the required infrastructure. A country like Dubai can have enough water yet, our governments best solution is to suggest we shower with a friend and pray rain lands in the catchment areas. Great country.

Anonymous said...


The last line of defence in the protection of public from waterborne disease. Errors can place thousands of people at risk as has been amply demonstrated in Walkerton(Canada) and Milwaukee (USA).In Australia at present:• There is no minimum standard for the operation of treatment plants and there is no minimum educational or training standard required for operators• There is essentially no minimum standard for the quality of water produced from a water treatment plant. There is certainly no minimum standard for the production of safe drinking water(The ADWG are guidelines not regulations and do not appear to have been widely adopted or used).• There is no recognition of the need for both training and experience and the progressive acquisition of functional knowledge in the appointment and matching of operators to treatment plants. In many cases, water businesses with a vacancy appoint whom ever they think best for the job regardless of their level of training or competency. Human society in many areas recognises the progression of responsibility and expectations. A recently qualified pilot with a qualification to fly a single engine Cessna does not fly a jumbo jet – why shouldn’t this be extended to the water industry? There are similar deficiencies in the area of distribution system and wastewater treatment plant management as well.• There is no recognition of the need for ongoing formal refresher training for technical skills. Modern businesses including water utilities are experiencing rapid rates of staff turnover. This has been exacerbated recently in the technical areas with technical staff being tempted by the high salaries offered by the mining and other industries. Finding suitably qualified replacements is often very difficult leading to the tendency to train “on the job”. This is not compatible with the production of safe drinking water 100% of the time. The water industry faces limitations for both current and future operations- -----------------------------. These changes at a time when the complexity of the industry and the expectations of public and regulators require increased operational skills, are a cause for major concern.- The number of units required to complete a Certificate II &III has reduced from 22 under NWP 01 to 19 under NWP 07but can be as few as 11 u, individual RTO’s can decide at what level a trainee can enter, and therefore how many units they must complete to achieve a qualification. There is no doubt that in efforts to save training dollars, some water businesses will “strongly encourage” RTO’s to do only the minimum amount of training to achieve a Certificate.• . Pathogens are the major risk in the provision of safe water to consumers, reporting requirements need to reflect this knowledge. In Australia at present:• There is no requirement to report meaningful safe drinking water measures to regulators on the production of safe drinking water. There is no formal recognition of theneed for plants capability and operational skills to match the overall risk profile.This type of system already exists in countries such as the USA, Canada andNew Zealand. Sadly, Australia is lagging well behind in this regard.

Anonymous said...

Following is the message of Secretary-General Kofi Annan

"Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and, therefore, a basic human right. Contaminated water jeopardizes both the physical and social health of all people. It is an affront to human dignity."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
During the years that the political rodent Peter Beattie was Premier of Queensland and his clone Anna Bligh was infrastructure minister, they were handed many reports which contained urgent reccommendations to build new dams, along with warnings of dire consequences if new dams were not built by 2000. Beattie and Bligh ignored the reports..

In 1995 the biosolids program was launched in America and aimed to have recycled sewage publicly acceptable, worldwide by the year 2000. The Beattie ' Government ' has been rigorously pushing for the introduction of recycled sewage into the public drinking water supplies since 1996, They deliberately delayed the building of new dams, ignoring the 2000 deadline.

To accelerate the introduction of recycled sewage, The Beattie Government deliberately allowed Queensland to run out of water, they actively encouraged water use, continuing to allow industry, --power stations, mining companies, oil refineries to name a few, to squander public drinking water supplies without restrictions, continued to allow the development of housing estates and Hi-rises on a massive multi -million dollar, tax-payer funded advertising campaigns to lure people to Queensland without the infrastructure in place to support the population growth. Beattie then declared a ' water crises ' In allowing our water supplies to be squandered, the Governments objective was to create a sense of desperation in the public, to make it easier for them to force the introduction of recycled sewage..

With the help of their ever obliging, handsomely paid, spin doctor friends in the media, Beattie and Bligh ran a scaremongering campaign, issuing ranting statements of armageddon and "The public will either drink recycled sewage or die" to deliberately instill fear in the public. Beattie and Bligh then declared that they wouldn't personally drink recycled sewage and admitted that it was an experiment.

To deliberately allow Queensland to run out of water to enable the Government to enfore recycled sewage defies belief. Beattie and Bligh should be charged with criminal neglect amongst other things. We need to rid ourselves of this useless, lying, deceitful, contemptuous, arrogant, self serving Government whose only interest is to make themselves wealthier with shady business deals. It's clearly obvious that human health issues aren't a priority of this greedy Government, profiteering is.
Meredith Jayne

Anonymous said...


Australian Richard Pratt is willing to help fund the controversial 70-year-old Bradfield water scheme to save the Murray-Darling basin.
Mr Pratt, head of packaging and recycling group Visy Board, said the water would be diverted from north Queensland rivers to the Warrego and Thompson rivers and into the Murray-Darling system.

The plan was first floated by Sydney Harbour Bridge architect John Bradfield in the 1930s,
"I think that the Bradfield scheme needs to be done."

Mr Pratt, Australia's third richest man with a $5.2 billion fortune, said he had supported the scheme for the past decade.

"I think that water in the north should be brought down to the south," he said.
we have an enormous amount of water going out to sea.

"Wherever it rains we should try and capture that water, put it in pipes and bring it to where it's needed."

Due to heavy torrential rainfall for months on end each year Queensland experiences major widespread flooding.

There are also several Islands just off the Queensland coast within close proximity of Brisbane which has hundreds of pristine lakes and creeks discharging many billions of litres of fresh, safe water into the ocean every day of the year, Water just going to waste.

Proposals to capture the fresh, clean water from the Islands to use for drinking purposes and Richard Pratts proposal to pipe the water from the North Queensland rivers was just two of many put forward to the Beattie Government. -

The low life Beattie Government rejected them all in their rigorous push to introduce recycled sewage into the drinking water supplies.

The lunatic opposition put forward a proposal to tow ice-bergs from Antartica.
We don't have a shortage of water, only a shortage of intelligent politicians.

Meredith Jayne

Anonymous said...

Beattie and his looney Government pushed ahead with the recycled sewage scam regardless of what the public thought about having toxic diseased waste dumped into their drinking water supplies. Like the Emissions trading scheme it's a complete con, but what a nice windfall for the Government and their money masters. Let me reach into my pockets and give them more money. There, that's better, now I have solved the Government created 'Water crises' and have reduced the greenhouse gas emissions

Anonymous said...

RESIDENTS in more than 630 homes at Coomera have been told not to drink tap water after recycled water was mistakenly piped to them.

The Gold Coast City Council has issued notices to the homeowners after a resident reported a 'funny taste' in the drinking water.

A council spokeswoman last night confirmed 'diluted recycled water' had found its way into drinking water supplies.

The homes are supposed to be receiving recycled water and drinking water in separate pipes following the opening of the $80 million Pimpama Wastewater Treatment Plant on Tuesday.

The plant supplies 'Class A-plus recycled water' which can be used for car washing, gardening, flushing toilets and external household cleaning.

However, the council says it is not suitable for drinking, cooking or cleaning, personal washing, clothes washing, swimming pools or spas, or pets and livestock.

It was not known how long the contamination had gone undetected.

An Orlando Drive resident, who did not want to be named, said he had received a letter in the mail from the council.

He said that although the tap water was 'visibly dirty', the home had its own filter so the drinking water was fine.

"(But) if I have a bath at night or if the kids have a bath and you leave the water in, by morning you can see a fine layer of silt in the bottom of the bath which means the water is quite dirty," he said.

"I know the water is dirty but the bulk of our water is used in the washing machine and toilets."

Queensland Health told the council there was a 'very low health risk' for people who drank the recycled water.

Gold Coast Water yesterday tested water at Coomera and flushed pipes after the complaint about the drinking water quality.

A council spokeswoman said the drinking water was back to normal by 6pm last night.

"When officers went to investigate the complaint, they did a conductivity test, which indicates the difference between drinking water and recycled water," she said.

The spokeswoman said there was early speculation that the source was a 'connection problem between pipes'.

Local councillor Donna Gates and Gold Coast Water Committee chairwoman Daphne McDonald could not be contacted last night.

Anonymous said...

POORLY disinfected drinking water is being sent around southeast Queensland’s troubled water grid, in one case resulting in E coli bacteria finding its way to a Brisbane reservoir, an internal government document has revealed.

The memo, produced by officers in a state-owned water agency, details several serious water quality incidents since local councils lost control of water management in southeast Queensland last July.

It also says authorities are reluctant to promptly report incidents.

The document follows a series of blunders involving the fluoridation of the drinking supply, including a fluoride overdose in April, delays in discovering the overdose and the persistent failure to get the dosage to meet health regulations, all of which have severely embarrassed the State Government.

It reveals that in March there was a so-called level-three incident, classified as involving an impact on water customers, where hazardous E coli bacteria was detected at Karawatha reservoir in Brisbane’s south.

The five million litre reservoir services southside suburbs such as Acacia Ridge, Eight Mile Plains and Calamvale. Acting water grid manager Barry Dennien yesterday confirmed the incident, but said it was “not unusual” when benchmarked against the performance of other metropolitan water authorities.

He said the Brisbane City Council reservoir was “spot-dosed” after a second test found the bacteria.

Residents were not informed.

Government agency LinkWater, which is responsible for the pipeline network feeding the reservoirs, detected no E coli in March, Mr Dennien said.

-the release in August of drinking water containing elevated chlorine levels in a Linkwater pipe servicing Ipswich;

– turbidity and manganese in drinking water that took nearly a week for local councils to be notified;

– another Level Three incident in December 2008 involving the chemical substance geosmin, a byproduct of algal growth, which gave drinking water a foul taste and odour.

This week, Premier Anna Bligh was forced to admit that initial information she was given on a fluoride overdose at the North Pine water treatment plant was wrong.

Anonymous said...

E-Coli in Port Douglas Reservoirs
08 September 2008
The discovery of e-coli bacteria in some reservoirs that supply water to Port Douglas has restaurants and businesses worried.

How do they deal with washing dishes or filling water tanks on boats? Until further notice, all consumers are being advised to boil drinking water, but that is an overwhelming requirement for some people.

Fiona Sewell talks to concerned business operators in Port Douglas on Tuesday's program (9 September) to find out how they're coping with the contamination. She will also ask Public Health officials to give advice on how to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

E-Coli in Port Douglas Reservoirs
08 September 2008
The discovery of e-coli bacteria in some reservoirs that supply water to Port Douglas has restaurants and businesses worried.

How do they deal with washing dishes or filling water tanks on boats? Until further notice, all consumers are being advised to boil drinking water, but that is an overwhelming requirement for some people.

Fiona Sewell talks to concerned business operators in Port Douglas on Tuesday's program (9 September) to find out how they're coping with the contamination. She will also ask Public Health officials to give advice on how to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Nausea, diarrhoea reported in Coomera
Katrina Jones | December 7th, 2009

CASES of nausea and diarrhoea have been reported at Coomera following revelations recycled sewage was pumped into residents' drinking water.

The Weekend Bulletin revealed the new $80 million Pimpama Wastewater Treatment Plant had been pumping recycled sewage into the wrong pipes to more than 630 homes since Tuesday.

The problem was picked up on Friday after a resident complained about the water quality.

The plant supplies 'Class A-plus recycled water' which can be used for car washing, gardening, flushing toilets and external household cleaning. It is not suitable for drinking, cooking or cleaning, personal washing, clothes washing, swimming pools or spas, or pets and livestock.

Residents around Orlando Drive and Hudson Court appear to be the worst affected, with some reporting a 'foul odour' when they turned on their household taps.

Orlando Drive residents Mohammed and Zureen Ali have stocked up on bottled water after Gold Coast City Council issued notices to homeowners instructing them not to drink water from taps over the weekend.

"When we had showers the water stunk," said Mr Ali.

Mrs Ali said she felt ill on Wednesday and Thursday, but thought it was from her cooking.

"I felt sick in my tummy and kept having to go to the toilet," she said.

Another resident Adam O'Brien said his wife had been vomiting. "You have faith that you are going to get clean water in Australia and then this happens," he said.

It's pretty ordinary that they can just do this and we have to simply cop it on the chin."

Mr O'Brien said he had been boiling water all weekend.

"Someone has to be held accountable for this because it's pretty serious," he said.

Locals Bruce and Bev Maloney were disappointed by how council handled the problem.

"They could have brought the homes some bottled water and not just expected us to foot the bill," said Mr Maloney.

"One of our granddaughters has been feeling sick and I have felt a bit off this week as well."

Chief health officer with Queensland Health Dr Jeannette Young said the water contained high levels of chlorine, which meant there would be minimal health risk to residents.

"It won't harm you, but it tastes awful," she said.

Anonymous said...

December 07, 2009 08:30am
.CASES of nausea and diarrhoea have been reported at Coomera following revelations recycled sewage was pumped into residents' drinking water.

The Weekend Bulletin revealed the new $80 million Pimpama Wastewater Treatment Plant had been pumping recycled sewage into the wrong pipes to more than 630 homes since Tuesday.

The problem was picked up on Friday after a resident complained about the water quality.


Captain Blight and the ALP would go down in history as the most pathetic liars and and worst managers of QLD. Fresh water is a given right and yet Anna and her clowns can not get that right. Hang your heads in shame and walk away.

Posted by: David of Sumner 8:34pm December 07, 2009

Our dopey little public servants can not get it right ever, it is the nature of the beast. Sad thing it is the brain dead politicians like Anna and co that try to defend the public servants.

Posted by: Barry of the Bayside 8:22pm December 07, 2009

Have just read that this is a breach of the QLD Public Health Act which states that a provider must not supply drinking water that he knows or might reasonably know is unfit for consumption. This is a criminal act that carries up to two years in prison. Somebody is accountable for the negligence and suffering. It is now 3 days since this came out, where is the information to satisfy the public, QLD Health advise is also misleading and patronising.

Posted by: Concerned Voter of CM Forums The People's Forum 6:08pm December 07,

Build THAT Dam you gutless politicians

Posted by: Richard Rountree of Algester 2:19pm December 07, 2009

RECYCLED SEWAGE - come on CM. it's called that and you know it. Call it what is is and stop trying to ramp up your story. So giving your head line of RECYCLED SEWAGE. Does this mean that they took the water out and just left the crap behind. I think not!

Posted by: Not Happy of Brisbane 1:00pm December 07, 2009

Overdosed with flouride and now houses supplied with recycled water not fit for human consumption. We continually hear the words "completlety safe" , "will never happen" and "everything is under control" from our politicians. Citizens should rightly be concerned (and take action) about issues that have the potential to cause harm being touted as "safe" and "under control" etc by our local, state and federal pollies.

Posted by: Jeremy of Brisbane 12:44pm December 07, 2009

Anonymous said...

Where are all the big mouths now who belittle anyone who opposes recycled water. You can trust govts to turn raw sewage into drinking water but dont expext the thinking majority to back your madness.

Posted by: yuk no thankyou of brisbane December 2009

Anonymous said...

The Government needed to get some broadbased support on recyled sewage to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entailed getting loads of media coverage. So they had to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts the Government had on recycled sewage"

Anonymous said...

The Government is NOT contented enough to reap massive benefits from us being forced to drink recycled sewage and industrial waste-water (sold off to the French company Veolia) - now they are going to make us PAY for our OWN rainwater if they can get away with it! (selling it off to the Japanese).

Rainwater is now a "commodity" to be brought and sold. It is NOT FREE to those who collect it. Just like the rainwater that falls into farmers' dams is NOT FREE.

Bill Hoffman 28th November 2009

QUEENSLAND Water Commission is in negotiations with Japanese water interests about a scheme that could allow private companies to own and sell the rain that falls on our roofs.
The water commission is remaining tight-lipped about the detail of its discussions

Its chief executive, Dan Spiller, has confirmed the contact but told the Daily yesterday that it was a “research proposal in very preliminary stages, with a number of options being considered”.

If it were feasible and was to proceed, there would be a range of commercial arrangements that would need to be negotiated and a range of regulatory approvals to be obtained,” he said.

“The contracts would need to be negotiated between third parties.
“It is standard business practice for discussions at such a preliminary stage to be confidential between the parties.

Supporters of a rainwater harvesting project for the Coolum Ridges residential subdivision say the Traveston dam’s loss has not eased pressure from the government or its bureaucracy to treat water as a tradable commodity that helps raise revenue.

There are fears it would lead to foreign interests being given the right to fit decentralised water harvesting technology as a component of new subdivisions, in return for the right to charge for the water.

Sunshine Coast council major projects head Debbie Blumel said the community wanted and was calling for water to be viewed as a precious resource. However, she said the bureaucracy was continuing to pursue water as a commodity that could be bought and sold.

“The Coolum Ridges approach is to treat water as a valuable resource that is respected as fundamental to life, rather than something from which to make a profit,” Ms Blumel said.


Anonymous said...

Hepatitis fears after showers
December 11th, 2009

OUTDOOR workers at the Pimpama Wastewater Treatment Plant showered, washed their clothes and drank from a heavily contaminated water source.

Sources have told The Bulletin that workers were 'embarrassed' after using the water, which ranged in quality from Class B to Class D recycled water, for a nine-week period.

In the weeks following the contamination, workers feared they may have contracted hepatitis A after suffering severe gastro- intestinal infections.

Council CEO Dale Dickson said the incident was unfortunate.

Legal action has been launched by the State Government against four individuals and the contractor.

"While the problem was quickly rectified, Gold Coast Water's priority was the health and welfare of staff, contractors and visitors to that building," said Mr Dickson.

"Staff have had regular briefings, reimbursement of medical expenses and counselling services.

"We also appointed an occupational health and safety specialist physician so affected staff could be provided with accurate and relevant information."

After the contamination incident, experts moved quickly to conduct more than 2500 tests, which located 315 chemicals.

The water contained pathogens including salmonella, cryptosporidium, giardia, coliphages, enterohaemorrhagic E. coli genes and clostridium perfringens.

The Queensland Health report said 'the samples did not meet ADWG (Australian drinking water guidelines) values and presented a plausible risk of illness associated with exposure'.

Anonymous said...

No compensation for poisoned workers
Geoff Chambers | December 11th, 2009

COUNCIL workers and contractors were refused compensation after drinking contaminated recycled water at the controversial $80 million Pimpama Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Workers, who also showered at the plant, were exposed to the dirty recycled water for nine weeks and were at high risk of contracting hepatitis A and giardia.

In the second incident of water contamination on the Gold Coast in a week, a total of 375 workers, contractors and visitors to the plant were exposed to the Class D recycled water, which is the worst recorded water quality.

Documents leaked to The Bulletin reveal workers were exposed to the recycled water from September 3 to November 11 in 2008.

During the same period, senior Gold Coast City Council officers accepted an award in Vienna, championing the wastewater plant.

According to Queensland Health and the Health Services Australia, out of the 341 workers interviewed, a minimum of 73 people became sick from the water.

Both reports were confidentially released in March and showed 'no similar events in Australia recorded in published literature'.

Class B recycled water is used for some agricultural uses (pasture irrigation), Class C is for open space irrigation (public access restricted) and Class D is used on non-food crop irrigation.

The water mix-up was a dangerous precursor to last week's cross-connection contamination, which pumped diluted Class A+ recycled water in to 630 Coomera homes.

After deflecting blame for the past week, The Bulletin can today reveal that councillors will be told by CEO Dale Dickson that a plumbing contractor would be prosecuted for the incorrect pipe connection.

Gold Coast Water inspectors are required by law to monitor all work completed by contractors, which would leave the council liable in any future legal action.

The 2008 incident, which Mayor Ron Clarke previously blamed on an apprentice mixing waste-water lines directly into the plant, has revealed serious concerns about water connections at the plant.

The Queensland Health report states the Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services conducted water quality tests from November to December.

During that period, the water quality varied between Class B and Class D.

A reference group created by Queensland Health and Gold Coast Water contracted an occupational health consultant to handle the crisis situation and liaise with GPs.

The Queensland Health report says incorrect Gold Coast Water testing was due to 'reported system failures'.

The HSA report says the supplied water was exposed to council employees, sub contractors, Pimpama Coomera Waterfuture Alliance employees, Watercycle Alliance employees and other visitors, which may include councillors.

The Bulletin has learnt that workers were refused compensation requests last month, including one who continues to suffer from the water contamination.

The plant which will service the Coomera-Pimpama corridor, took more than three years to build and experienced several cost blow-outs.

Anonymous said...

"Queensland Resources Minister Stephen Robertson says he does not expect a contamination scare on the Gold Coast to damage people's confidence in recycled water... Mr Robertson says recycled water will be added to the drinking supply when the level of the Wivenhoe Dam drops to 40 per cent."

Anonymous said...

Stephen Robertson says he does not expect a contamination 'scare' on the Gold coast to damage peoples confidence in recycled 'water'. Doesn't he now. He has taken the liberty to speak on everyones behalf, again. The usual typical response from the arrogant, dictorial Queensland labor Government.

I recall the same comment about not expecting the contamination scare to damage peoples confidence in drinking water being made by the Queensland labor propaganda Ministers, after the Brisbane fluoride overdose, and after flesh eating bugs were found in waterways being discharged from Queensland hospitals and the discovery of e-coli in drinking water supplies throughout the state, as well as guardia and after the many massive Queensland sewerage spills, all of which the deceitful, low life Bligh Government tried to cover-up.

All of these incidents only occurred after the Bligh Government took control of the public water supplies. An epidemic is inevitable and what will the mongrel politicians who advocate the dumping of toxic, diseased waste into our drinking water do then? After the usual finger pointing the Government will just issue another boiled water alert, declare that the polluters (water service providers) were in complience, and blame the public on poor personal hygiene, then the gutless politicians will run for cover,

It's clearly Obvious that the news hasn't reached Robertson yet that the public lost confidence in the Queensland labor Government years ago. The damage has already been done. They can't even deliver safe drinking water to the public now with the current water supplies and they expect the public to trust them to deliver safe drinking 'water' when they start deliberately dumping toxic chemical, diseased waste into the drinking water supplies?

Deliver safe drinking water? That's a laugh. The Bligh Government clowns are so useless they couldn't organise a booze-up in a brewery. Judging by the many drinking water contamination incidents lately something tells ne that the sneaky Government has probably already started dumping this destructive toxic, diseased waste into our drinking water.

Legal action has been launched by the State Government against 4 individuals amd a contractor after a water contamination incident at the Pimpama wastewater treatment plant,on the Gold Coast however, the workers who drank the contaminated water and have suffered health problems as a result, have been refused compensation from the State Government because the new law that the arrogant,contemptuous Bligh Government introduced absolves the Government in the event of any health damages resulting from consuming recycled sewage. They will not be held accountable and cannot be sued. One law for them, another one for us. The Bligh Government is totally out of control and rotten to the core.

Meredith Jayne

Anonymous said...

How many people have to get sick and how many stuff ups have to occur - before - the never ending push to add recycled water is rejected - not just by the majority of people - but by the majority of our leaders too? How can anyone believe this is safe?

Anonymous said...

Using the public drinking water supplies as a vehicle for diseases as well as drugs to mass medicate the public is bad policy, it's also bad science and it takes away the freedom of the Australian people. The mass medication of the public is essentially one giant experiment on the Australian public. The government wants everyone in the country dosed with toxic diseased waste and fluoride and are extremely arrogant about the whole thing. The Governments objective is to turn this country into a nation of mindless zombies. The politicians thinks the public is easily controlled with Government propaganda and media manipulation.

Meredith Jayne

Anonymous said...

Thanks to everyone for all the great comments ... I've really enjoyed reading them.
Stuart - noticed you've not posted here for a while - hope all is well - thanks for this blog - have a fantastic Christmas :)

Anonymous said...

Greg Roberts From: The Australian

Queensland Water Commission has been forced to back down on a claim that industrial waste would not be recycled as drinking water for the state's southeast.

The commission yesterday admitted that industrial waste would account for 12 per cent of recycled water, but insisted it would still be safe to drink.

Industrial contaminants dumped into the sewerage system by businesses will not be separated from effluent before it is treated and pumped into the Wivenhoe Dam, Brisbane's main water source, early next year.

Queensland Water Commission chief executive John Bradley told The Australian last week that industrial wastes would not be recycled.

Queenslanders for Safe Water chairwoman Merilyn Haines said this was incorrect.
Hospital and industrial waste enter the sewerage system because hospitals and industrial areas do not have separate reticulation systems," Ms Haines said.

Anonymous said...

The viruses, bacteria, protozoa, fungi and intestinal worms present in sewage and sludge is mindboggling. Many of the pathogens cause diseases that sicken, cripple and kill humans including salmonella, shigella, campylobacter, e-coli, enteroviruses (which cause paralysis, meningitis, fever, respiratory illness, diarrhea, encephalitis), giardia, cryptosporidium, roundworm, hookworm, and tapeworm

Anonymous said...

Over 60,000 toxic substances and chemical compounds can be found in sewerage and scientists are developing 700 to 1,000 new chemicals per year. Stephen Lester of the Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes has compiled information from researchers at Cornell University and the American Society of Civil Engineers showing that sewerage typically contains the following toxins:

•Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs);
•Chlorinated pesticides--DDT, dieldrin, aldrin, endrin, chlordane, heptachlor, lindane, mirex, kepone, 2,4,5-T, 2,4-D;
•Chlorinated compounds such as dioxins;
•Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons;
•Heavy metals--arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury;
•Bacteria, viruses, protozoa, parasitic worms, fungi;
•Miscellaneous--asbestos, petroleum products, industrial solvents. Most of the radioactive material is flushed down the drain by hospitals, businesses and decontamination laundries, a practice which has contaminated at least nine sewage treatment plants in the past decade.

Anonymous said...

I agree, great comments. Thought provoking. Stuart has become noticeably unresponsive lately, which is unusual. No more Government grants and funding to push the Governments recycled sewage propaganda, Stuart?

Anonymous said...

Western corridor spills under investigation
By Chris O'Brien

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is investigating four spills from the western corridor recycled water project in Brisbane this month.

Faulty valves caused 120,000 litres of water to spill at Pinkenba and 100,000 litres at Stretton, while there have also been smaller leaks at Goodna and at Gibson Island.

State Opposition spokeswoman Fiona Simpson says it is shoddy work.

"The water grid is in tatters - they've got a rusting desalination plant on the Gold Coast and now they've got a leaking recycled water pipeline," she said.

"This is going to cause a lot more concern about the quality of the recycled pipeline in the minds of Queenslanders.

"Whatever people think about recycled water, it's clear that with this Government they can't do a project without it breaking down," she said.

"This is shoddy work - it raises real questions about the safety of this project."

Anonymous said...

Massive dam overflow threatens further N Qld flooding
Posted Fri Feb 6, 2009 7:43pm AEDT
Updated Fri Feb 6, 2009 7:53pm AEDT

The Burdekin Falls Dam spills over.

So much water is spilling out of the Burdekin Falls dam in north Queensland that it would fill Sydney Harbour every five hours and there are fears more rain could cause widespread flooding in the region.

Queensland experiences massive widespread flooding every year, without fail, but the Government refuses to build new dams to capture this water to provide safe, uncontaminated drinking water to the public.

Australia has vast natural water resources yet the public is being forced to drink 'water' from a highly contaminated diseased source---the sewerage. Australia is not a third world country, Australians are not embracing a third world solution.

Meredith Jayne

Anonymous said...


Greg Roberts From: The Australian

QUEENSLAND Health failed to pass on the results of a departmental audit to local councils responsible for monitoring the discharge of hospital wastes before they were to be recycled as drinking water.

The Brisbane and Ipswich city councils were not told of the audit's findings when they become known to Queensland Health last November, three months before recycled effluent was to be added to southeast Queensland dams.

The Queensland Health audit found the necessary approvals were not in place or were faulty at four hospitals. The approvals were to ensure recycled water was not contaminated by the dumping in the sewer of hospital wastes such as blood and cancer drugs.

The Queensland Water Commission had repeatedly assured the public that all approvals were in order.

Ipswich Hospital, which held no approvals, applied for one in November but it has yet to be granted.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisale said an investigation by his council of possible waste-water sources at the hospital was under way.

"Queensland Health has not raised any concerns about trade waste approvals at the hospital," Mr Pisale said.

The audit identified deficiencies in the waste approvals held by three Brisbane hospitals.

A Brisbane City Council spokesman said Queensland Health had not raised concerns about the approvals
Opposition infrastructure spokesman David Gibson called on the Government to release the audit report.

"Anna Bligh is always talking about the need for honest and accountable government but, put under pressure, she runs and hides," Mr Gibson said.

He said the Queensland Water Commission should be forced to explain why it misled the public about hospital waste approvals.

Queenslanders for Safe Water president Merilyn Haines said that given the public interest in recycled water, the report should be a public document.

Queensland Health population health director Linda Selvey said the report was "internal

The Queensland Water Commission declined to comment on whether it established with the Brisbane and Ipswich councils that they had the necessary hospital waste approvals in place

Anonymous said...

It really is time to sack this incompetent government. There is heaps of water in NQ, enough for all those down south so the solution is to pipe it from the Burdekin to Wivenhoe. The QLD Water Commission have third rate ideas so we should sack them as well. Lets see the money spent on building the pipeline and helping those really in need. Just do it.

Posted by: Plenty of water in NQ

Anonymous said...

more great comments from everyone - and still nothing from Stuart?
After reading some of these posts, I'm wondering if the Bligh backdown on adding PRW, was not so much about listening to the people, and more about not having all the procedures and approvals in place - yet ... !!!

Anonymous said...


Greg Roberts From: The Australian

THE bureaucrat charged with safeguarding the health of Queenslanders was not called on to approve the adding of recycled sewage to the drinking water of the state's southeast.
The Bligh Government left Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young out of the approval loop on the Western Corridor Reycled Water Project.

Instead, the scheme was given a health clearance by the Office of the Water Supply Regulator, an arm of the state Department of Natural Resources and Water.

The revelation came as Dr Young's department admitted it did not know how much hospital waste would be recycled.

Queensland Health population health senior director Linda Selvey said the quantity of hospital waste that was dumped into the sewage system -- and would therefore be recycled as drinking water -- was not known

She said the quantity of waste discharged into the sewage system by hospitals varied daily.

The nature of substances that could be discharged was a matter between each hospital and its sewerage service provider

Anonymous said...

In view of the fact that the Beattie/Bligh 'Government' has rigorously pushed for the introduction of recycled sewage into the drinking water supplies since 1996 with many billions of dollars squandered on the disastrous scheme which has involved many vested financial interest groups, Bligh had absolutely no intention of backing down on the Governments recycled sewage plans nor was Beattie going to hold a referendum to allow the public to vote on recycled sewage.

He knew the numbers were against him. Recycled sewage had already been decided on many years ago and was going ahead, regardless. The public as usual was denied a say. Government and big business greed is driving the big decisions on water, follow the money trail, it leads straight to the transnational corporations

The Beattie/Bligh Government had well over a decade to have procedures and approvals in place, in fact they had decades to build new dams in Queensland and secure fresh drinking water supplies, however reports that were handed to the Government which contained urgent reccommendations to build new dams were ignored while they bulldozed ahead with their plans to recycle sewage into the drinking water supplies, without approval.

The bureaucrat charged with safeguarding the health of Queenslanders was not called upon to approve the adding of recycled sewage to the drinking water, instead it was only given a HEALTH CLEARANCE by the Department of natural resources not approval from the Queensland health department. This defies belief.

The sleazy, contemptuous Bligh Government deliberately left Queensland Chief health officer Jeanette Young out of the approval loop on the western corridor recycled 'water' project, knowing it probably wouldn't have been approved.

The Government has deliberately ignored the legitimate health concerns of the public, while exploiting the 'yuck factor' for all it was worth, to their advantage, labelling those opposed to drinking recycled sewage as delusional, paranoid, psychotic or suffering from some other form of mental disorder, while highly regarded scientists who warned the Government against recycling sewage for human consumption were subjected to a character assassination.

Although recycling toxic diseased waste for human consumption is a high human health risk, No long term human health risk studies have ever been undertaken.

Bligh made the ludicrous claims of scrapping the recycled sewage plans coincidentally and conveniently after the last pipe for the recycled 'water' grid was connected and just prior to calling an early election.

Bligh knew that recycled sewage was a hot political issue. Surprise, surpise immediately after the elections recycled sewage was back on the Governments agenda and Bligh declared that there was no turning back on recycled sewage, now who couldn't have seen that coming?

Time to rid ourselves of this useless, lying, deceitful, self serving Government.

Meredith Jayne

Anonymous said...

Bligh doesn't listen to the people she is paid well to (supposedly) represent. She just dictates. Queenslanders strongly objected to having fluoride and toxic, diseased hospital and industrial waste dumped into the public drinking water supplies, however Beattie and Bligh steadfastly refused to listen to the health concerns of the people and declared that the public could either " drink it or die". Natzi Germany would have been proud of them.

Politicians need to be reminded that they are servants of the people not their masters. Bligh should also be reminded that she was gifted the premiership by her political (rodent) master Peter Beattie.

As soon as she took over office one of her first priorities was to create another new useless Government department, placing her husband in the top position. Nepotism is alive and well in the Bligh camp. It's time to stop the disgusting practice whereby key political appointments are handed down as gifts. Bligh is supposed to work in the best interests of the people, however the Bligh 'Governments' only interest is in big business.

Bligh has also defiantly refused to back down on her decision to sell off assets that belong to the people of Queensland. Beattie and Bligh mismanaged the State and now the public is suffering greatly and needlesly because of it. For those contemplating a holiday, see Queensland first before Bligh sells it.

Time to go Bligh and take your propaganda ministers swith you, your use by date has expired.

Anonymous said...

Beattie and Bligh have made no attempt to address the growing problem of water shortage. They have encouraged immigration to Queensland, well knowing the pressure it puts on water availability. There people are guilty of criminal neglect and should be prosecuted.

Robert James

Anonymous said...

The Government has collaborated with their manufactured scientists, water service providers and the media to play down the recycled sewage issue in order to 'avoid alarming the public' They have provided dishonest and deliberately misleading information.

The politicians are 'protecting' us from
the results they think panic would cause if we knew of the extent of our exposures and the potential human health catastrophes. The public was never supposed to associate adverse health effects with recycled sewage. The Government works hard on concealment of information rather than disclosure.

The Government knows the chronic health effects from exposure to toxic heavy metals, deadly chemicals, such as cancer, immune and reproductive system damage which would take years to show up would never be associated with recycled sewage, but out there always protecting us are the finest politicians industry can buy.

Anonymous said...

Burst water pipes are a regular occurence in Queensland-- ABC Radio is reporting that an olympic swimming pool of water per second is being lost, and that houses and cars are being flooded, one of Brisbane's major water supply pipelines, burst, sending the equivalent of about 150 Olympic swimming pools of water through neighbouring properties and into nearby creeks. Massive amounts of water going to waste.
The useless, defiant labor Government under the dictatorship of Beattie and Bligh failed to provide Queenslanders with new water infrastructure and have failed to maintain existing infrastructure.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to note that farmers have had to put meters on any naturally occurring springs on their properties and then pay the government for the water. More alarmingly it has been suggested that there is a push to introduce metering on household down pipes so we will all have to pay for the water falling on our own roofs!

Another thing to consider which is quite alarming is that the gross negligence in planning water infrastructure was actually deliberate in order for the public to embrace the idea of a privatized water network.

Unfortunately these are not the actions of a government concerned with the welfare of its constituents rather these are the actions of a corrupt leadership pandering to the demands of the profit driven Elite.

Some would call it alarmist to suggest that under handed practices were being perpetrated by our governments toward us but the more you investigate the more you see how all the pieces fit.

It is time to consider these possibilities and not buy into illusion the Elite really care about the citizens of Australia and wish for us to have free clean water in the years ahead. If you read the words written by the Elite themselves you can see their motives are not that or free men. Nobody in this country elected the people who made these policies and they were never pass through our parliament. Backdoor deals and power hungry men seek to control all that is free and if the Elite could figure out a way to charge us to breath, who bet they would? Maybe a carbon tax...

Anonymous said...

Trust us - no thank-you. Anna you can drink what you want, I will stick to water, recycled naturally by mother nature. Here is an idea -stop spending tax dollars monitoring our water USE and start monitoring our water quality .... "a resident complained about the water quality" .. great news ... water appears to get monitored at the kitchen tap!!!

Posted by no to recycled water of South east Qld

Anonymous said...

If we allow the Government to poison our drinking water supplies and our food to be contaminated with toxic diseased waste from industrial and hospital sources to persist, the ultimate cost will exceed the budget as the overburdened medical system attempts to cure diseases that should never have occured but for the bioaccumalative carcinogenic toxins that we ingest. This is not the legacy we want to hand down to our children. I wonder when the people of Australia will count more than Government and big business interests.

Anonymous said...

Stand up for your rights today, now, this minute. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Martin Luther King Jnr.

Anonymous said...

The University of N.S.W, The University of Qld and the CSIRO appear to be the leading institutions that have been madly pushing for the introduction of recycled sewage into the public drinking water supplies, of course it helps when its sludge peddlers have been given huge Government grants and funding. They have been handsomely rewarded for their opinion to support the Governments views on recycled sewage. They have developed a 'science' that aids and abets the profiteering politicians. These careully selected manufactured 'scientists' have made sure that the Governments bizzare recycled sewage experiment has come out smelling 'pretty'.

Meredith Jayne

Anonymous said...

This stream of comments has become the odd pot-shot at proposals that have long since cooled. For heavens sake Meredith, find another bone to chew...

Anonymous said...

Cheers Meredith - I enjoy reading your posts - and believe this blog is a fantastic history of news stories and opinions, for anyone interested in the issue of PRW :)

Anonymous said...

To annoymous of "proposals that have long since cooled ... find another bone to chew ..." ... I wonder would you like to be receiving Recycled Water from your families kitchen tap? I assume, this issue is not cool for residents of Coomera on the Gold Coast, Australia.

Recycled sewage in drinking water
Geoff Chambers | February 2nd, 2010

EIGHT more homes in a new Gold Coast housing estate have been wrongly hooked up to recycled water that fails to meet national drinking standards.

It is the second time such a mistake has happened and comes despite promises from Gold Coast Water that it would never happen again.

The first time was in December last year.

Councillor Donna Gates yesterday slammed Gold Coast Water over its lack of information on the situation at the 4400-home estate at Coomera after eight cross-connected pipes were found last month following further complaints of people becoming ill.

Cr Gates said a complete audit of the entire Pimpama Wastewater Treatment Plant network had been undertaken by Gold Coast Water after two residents fell ill with severe bouts of dysentery.

The Gold Coast City Council says it has now tested the water quality in 4390 homes in the estate which take recycled water from the Pimpama plant for watering lawns, flushing toilets and washing cars.

The latest incidents follow a contamination in December, which pumped recycled water to as many as 630 homes.

In 2008, 375 workers at the $80 million plant were exposed to Class D recycled water.

"I'm upset by the whole thing. The first case was made known in early January and the resident reported they were feeling unwell," said Cr Gates.

"Gold Coast Water found a problem and then found seven more cross-connection errors."

Cr Gates said she realised that the treatment plant was 'ground-breaking' but had reservations about the connection mistakes.

"The quality of water is a prime concern for any Gold Coaster and we should have made sure we were 100 per cent confident that water was clean before we turned on the plant," she said.

"I disagree totally with the measures that have been put in place by Gold Coast Water. We need a better system."

Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke backed Cr Gates and said the ongoing problems with the treatment plant must be rectified.

"I think it is the fundamental right of a resident on the Gold Coast to have clean water," said Cr Clarke.

"It should not be happening." It has taken council CEO Dale Dickson more than two months to provide a response to Cr Gates about the reasons behind the initial cross-connection scare in December.

A council spokeswoman said Mr Dickson would respond to the incident 'later this month'.

'We had two water taste and odour complaints from the new dual reticulation region. As a result, staff individually tested 4390 properties," she said.

"Eight properties, including the two original residents, were found to have problems -- five at the water meter connection, two within houses and one at the sub-meter for a unit."

The spokeswoman said two complaints were deemed 'unacceptable' and prompted the testing of other Coomera properties.

Anonymous said...

Recycled sewage in drinking water
Geoff Chambers | February 2nd, 2010

Anonymous said...

Council admits some residents drinking recycled water - By Tom Forbes

Anonymous said...

Coomera daycare water disease probe
Geoff Chambers | February 3rd, 2010

GOLD Coast Water officials will check a Coomera daycare centre today after 30 children fell ill with gastro in two weeks.

Coomera residents fear their water supply has been contaminated by recycled water pumped into homes last month.

Major developers in the boom suburb have also expressed concern about the lack of information from the Gold Coast City Council.

Coomera mum Kate Littlejohn said her 15-month-old daughter Makinley had multiple seizures after contracting a gastro illness.

"She has an underlying illness and when she contracted the gastro she began to have seizures," said Ms Littlejohn.

"Homes in the area have received letters from the council about the water issues and we now fear that this major gastro outbreak is from the water.

"Queensland Health has been contacted and we have assurances that the day care centre has done everything right in terms of sanitation."

Urban Development Institute of Australia vice-president Steve Harrison, project boss of the $250 million Genesis estate at Coomera, has major concerns about communication between the council and residents.

Mr Harrison was disappointed senior council officers had not contacted him after cross-connection incidents in the Genesis estate.

"There has been comments made in the past about developers being responsible for the connections but that is simply not true," he said.

"A five-figure fee is paid to contract council to do the work."

He said the pipe network was unlike anything else in the city but it needed to be made fool-proof.

"This is a quickly growing area and there will be many more connections made in the coming years, so there must be a process in place to ensure that there are no further mix-ups," he said.

Gold Coast legal firm Parker Simmonds partner Bruce Simmonds, who specialises in class actions, has secured a number of clients since the first water contamination scare last December.

Mr Simmonds has instructed Ken Fleming, QC, to prepare a brief.

Coomera councillor Donna Gates this week attacked senior council officers for failing to provide adequate information for the community.

"People are naturally worried when these types of incidents occur and I believe that the information has to be forthcoming so they know what is going on," she said.

"I've been appalled at the lack of consultation."

Cr Gates said every resident deserved access to clean water.

"I will be pursuing clear answers from CEO Dale Dickson at next Monday's full council meeting," she said.

Gold Coast Water has inspected all Coomera homes connected to the $80 million Pimpama Wastewater Treatment Plant.

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