Science Alert Bianca Nogrady 8 November 2013
Every day, Australians flush relatively small – but significant – amounts of chemicals down the drain, many excreted from their own bodies.
These micropollutants – from the diverse medicines, personal hygiene products, household cleaning agents, dietary supplements and other chemical products we now use routinely – make their way to wastewater treatment plants. From there, most are released into our waterways, with potentially devastating consequences for the aquatic fauna exposed to them.
Brisbane Times Cameron Atfield November 7, 2013
A dead possum is wreaking havoc with water supplies south of Brisbane.
Kooralbyn residents have been warned to boil drinking water after the marsupial was discovered in a local reservoir.
Queensland Urban Utilities has warned residents of Kooralbyn’s 1500 homes, in the Scenic Rim, there was a “possible chance of contamination affecting the Walker Drive Reservoir”.
The Australian Standards FT-020 Water Microbiology committee have submitted the following draft methods for public comment and ballot:
- DR AS 4276.14 (Rev). Water microbiology – Detection of Salmonella spp. (ISO 19250:2010, MOD).
- DR AS 4276.15 (Rev). Water microbiology – Examination for Vibrio cholera.
- DR AS 4276.19 (Rev). Water microbiology – Examination for thermophilic Campylobacter spp. – Membrane filtration.
Public comment and ballot closing date is 15/11/2013.
Draft methods can be viewed at the Standard Australia website: http://www.standards.org.au Select the Draft Standards open for Public Comment section and to submit a comment, click on the ‘To Comment’ tab and search for ‘Microbiology’.
(Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft 22 October 2013) To keep drinking water clean, experts are constantly monitoring our supply to check it for contaminants. Now laser technology will give them a helping hand: a new system automatically analyzes water samples at the waterworks itself.
Read EurekAlert Summary
(Virginia Tech 4 November 2013) Microbes in tap water are mostly harmless, with a few exceptions. A Virginia Tech research team is investigating four harmful pathogens that have been documented in tap water and suggest a natural, probiotic way to deal with dangerous germs.
Read EurekAlert Summary
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BioOptics World Lee Dubay 28 October 2013
An international team of researchers at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) and Jiangnan University in China has demonstrated that light-activated nanorods can detect tiny amounts of DNA with 50x more sensitivity than current methods. The work could help with diagnosing patients, solving crimes, and identifying the origins of biological contaminants, such as a pathogen in a water supply.
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ABC Rural News Lucy Barbour and Lisa Herbert 25 October 2013
A prominent Australian poultry veterinarian has backed claims by Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce that increasing free range egg production in Australia will lead to more avian influenza outbreaks.
Dr Peter Scott, from the University of Melbourne, says about 70 per cent of wild waterfowl that are tested have antibodies for avian influenza and one per cent actively shed the virus.
AWA E-News 21 October 2013
Australia should embrace the concept of recycled drinking water, according to a new report from the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). Direct potable reuse of water (DPR) – recycling water directly to the drinking water distribution system – should be considered as a viable water resources management strategy beside other water supply options. Its benefits include reduced energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, lower capital and operational costs and a more robust, climate-independent water supply. These are the key findings of a research project completed by the Academy for the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence and captured in an Academy report Drinking Water through Recycling: The benefits and costs of supplying direct to the distribution system.
Read ATSE media alert
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Brisbane Times Tony Moore October 24, 2013
Moreton Bay’s waterways will die within 20 years if more isn’t done to protect the health of the bay, a leading Australian water scientist has warned.
Water sciences professor at Griffith University Jon Olley made the warning at the release of the 13th annual Healthy Waterways River Health findings on Wednesday.
Brisbane Times Tony Moore 23 October 2013
Developers are letting up to 150 tonnes of soil wash into rivers and streams from every hectare of unprotected development site in Brisbane each year, according to an erosion and sediment control expert.
The previous state government environment department was told in 2011 that there was “zero compliance” by construction crews in controlling erosion on construction sites.
That February 2011 study by Marsden Jacobs Associates for the Department of Environment and Resource Management recommended tougher compliance on builders after “pilot audits found 100 per cent of (construction) sites were non-compliant”.
Though the study determined it was “the most cost-effective way” of controlling sediment and nutrient pollution in Brisbane’s rivers, it was never accepted as policy by the Bligh government.