Category Archives: Water analysis – Non-biological contamination

Focus on Queensland news.
Recycled water analysis, contamination by non-biological agents (eg, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, disinfection by-products, endocrine disrupters, environmental nutrients.
Journal articles have a broader geographic scope.

Chemistry subject guide

Welcome to the Chemistry subject guide curated by the staff at Forensic and Scientific Services Library.

In the guide we have provided selected information in various formats on areas of chemistry for FSS staff to peruse. Resources selected for this guide include databases, books and ebooks, journals and links to chemistry reference sources.

Ice lab leached deadly toxins into Sydney’s water catchment area

Daily Telegraph Ashlee Mullany 28 August 2015

CHEMICALS from the biggest ice lab ever found in NSW leached into the catchment area that feeds into Sydney’s water supply at Warragamba Dam west of the city.    Court documents reveal waste and “methamphetamine byproducts” from the lab ­polluted the Yerranderie Catchment area, a pristine water supply that flows into Warragamba Dam.

Chemical experts carried out testing of the soil at the ­Yerranderie site after noticing dead trees in the area and ­allegedly found traces of caustic liquids and methamphetamine leaching into groundwater.

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Rivers of red threaten the future of the reef

Radio National Background Briefing Gregg Borschmann 30 August 2015

New scientific research reveals the flood plumes from tropical rivers are travelling further and hanging around longer than previously thought, killing young corals and impacting reef growth.  In addition, the sediments—and the attached nutrients—are linked to the latest outbreak of crown of thorns starfish on the reef.

Listen, download audio or read transcript


Tests into mysterious Gold Coast Seaway spill

Brisbane Times Tony Moore August 12, 2015

A large plume of brown, dirty water seen in Southport’s Gold Coast Seaway this week is being investigated by government and university experts.
The huge brown water spill was not sewage, a Gold Coast Waterways spokesman said, but the source of the mysterious brown cloud of dirty water was unknown.
On Monday the huge wash of brown water could be seen kilometres out to sea after it appeared in the Gold Coast Seaway to the north of Southport.
Gold Coast City Council has two outflows on either side of the Gold Coast Seaway where it discharges treated sewage.

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AWA/Arup National Water Consumer Survey

AWA/Arup National Water Consumer Survey

The Australian Water Association and Arup are undertaking this survey to understand community attitudes to water. The results will assist the water industry to engage and empower consumers and help make sure that water is available and protected in the future.

Your participation is entirely voluntary and your responses will remain confidential. This survey has five sections which ask about you, your water supply, water suppliers, water pricing and types of water.

Open survey

Government inspectors hospitalised after gasfield visit

Brisbane Times AAP 10 August 2015

Four Queensland government workers were hospitalised while investigating an underground coal gasification plant at the centre of serious pollution allegations.

Documents obtained by the ABC reveal the environment departmental investigators suffered suspected gas poisoning while testing soil at the site of the Linc Energy operation at Hopeland, west of Brisbane.  One of the workers said he was nauseous for several hours and his blood tests showed elevated levels of carbon monoxide.

An expert study commissioned by Queensland’s environment department, also obtained by the ABC, says gases released at the plant have caused the permanent acidification of nearby soil.

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Secret report reveals toxic legacy of coal gasification trials near SE Queensland town  (ABC News)

Includes links to abstracts from report by Gilbert & Sutherland commissioned by the Queensland Government

Environment department inspector hospitalised after visit to Linc site  (ABC News)

Senior government investigator Paul Bergin said he and three colleagues needed hospital treatment after gas alarms sounded as he was hand-drilling on the Linc Energy site.  He said he spent about eight hours in hospital, where doctors showed his blood showed elevated levels of carbon monoxide.  Includes text of his affidavit.

Hopeland area soil sampling  Qld Department of Environment and Heritage Protection

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines: Draft amendments to Chapters Six and Eight

National Health and Medical Research Council 31 July 2015

Public Comments close on Monday, 31 August 2015, 05:00pm (AEST)

NHMRC is seeking public comment on draft amendments to Chapters Six and Eight of the ADWG. You are invited under paragraph 13(d) of the NHMRC Act 1992 to make a submission to NHMRC about the draft amendments. The draft amendments are as follows:
Chapter Six – Physical and Chemical Qualities of Drinking Water
Additional text has been drafted for Chapter Six that provides information on the process for determining interim guideline values for chemicals that have been detected in drinking water but do not have a guideline value in the ADWG.
Chapter Eight – Water Treatment Chemicals

The proposed amendments serve to update the information about the approval process for new water treatment chemicals. NHMRC previously had a role in approving new water treatment chemicals. However, consideration of the safety and efficacy of new water treatment chemicals is the responsibility of jurisdictional health regulatory authorities. Chapter Eight has been updated accordingly.

Download consultation documents