E. coli scare ends with assurance of safe dinking water

Amidst a water contamination scare people in Nerang, QLD were warned last Friday to boil their drinking water. The contaminating agent was a bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) that is one of the leading causes of gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections. The scare involved nearly 2,500 families.

According to the latest updates, Queensland Health says residents of the Gold Coast suburb can stop boiling their drinking water following the E. coli scare. Gold Coast Water (GCW) said it had since been advised by Queensland Health that water supplies were safe.

However GCW chair, Daphne McDonald, said more tests would be done in the next week. "The alert has now been lifted and residents in the affected areas can return to drinking the town water supplies without needing to boil the water first," she said in a statement. Ms McDonald said the cause of the contamination hadn't been pinpointed, but water quality testing and internal inspections of reservoirs at the weekend showed water quality was within guideline limits. "The decision on late Friday to ask some residents in a certain area of Nerang to boil their water was both a precaution and a response to advice provided from Queensland Health. "The area impacted was Nerang properties west of the railway line and north of the Nerang River. Water across the remainder of the Gold Coast is safe to drink," she said.

According to local Councillor Peter Young, an all clear may be given sometime today.

"Three tests have been undertaken over the weekend and all clear and based on that the council and the Department of Health decided to lift the notice but that was revoked so the notice stays in place until another clear test which will hopefully be today and then we can issue the all-clear," he said.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


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