Toxic water effects 35 towns in South Australia : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Health scare hits Yorke Peninsula

Source: AAP | Published: Wednesday April 19, 9:36 AM

Residents of 35 towns on South Australia's Yorke Peninsula will start receiving free supplies of bottled water from today after a health scare hit mains supplies.

SA Water trucked bottled water to the area overnight after toxic algae was found in a local storage facility.

The discovery prompted South Australia's Human Services Department to advise against the consumption of mains water and against its use for cleaning teeth or preparing food.

Bottled water was to be distributed from Country Fire Service depots in larger towns from today, mainly to people without access to rainwater.

The Paskeville storage facility was also taken out of service and clean filtered water was being flushed through the mains system from the Morgan water filtration plant in the Riverland.

However that process was expected to take until Tuesday.

Human Services executive director Brendan Kearney said the toxin in the storage facility was still to be identified along with its possible impact on human health.

"We are not certain what this type of toxin is," he said.

"It does not appear to be one of the normal toxins we're currently aware of.

"So it's difficult to speculate what kind of effects it might have on humans."

Professor Kearney said there had been no reports of any illness related to water consumption but a hotline had been set up to answer concerns from residents or visitors.

The water scare was expected to have a significant impact on tourism over the Easter weekend with coastal towns on Yorke Peninsula among the key destinations for holidaymakers.

The affected area stretched from Moonta in the north to Yorketown in the south.

-- Martin Thompson (, April 18, 2000

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