Dubbo residents ordered to boil tap water for fear of contamination

Residents in the regional city are facing shortages of bottled water after a pollution warning was issued following the flood.

Residents of the New South Wales regional city have been warned of fears of tap water contamination due to recent heavy rain.

Poor water quality from flooding from the Macquarie River has caused problems at the Dubbo Water Treatment Plant, raising questions about the safety of drinking water in the city.

In response, the Dubbo Regional Council advised people to bring tap water to a boil before drinking, an announcement that affected about 43,000 people. While the boil warning has been in effect since 8 a.m. on July 7, locals say the order has caused a shortage of bottled water.

TikTok user Emma Debus documented her experience while traveling to Dubbo to visit family from Sydney.

“I just arrived in Dubbo and my brother informed me that the water has been polluted due to a flood in the area so you either need to boil the water or drink bottled water or you will get the equivalent of a Balinese belly due to bacteria.” , she said in an interview. Video from TikTok.

“This is what the supermarket water shelves look like right now, so it looks like we are boiling water,” she continued, pointing her camera at several empty supermarket shelves.

Dubbo Regional Council Mayor Matthew Dickerson told ABC Wednesday that recent flooding has severely polluted the river that draws drinking water for the city.

“When you encounter this type of flood, you drag a lot of debris from the side of the river into the water stream,” he said.

“You have animal feces, you have animal carcasses, and there’s probably more of that garbage on the river bank because of the drought we had a couple of years ago, so more animals could have died during that process.”

A warning has now been issued for facilities connected to the city’s water supply in Dubbo, as well as in the neighboring areas of Firgrove, Wongarbon, Yumangeri, Ballymore, Mogrigai and Brocklehurst, but authorities emphasize that the risk of getting sick is low.

“If you develop a fever, diarrhea or vomiting, you should seek medical attention,” advises the Dubbo Regional Council.

“Tell your healthcare provider that you drank tap water during the boil water warning.”

At the time of publication, the notice stated that the warning would be in effect for “at least seven days” and it is still in effect.

Speaking to The keeperMayor Dickerson said recent events have highlighted the need for Dubbo’s water infrastructure to become more resilient to climate change.

“As we get into extreme situations like drought, flooding or rain, I think we’ll see that wastewater treatment plants across the state need to be more resilient because it’s tied to our future lives,” he said. .

“So we need to decide how many times this will happen again, and how we can bring this water purification process to a level that can be more sustainable.”

Originally published as Dubbo residents ordered to boil tap water for fear of contamination