***I've decided to start a news and information blog to keep people updated on whats happening with our water in Australia .
Please email us with any questions you may want discussed in this blog and i will be glad to answer them all to the best of my ability. Your water filter Guy, Byron Cottone , Water Filter World ... For the Best water filter advice in Australia!
Parents warn of brain-eating parasite that killed baby boy
WHEN Queensland mum Jodi Keough gave her children hoses to cool down with on a hot day, she had no clue it would lead to the death of her precious baby boy.
One-year-old Cash died in April this year from what’s being called a “brain-eating parasite” that was thriving in the water at Jodi and Laine Keough’s cattle station, near Townsville.
Little is known about the extraordinarily rare disease that led to Cash’s death, but what is known is that he is the third child in central west Queensland to die from it.
And tonight, Australian Story looks at the amoeba that could be lurking in the water at many Australian rural homes.
“It’s rare but it’s deadly,” clinical microbiologist Dr Robert Norton tells the program.
“It’s something that rural Australia needs to be aware of.”
Naegleria fowleri thrives in fresh, warm water more than 25C. It’s caused at least 300 deaths worldwide, and at least 25 in Australia, and causes severe inflammation and brain destruction when contracted through the nose.
Mrs Keough said that’s exactly how her “very happy little boy”, Cash, became infected. She thinks it happened as he played with a garden hose on a hot day.
“Giving my kids a garden hose to play with was quite a regular activity for us, we don’t have a swimming pool or anything like that, so it was a fun way for the kids to cool down on the hot days,” she told ABC News Breakfast this morning.
“We can only assume that one of those times that I enabled by children to play with the hose and gave a hose to my little boy, that’s likely to be the time when he was infected.”
Devastated as they were by Cash’s death, Mrs Keough said she and her husband were shocked to learn that he was not the first local child to die from disease caused by the amoeba.
Two other children have previously died from the disease just 100 kilometres from the Keoughs’ homestead.
“We were very surprised that we hadn't heard of the other children that had passed away and it has probably taken the death of our son for it to rise to a very important issue and something that Queensland Health is taking very seriously,” Mrs Keough said.
She told Australian Story she felt it was her responsibility to warn other parents of the silent waterborne killer.
“I do feel that it is my responsibility, I do feel like it’s up to me to prevent our nightmare becoming someone else’s reality,” Mrs Keough said.
“I just want to empower people with the knowledge. I do believe it would just simply be a matter of time that someone else will lose someone they love and statistically it’s probably most likely going to be a child and a small child.”
Health authorities are rolling out a campaign in regional hospitals across north Queensland to warn locals about the amoeba.
There is no proven medical cure for the horror disease so the Queensland Government is focusing on prevention and urging rural properties treat their house water.
“For young toddlers around the home just make sure that the water that they’re playing and washing in is disinfected and filtered if possible and we’ll reduce the risk, but we won’t get rid of it,” Townsville public health director Dr Steven Donohue told Australian Story.
The Keoughs have since installed a $3500 water purity system at their home and have taught Cash’s two older sisters to avoid getting water in their noses.
But sadly it’s too late for little Cash.
“He was a beautiful little boy, the perfect combination of naughty and nice,” Mrs Keough told the ABC this morning.
“(He was) a very happy little boy with a lot ahead of him.”
North Queensland Cowboys star Johnathan Thurston will introduce Australian Story: Out of the Water tonight at 8pm on ABC.
On 25.10.2015 8:03 am, Megan wrote:
Hi I'm enquiring about ultra violet system filter
With prefilters ie carbon /sediment.
What pricing for this type of setup do you have?
It's for a domestic house, rainwater tank.
Hi there Megan,
There are two options for whole house..
Option 1 is the big blue highgrade which has the filter that stops parisites here:
Option 2 would be the big blue basic grade with ultra violet light here:
big blue basic grade-
Ultra violet light-
Here is the best undersink option:
Cheers, Byron 1800217726
On 5 Oct 2015, at 7:59 PM, Dianne Kramer wrote:
We are building a house at Glenwood Queensland, we will be on tank water only, the pump will be run by an off grid Solar.
Could you please let me know which system would be better, I think that the twin big blue basic would suit?
Thanks Dianne Kramer
Hi there Dianne,
Yes the twin big blue basic grade is a great all round filtration unit , but it won't stop Giardia and cryptosporidium which are common on tank water .
You would get the big blue highgrade for those parasites. Good luck with the build 😉
Thanks ,Byron Cottone, Water Filter World 1800217726
On 5.10.2015 10:12 pm, Trevor Williams wrote:
> Hi WaterFilterWorld Team,
> I need advice and a system suitable for my home. Details are that I am
> moving into a remote property where house water is sourced solely from
> our creek.
The water is pumped into two 60,000 gal water tanks and
> then gravity fed down to the house.
There is a fair drop in height
> from the water tanks to the house so the pressure is pretty good.
> The water is very hard with lots of sediment. Cows and sheep are
> regularly in the creek.
If I pour water from a tap into a clear 600ml
> bottle after it has settled there is about half a teaspoon of sediment
> in the bottom.
The previous owner contracted Giardia a while back.
> What I want to achieve is filtered, drinkable water to the whole of
My plan is to filter the water from the tanks and combine this
> filtered water into a 5000lt rainwater tank and then use a UV filter
> prior to the water entering the house plumbing.
My thought is that I
> need a sediment filter, carbon filter and a matrikx pb1 .5 micron
> filter in either the river ripper system or a triple 20inch big blue
But... because of the water hardnes I also need some kind of
> ionizing/softening/resin filter.
I also have fishtanks (marine and
> freshwater) that need reasonably high ph (8 - 8.5), so am thinking
> that a RO under sink treatment is also required.
We would only use the
> kitchen sink for drinking water but I want to make sure that the water
> to the rest of the house is ok for washing, bathing, brushing teeth,
> etc. Would I need to filter the combined filtered river and rain water
> again after it leaves the rainwater tank?
> Can you please put together a recommendation and quote for what you
> believe is needed?
Hi there Trevor,
Yes Ive done many of these in the past... You will need the following:
The secret to filtering water with high sediment and colour is contact time with the filter media so there are two ways to achieve this.
1)Slow flow or trickle feed
2)More carbon media
So definitely the river ripper is the way to go because it has a washable sediment filter followed by x3 double density carbon filters meaning each filter is packed with twice the usual amount of carbon being the equivalent of 2 carbon filters per filter so like having a sediment followed by x6 carbon filters that are all the maximum standard size , 20" x 4.5"
This system will not reduce your pressure as the carbon filters are 10 micron.
here is the link:
You wont need the pb1 as it will block overnight and give no real advantage as you will next add the ultra violet light
The ultra violet light will function perfectly with the river ripper before it as the UV needs clean supply water to function. It has indicators both visual and audible when anything fails or the unit is not working for whatever reason.
You can add the UV at the bottom of the River Ripper link
Under the sink (Drinking Point) i would install the reverse osmosis with Alkaliser this will ensure you will have NO ISSUES whatsoever with the water you consume , in fact, you will be drinking tank water equivalent water thats been re mineralised and alkalised which is the best water you can get!
link to that offer:
Please call me for any further questions but i think you should just go ahead and order when your ready as this is exactly what you need.
Free delivery on this purchase
Cheers, Byron 1800217726
On 24.9.2015 9:44 am, Tanya wrote:
Hi, looking at getting whole house filter system.
Not sure what to
get. I'm in cooloongup rockingham. Don't know my pipe sizes.
is it to buy for the whole house?
What's the up keep costs?
Is it easy
Hi there Tanya,
We sell heaps of whole house units your way due to the high mineral content in the water.
There are two options...
If you want to stop scale build up then this one is the way to go:
It costs $290 a year to run (change filters annually on average) and the third vessel is the scale stopper lasts between 2 and 4 years and costs $495
Then there is the standard whole house unit here:
Great all round unit it costs $314 per year to run (change filters every year on average)
*Both self install or any local plumber can fit it
*Pipe size irrelevant because you can use fittings to go up or down in size
*No reduction in flow until blocked
Cheers , Byron 1800217726
***25 July 2015***
Contamination of our drinking water:
More attention should be paid to the elephant in the room in terms of drinking water quality − chlorine. More specifically, chlorine disinfection byproducts, which are created when organic molecules in the water distribution system interact and react with chlorine.
For some time, I have been researching the impacts of pesticides and heavy metals on drinking water. Much of the information is buried in the appendices of scientific reports, or on computers in various water authority offices, or in the bowels of governmental departments. It was often a painstaking process, piecing together tiny fragments of a jigsaw puzzle that could never be properly put together, because very often the information just wasn't there in the first place.
Through my research it is evident that many Australian drinking water supplies are exposed to pesticides, yet few instances occur when the levels recorded go over the generous drinking water guidelines set by the National Health and Medical Research Council or the World Health Organisation (WHO). I have collated a list of almost 2000 pesticide detections in domestic water supplies across Australia and there have been 24 instances which have breached the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
It is little wonder that regulators have been slow to react when there have been few detections of breaches of drinking water guidelines. Nonetheless, there are a host of ecological and health problems associated with even very low levels of pesticides. But in terms of human health, drinking water breaches from pesticides pale into insignificance when one looks at chlorine disinfection byproducts.
In July, Friends of the Earth submitted a Freedom of Information application to SA Water. We asked for all substances that SA Water tests for in relation to health criteria. In August, SA Water replied with over 9000 pages of information, including over 600,000 individual test results. The documents reveal 9358 breaches of Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and World Health Organisation guidelines.
Of the breaches, 35 were for heavy metals, four for ecoli and the rest (over 99.5%) for chlorine and its disinfection byproducts. Chlorine was first used as a disinfectant in the early 20th century as a means of controlling water borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid which had killed hundreds of thousands of people. Chlorine disinfection byproducts weren't discovered until 1974 and have been linked with bladder cancer and adverse reproductive outcomes. Approximately 700 chlorine disinfection byproducts have now been identified.
Approximately 90% of the breaches revealed in the Freedom of Information documents occurred in country South Australia, with the largest number of breaches between 2000−12 recorded at Kingscote (Kangaroo Island) 435, Loxton 325, Burra North 302, Port Pirie 259, Port Augusta 257, Maitland 232, Morgan 224, Willunga 205, Crystal Brook 178 and Whyalla 173. In terms of the greater Adelaide region, the highest number of breaches were recorded at Craigmore 54, Happy Valley 30, Seaford Rise 27, Blakeview 23, Elizabeth Downs 22, Andrews Farm 21, Enfield 19, Blackwood 18, Chandlers Hill 16 and Glenalta 15.
The highest number of breaches were for monochloramines (5165). There are concerns that chloramines can cause various health problems and aggravate existing ones, primarily skin, digestive and respiratory ailments.
The second highest number of breaches were for dichlorobromoform − 2382 breaches of the WHO Guidelines. Dichlorobromoform has commonly been detected in Adelaide drinking water above WHO guidelines for the past decade, at least. According to the WHO, dichlorobromoform is possibly carcinogenic to humans, and there have been both positive and negative results in a variety of in vitro and in vivo genotoxicity assays.
Trihalomethanes were the next most commonly detected substance (581). These were concentrated mainly on Kangaroo Island, however detections have increased significantly since 2010, particularly in locations in the lower Murray such as Hindmarsh Island.
Levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine − a suspected carcinogen − breached guidelines levels regularly in the SA Lower Lakes, with the highest level recorded at Keith.
Water authorities are making a trade off between the risk of people being exposed to dangerous diseases such as typhoid if chlorine was not used, and the lower risk of people developing bladder cancers and the like if chlorine continues to be used. It is unlikely that authorities will reduce the amount of disinfectant being used for fear of being responsible for a waterborne disease outbreak.
Chlorine does not have to be used at all as a disinfectant. Ultraviolet light works well as a disinfectant and is commonly used in Europe. However the cost of converting water facilities over from chlorine to UV treatment may be prohibitive. People concerned about consuming chlorine disinfection byproducts can reduce levels with a good quality water filter. Filters using reverse osmosis or activated carbon would probably be the best option and can be fitted under kitchen sinks.
Anthony Amis is the pesticides spokesperson for Friends of the Earth, Australia.
***25 July 2015***
Lead in our drinking water:
In Australia, little is heard about drinking water as a source of lead poisoning, probably because – unlike Europe and the US – lead pipe plumbing is not widespread in Australian homes. The late Lead Reference Centre (a section of NSW Environment Protection Authority devoted to lead policy and education from 1997-9) has not even devoted a fact sheet to the subject. Nevertheless, it may be an issue worth investigating if your home was built prior to the 1930’s, when copper pipes replaced lead pipes.
The main concern, however, arises out of the common use of lead based solder on brass fittings and copper pipes up until as recently as 1989. As a result of corrosion, there is a potential for the lead to leach into the water after prolonged contact. It is therefore the consumption of first flush water – the first cup of tea in the morning – which presents a hazard.
This was demonstrated in a study conducted by Dr Brian Gulson, in 1992 in the Sydney suburbs of Turramurra, Burwood, and Epping and in Broken Hill in the far west of New South Wales. The study revealed that the lead levels in first flush tap water in many cases exceeded the acceptable level.
Further studies conducted in Perth (WA) in 1993 on cold water from kitchen taps have indicated that 5% of samples were above the acceptable lead level as defined by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), 2% were above the limit for cadmium and 12% above the limit for copper.
The maximum acceptable level of lead (and other heavy metals) in drinking water has been established by the NHMRC in the "Australian Drinking Water Guidelines" at 0.01 mg/L (lowered from 0.05 mg/L). And yes, as your plumber should be able to tell you, the use of lead based solder on drinking water pipes has been banned in Australia since 1989 (see box).
However, there is virtually no monitoring of the water quality at the kitchen tap. Water quality monitoring takes place before the water reaches your home, with the exception of the occasional monitoring at the garden tap. This is not going to tell you whether the water in your kitchen is safe after travelling in your plumbing system.
***18 may 2015***
Bendigo groundwater storage sparks Woodvale arsenic contamination fears
Related Story: Victorian Government rules out long-term Bendigo groundwater pumping
A community north of Bendigo has stepped up pressure on the Victorian Government to respond to concern about arsenic contamination.
The Woodvale ponds are being used to store Bendigo's rising groundwater but residents fear the water poses a health risk.
The environment department will begin talks with Woodvale landholders this week about water and soil testing to check for any toxic material.
The Bendigo District Environment Council's Simon Perrin said the community would be disappointed if pumping to Woodvale did not stop at the end of June as promised.
"It is a long-term health hazard and it just needs to be fixed," he said.
"The most obvious way to fix it, and it won't be cheap, is to remove the arsenic away from people and water."
Mr Perrin said the extent of the environmental risk was unclear.
"This arsenic is sitting above [the] aquifer, in a flood plain in an area with population," he said.
"The arsenic needs to be removed away from water and away from people and that needs to be the long-term plan and now that we've had contamination turning up in tanks, perhaps it's time that plan should be moved forward dramatically."
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning's Chris McAuley said a long-term option to deal with the groundwater was still being considered.
He said testing of soil and water at Woodvale had been planned for some time.
"We're actually meeting with the Department of Health on Monday to go through our sampling program," he said.
"We're then looking to meet with the members of the Woodvale community on Wednesday in order to just go through the program with them and to get their input as to whether there's any particular concerns that we need to consider."
***18 may 2015***
***Email from client:
Hi water filter world i hope things are going well.
Im very concerned about the mandatory fluoridation in Brisbane.
Im sure you hear about this all the time and i want some advice on the best way to remove fluoride from the water so myself and my babies don't get poisoned anymore.
Ive been buying bottled water , but i hear that all bottled water will be fluoridated as well soon.
Ive heard that reverse osmosis is the only way to remove the fluoride?
Some are talking about activated alumina? thanks, Kerry
Hi there Kerry,
Yes we mainly sell reverse osmosis since the introduction of fluoride and the funny thing is that as soon as the fluoride was introduced into Brisbane water and Queensland water, people from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and everywhere else fluoridated in Australia started to do some research wondering why us Queenslanders were so concerned.
This resulted in reverse osmosis sales all over Australia due to people educating themselves and making the decision on their own accord to filter out all that nasty fluoride..
The other issue is aluminum sulphate which is used in all water treatment across Australia..
This is in our water at about 10 parts per million which makes it worse then the fluoride issue...
Reverse osmosis will also remove the alum sulphate... Yes the activated alumina filters are deadly because they release aluminum back into the water and make the water just as dangerous...
Also, ive heard the same as you about the mandatory fluoridation of bottled water and i truly hope it never happens but its a sure thing according to my contacts.
Check out our links to the special and all of the reverse osmosis units we sell here:
all reverse osmosis:
thanks, Byron 1800217726
*** The Sunday Telegraph
May 10, 2015 12:00AM
TWO parasites that forced Sydneysiders to boil their tap water almost two decades ago has again been detected in catchment and treated water supplies.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal NSW Health was informed on each occasion, with follow-up tests giving supplies the all-clear.
The test results are contained in the latest Sydney Water Quarterly Drinking Water Quality Report, which examines the findings of samples taken of both treated and raw water.
The report blamed a series of “wet weather events” starting in 2012 for ongoing challenges in treating water, with heavy downpours increasing levels of turbidity, natural colour, organic matter and metals in raw water storage areas.
Found in ‘raw’ water
During the year to March 2015, both cryptosporidium and giarda cysts had been “occasionally” found in raw water, the report said.
The cysts had mainly been found in raw water sources managed by Water NSW which supply the Prospect Water Filtration Plant in Sydney’s west and the Richmond Water Filtration Plan in the northwest.
The report said a single cryptosporidium occyst had also been detected on two separate occasions on October 1 and again on October 2 last year.
“A single cryptosporidium occyst was detected on two separate occasions”
The occyst was found in a 100 litre sample taken from the North Richmond plant, with Sydney Water immediately notifying NSW Heath, it said.
The report said Sydney Water investigated treatment performance while also undertaking re-sampling of the plant water.
With no further cryptosporidium occysts or giardia cysts were detected during the follow-up tests, NSW Health had advised the detections were “unlikely” to have affected public health, the report said.
“A single cryptosporidium occyst was detected on two separate occasions,” it said.
“On each occasion, Sydney Water notified NSW Health immediately, investigated treatment performance and undertook re-sampling.
Ramped up treatment
“Based on an assessment of all relevant risk factors associated with these events, NSW Health advised that these events were unlikely to have affected public health.”
From July to September 1998, Sydneysiders were banned from drinking tap water without boiling it first after high concentrations of Cryptosporidium and Giardia were detected in both Sydney Water supply and distribution systems.
Three boil-water advisories were issued to more than three-million people, with an inquiry resulting in Sydney Water dramatically ramping up its water quality testing regimes.
A series of investigations into the cause of the contamination blamed a series of rainfall events for flood-waterborne Cryptosporidium and Giardia short-circuited the storage reservoir and entering the treatment plant.
Both parasites can be deadly to young children and the elderly, triggering a bowel infection which can result in gastroenteritis.
A Sydney Water spokesman said the agency took the provision of safe drinking water “very seriously”.
“Sydney Water’s filtration system has operated exceptionally well over the past few weeks of heavy rain and has continued to deliver high quality drinking water that has met the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines — some of the most stringent in the world,” he said.
“Our water treatment plants operate under strict filtration targets designed to remove pathogens, particles and colour.
“We continually monitor the performance of our filtration plants to ensure they are delivering high quality drinking water regardless of changes to the water they receive.”
***08 may 2015***
***Email from client:
Hi water filter world!
I noticed you stock all the types of fridge filters on your website. I have a FISHER & PAYKEL type with the filter on the outside of the fridge. Do you stock those? Peter
Hi there Peter,
Yes we stock all the types of fridge filters, here is the link to the one you need:
You can buy them in bulk too here:
Thanks, Byron water filter world , 1800217726
***08 may 2015***
***Email from client:
As per my conversation with you earlier, please find attached the test
results that I had run for the property where we will be looking to
install the water filter system.
I'm enquiring about a couple of potential solutions and would
appreciate your advice.
I am looking at either a whole house high flow filtration system and
to filter the kitchen sink tap (high flow through the existing kitchen
sink tap - and filter unit for kitchen sink under house setup
Or you also mentioned about a water softener system due to the issue
we have with scale build up especially on our Evaporative cooling
Hi there Kelly,
ok i can see the hardness is very high at 78 ppm and the calcium 18ppm...
If you want to remove the hardness this is the unit the wfw antiscale:
If you are not concerned about the hardness then this is the way to go bigblue highgrade package:
if you get the 2nd one you don't need a separate under sink, however, if you get the first one (the softener) then you will need this one under your sink the high flow in-line filter with the highgrade filter:
free delivery on all,
thanks, Byron 1800217726
***07 may 2015***
***Email from client:
Thanks for the amazing talk the other day about water filters and what i might need for my drinking water here in Sydney. I have a few further questions if you dont mind?
So i now understand that reverse osmosis filtration is the only answer if i want to take out the fluoride and other contaminants but i believe the water after being run through a reverse osmosis water filter is ACIDIC?
Hi there Sam,
Yes that is correct and thats been the only real issue and opposition to reverse osmosis water filters in the past.
These days we have the best alkalisers on the market that will re alkalise your water and not only that, re mineralise the water too. They only use natural sea mineral content mined at least 300m below sea level (to avoid contamination) and no salt.
We now sell combo specials that include the alkalisers and will create a ph of 7.5 - 8.5 with the PI alkalisers and a PH of 10.3 for the American made alkalisers
The higher level is only recommended for people with cancer or major immune issues so id recommend the PI...
here are the links:
Cheers, Byron 1800217726 water filter world
Posted 23 Apr 2015, 9:42am
E. coli found in discoloured Morwell water triggers boil drinking water alert
Gippsland Water is warning Morwell residents to boil their drinking water after testing revealed low levels of e. coli bacteria. (ABC News: Giulio Saggin)
Gippsland Water has issued a warning to residents in a large section of Morwell, in south-east Victoria, to boil their drinking water.
Crews were working on a broken pipe earlier this week and residents were told their water was likely to be discoloured for 24 hours but was safe to drink.
However, the water has remained discoloured and further testing has detected low levels of E. coli bacteria.
Gippsland Water's managing director, David Mawer, said the cause of the problem has not been identified.
"So we're doing a lot of investigative work at the water treatment plant and the clear water storages about why that might be but in the meantime we think it's a sensible precaution to suggest to people that before they drink the water in the system they should boil it," he said.
"From our point of view that's enough to make us think even though the risks are very, very small it's a sensible precaution to suggest to people to boil their water.
"We think we can get this resolved in the next 24 hours but we would not take any risks whatsoever, obviously, with public health."
***21 Apr 2015: Residents of north-east Tasmania may have been unknowingly drinking lead-laced water for years, experts have warned.
Five Tasmanian towns including Pioneer and Winnaleah have water supplies that cannot be consumed at all, and another twenty-two towns must boil their water before drinking.
“We just don’t know how long there’s been a contamination issue here for because the only data that I’ve been able to access only goes so many years back,” said Professor Mark Taylor, an environmental scientist who has studied the contamination levels.
“We don’t know how far back the water contamination issue has been going on for,” Professor Taylor told the ABC.
Lead levels were 22 times higher than safe standards in the town of Pioneer, a Macquarie University study has found.
The contamination has been caused mainly by degraded pipes, the study found.
It was “possible” that unsafe lead levels went unnoticed for years “because the testing regime was only brough in in 2009″, TasWater chief executive Mike Brewster told the ABC.
***20 Apr 2015: Illicit drugs found in Adelaide waterways impact local environment, research finds
Related Story: Australia in the grip of an ice epidemic; makeshift labs leaving a toxic legacy
Small traces of illicit drugs found in six waterways in Adelaide's north are affecting the health of the local environment, a local researcher has found.
Researches collected 50 samples of water from Adelaide waterways and tested them for illicit drugs.
Six samples returned positive results for very small traces of ecstasy, cocaine and methamphetamine.
University of South Australia PhD student and lead researcher Pandian Govindarasu said his research did not include tests on humans, but conclusively showed the health of the environment was affected at a microbiological level.
"We don't know about how it would affect human beings, but it definitely affects soil and water microbes," he said.
"If I get some funding, I [will be] able to test whether this concentration affects human beings as well."
After one to two years of exposure to the illicit drug traces, Mr Govindarasu found the reproductive patterns of insects and earthworms started to change, as well as their usual colouring and weight.
"My studies show that even a trace amount of these substances ... is damaging these microbes' DNA."
He said the behaviour of water insects and earthworms drastically changed after being exposed to the drugs.
"We noticed reproduction ... reduced in methamphetamine and cocaine exposed earthworms."
Mr Govindarasu's research did not examine exactly how the drugs entered the waterways, but believed it was through human urine.
He said international research showed water treatment facilities may not remove all traces of illicit drugs from contaminated water.
"If we consume any drugs, including the illicit drugs ... a portion of these substances [are] eliminated by our urine," he said.
"At the end of the day, these substances all reach the water treatment plant where they do all the treatment.
"[Studies show] the existing treatment for us is unable to remove all of the drugs."
The research was conducted by University of South Australia and the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment.
***20 Apr 2015: Authorities are urging people to avoid part of the small Western Australian town of Northampton in the coming days amid contamination fears following a toxic fire on the weekend.
The fire, which started at a hardware store in the Mid West town on Sunday, was finally extinguished on Monday afternoon.
Oil, fuel, paint and chemicals were burnt in the fire, which emitted thick plumes of toxic smoke, blanketing parts of the town.
Run-off from water used to douse the flames leached into a nearby creek, which has been sandbagged to slow its flow.
Shire of Northampton chief executive Garry Keeffe said the area surrounding the fire site was extremely toxic.
"That material is highly contaminated with an abundance of mixed chemicals [and] we are urging all public to remain clear of that area," he said.
"Stephen Street will remain closed for at least the next two days to prevent the public from driving or even walking down that area and we ask the public to please be vigilant about this because the toxicity is extreme.
"This is an extreme request of travelling public and the community to stay away from this area for their own safety."
Mr Keeffe said there had been a delay with clearing contamination from the nearby creek bed but a team specialised in contamination removal had arrived on site on Tuesday.
The company, Toxfree, which is tasked with removing the contamination, is expected to pump the chemical out of the creek.
The Shire of Northampton has closed Lions Park and Northampton Caravan Park, which are both adjacent to the fire site.
Some guests of the caravan park remain at the local evacuation centre.
Mr Keeffe said the town's primary school, Saint Mary's, would also remain shut today.
"Because we are unable to provide a secure notice that it's free for them to go back there, with the toxicity level so close, and all we need is a wind change to put it straight to the school," he said.
"We just can't take that risk."
***26 Mar 2015:The shire said residents concerned about the toxic smoke were asked to hose down their roofs, wipe exposed surfaces of any blackness and empty rainwater tanks, as a precaution.
The fire has also raised an asbestos concern as the hardware store, CT & L Woodcock, which was burnt down in the fire, was partly made of the substance.
However, the shire said the asbestos risk is low
Gloucester residents told tap water safe again after earlier chlorine overdose
Updated , 4:58am
Residents in the town of Gloucester, north of Newcastle, have been told tap water is now safe to drink, after an earlier warning to avoid it because of a chlorine overdose in the town supply.
At midday, water supplier MidCoast Water issued an urgent alert to residents not to drink the water, but issued another update to cancel the warning.
There had been reports of some people burning their throats.
MidCoast Water said it had alerted schools, preschools, the hospital and local nursing home.
It said the problem was caused by a failure in chlorination equipment at the Gloucester water treatment plant, causing high chlorine readings above national drinking standards.
One woman posted on Facebook that her daughter had a burnt throat.
Others complained about burns to their eyes and of experiencing migraines.
MidCoast Water's acting general manager Brendan Guiney said such reactions were rare.
"That is of concern, but what we will say is that chlorine, even at the levels that are high would not normally cause adverse effects in humans," he said.
MidCoast Water said chlorine levels were still causing "taste and odour issues", and staff would continue flushing out the water supply network.
It said Gloucester residents should flush their house water pipes for at least 10 minutes before using water.
December 18, 2014 4:59PM
Maudsland and Mt Nathan residents face water contamination issue
Stephanie Bedo •
Gold Coast Bulletin •
RESIDENTS in the Maudsland and Mt Nathan areas are being asked to boil their water because of a contamination issue.
Council workers found the problem during routine water testing, with potential contamination of the piped water network in this area.
Queensland Health have been advised and it is anticipated that the will instruct a “boil water” alert.
Council staff are being sent to letterbox and door knock the area.
The affected area is roughly halfway along Maudsland Rd and past the junction of Nerang Beaudesert Rd.