Yvonne Rutherford takes a drink of bottled water. She is worried about the impact the high level of salinity in the water supply is having on our youngsters.
Yvonne Rutherford takes a drink of bottled water. She is worried about the impact the high level of salinity in the water supply is having on our youngsters. Sharyn Oneill

Bottled water is her only option

YVONNE Rutherford thinks Rockhampton Regional Council could help people with medical conditions by splashing out some cash to pay for bottled water.

But council isn't buying into her idea.

The Parkhurst woman has a heart condition and said she had been given medical advice to stay off the current town supply, which currently contains an elevated level of salinity.

While authorities say the water - which this week measured an electrical conductivity reading of 828 uS/cm, well above the normal level of between 200 uS/cm and 400 uS/cm - is within national drinking guidelines, people with certain conditions are being urged to seek medical advice and in some situations use alternate sources.

Yvonne said it was costing her about $8 a week to buy bottled water.

She pays her rates and expects an adequate level of service, including the supply of safe water for everyone.

Yvonne suggested a system where people with affected health problems could get medical certificates that could be presented to the council.

While she thinks council should step up to the plate, her biggest concern is what she fears are the possible long-term consequences the water could be doing to young people.

"My very biggest concern is the long-term damage to our children and grandchildren," Yvonne said.

"We don't know how long this problem is going to last. If it keeps on going will it harden the arteries of younger people?"

Queensland Health's Environmental Health manager Paul Florian has previously said increased salt levels in the Rockhampton water supply do not pose a health risk to the general population.

Mr Florian said people who were on low-sodium diets, for medical reasons, should monitor their intake and may need to find a source of low-sodium water.

Rockhampton Regional Council yesterday issued a statement which said it was not council's responsibility to cover the cost of alternate water sources.

The statement said there was no contemplation of rebates as FRW continued to provide safe drinking water.

It assured residents the water supplied by Fitzroy River Water was safe to drink and continued to meet the specified health values in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

"The current sodium concentrations in water supplied from the Glenmore Water Treatment Plant is comparable with water supplied in other parts of Australia."



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