IT’S not often hardy country folk could be accused of being flaky, but in this case it seems Tamworth residents are guilty as charged.
Many locals have reported suffering from scaly and itchy skin and the majority are firmly pointing their fingers of blame at the town’s water supply.
Tamworth nurse Deanna Morley has taken to limiting the frequency and length of her showers in a bid to reduce the harsh water’s impact on her skin.
“It has always been an issue, but I’ve noticed it’s been getting worse in the last few years,” she said.
“You get scaly patches or red, itchy patches on your skin, particularly on your back and areas where you get most of the water when you shower.”
Ms Morley, 44, also steadfastly refuses to drink the tap water due to its “chemical taste” and buys bottled water for her and her son, Noah, 7, to consume.
“It’s like drinking out of the town pool,” she said. “In the last 11 years I’d be lucky to have had more than a couple of glasses out of the town supply.
“But now I get concerned that my little guy not getting enough fluoride because he’s not drinking the town water.”
Beauty therapist Courtney Stevenson, the owner of Ella Bache Tamworth, said many clients presented to her salon after trying almost every cream, lotion and moisturiser on the market.
“Water is a common culprit in the fight against dry skin,” she said. “Water can be especially irritating to those who already suffer from a skin condition like dermatitis.
“One of the most common effects of hard water is the ability to dry out the skin and leave it unable to absorb moisture.”
Tamworth Water manager Dan Coe said all drinking water supplied by the council “aims to comply with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines”.
“Daily monitoring is performed at the Calala Water Treatment Plant by operation staff to monitor water quality and weekly sampling and testing is performed at various locations within the water supply system in Tamworth,” he said.
“Samples are collected by the Tamworth Environmental Laboratory, with regular samples sent to the NSW Department of Health laboratory in Sydney for analysis.
“There have been no anomalies revealed in recent test results.”
Ella Bache Tamworth owner Courtney Stevenson’s top tips for beating dry skin
- Use less soap products to decrease soapy residue
- Take shorter showers to reduce your skin’s exposure to hardened minerals
- Use store-bought water to wash your face, as the face is more sensitive to hard water
- Apply shielding lotions to help protect against certain substances last few years,” she said.