Tambar Springs residents to continue drinking boiled and bottled water after E.coli breakout

JOKES ON US: Tambar Springs residents have a beer in the Royal Hotel as "beer is safer than water" following E.coli being detected in the village's drinking water. Photo: Billy Jupp
JOKES ON US: Tambar Springs residents have a beer in the Royal Hotel as "beer is safer than water" following E.coli being detected in the village's drinking water. Photo: Billy Jupp

RESIDENTS of Tambar Springs will have to continue to drink boiled or bottled water after E.coli was detected in the village’s water supply last week.

Gunnedah Shire Council (GSC) first informed residents E.coli had been detected in the water on Friday morning after a routine inspection detected E.coli in the water and caused GSC to promptly address the problem over the weekend. 

GSC water services manager Kevin Sheridan said the cause of E.coli entering the water supply is still unknown.

“At this stage, we have been unable to identify the cause,” Mr Sheridan said.

"Investigations are continuing but no evidence of intrusion has been identified at this stage, chlorine disinfection levels have been achieved over the weekend to a satisfactory level and further samples have been collected for testing by the Department of Health (DOH).”

Royal Hotel Tambar Springs publican Brett Gill said the village has been facing water issues for a long time.

“This is the oldest standing hotel in the shire I’m pretty sure and in the 14 years I’ve been running it the water has never been any different,” Mr Gill said.

“We are exactly where we were 14 years ago.

“The calcium levels in our water are very high and make it really difficult to drink the water anyway.”

Mr Gill told The Namoi Independent on Friday that he hadn’t been feeling well and had some stomach issues throughout the day.

“I’m not too sure if it’s because of the E.coli, but I have had to make several trips to the bathroom today,” he said.

The publican said he would like to see “more investment” put into the Tambar Springs area.

“I would love to see someone from council come out here and have a good meeting and talk to the locals about the conditions we are getting, because we are not getting what we are paying for.” 

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Mr Sheridan said DOH is aiming to retract the boiled water alert placed on Tambar Springs later in the week.

“The boiled water alert will stay in place until clearance has been obtained by the DOH,” he said.

“At this stage, we are working at receiving clearance on Wednesday, when the results of the repeat sampling are expected. 

“We will contact the Tambar Springs community once normal consumption of the town water supply can resume.”

GSC general manager Eric Groth said council will be meeting with the Tambar Springs community later in the month.

“Mayor Jamie Chaffey and I have been invited to attend the proposed community catch-up meeting in Tambar Springs in late March,” Mr Groth said.

“We are looking forward to being part of discussions, and believe this is an opportunity for members of the Tambar Springs community to come together, raise any questions or highlight concerns they may have as well as offer up solutions to work towards collectively to ensure Tambar Spring continues to thrive. “

This story Boiled water warning continues for Tambar Springs residents first appeared on Namoi Valley Independent.

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