Test the quality of your bore water
The EPA has launched a campaign reminding property owners with backyard bores to test the quality of their groundwater if they haven’t done so in recent years.
The bore water summer campaign is an extension of a similar program that took place over the same period last year to increase public awareness of groundwater contamination and to remind residents to test this type of water to determine whether it is suitable for it intended use.
The precautionary measure aims to eliminate any uncertainty of the quality of water which is sourced from bores that can vary between areas in Adelaide’s suburbs and the Mount Lofty Ranges.
EPA Chief Executive, Tony Circelli said the use of untested bore water for watering vegetables, washing, or for children to play in, can pose a health risk.
“This is particularly important for residential bores which tend to be drilled to the shallowest groundwater depth where contamination is more likely to be located compared to commercial or industrial bores which are at greater depths, where contamination is less likely to occur,” Mr Circelli said.
“Our city is no different to most other industrialised cities around Australia and worldwide where groundwater contamination exists in many areas across Adelaide, especially in the suburbs or near former industrial land,” he said.
“Groundwater can have chemical contaminants from past industrial and agricultural activities and anyone in the Adelaide metropolitan area who uses groundwater for cooking, bathing, watering the garden or filling up a swimming pool, should be aware of the water quality.”
Whilst private users aren't legally required to test their groundwater, the EPA is reminding all bore users of the SA Health advice to do so regularly at least once every two years, to ensure their water is safe for its intended use.
Mains water and water from rainwater tanks are not affected by contamination and home grown fruit and vegetables are safe to consume, provided that they are not being watered with contaminated bore water.
The Australian Water Quality Centre test can test bore water for chemicals by phoning 1300 653 366.
A searchable index of identified sites with groundwater contamination is available on the EPA website.