Tick of approval for Busselton’s water quality for fifth straight year

Busselton Water is celebrating Groundwater Awareness Week (10-16 March) having scored full marks on its Annual Water Quality Report for the fifth year running.

The local water provider averages more than 10 water samples a day which are tested and measured against strict Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, endorsed by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Released this week, the resulting Busselton Water Annual Water Quality Report showcases the results across a range of criteria – from drinking water management and aesthetic considerations through to critical health results such as E.coli, Naegleria and pesticides.

The report – which is provided to the Department of Health and is a requirement of Busselton Water’s operating licence – also presenting how Busselton Water collects, treats and distributes drinking water to about 26,000 people.

Busselton Water CEO Chris Elliott said that the corporation achieved perfect results again this year against all testing categories.

“We’re very pleased with the results, which show that Busselton has some of the highest quality water in the country,” Mr Elliott said.

“Water samples are taken regularly at each bore to ensure the safety of water at the source and throughout the reticulation network – and ultimately, the safety and quality of the water delivered to our customers.”

“In line with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, we use a three-step process to treat raw water from deep water aquifers to provide customers with safe drinking water which continuously meets a high standard.”

Groundwater specialist, Grant Bolton who has been working with Busselton Water for close to 40 years to design and manage the sophisticated system of bores which brings the water to the surface said it’s a precious resource which must be carefully farmed.

“Most of Busselton’s water comes from the very deep Yarragadee Aquifer which is a significant water source and is an important starting point for producing high quality water,” Mr Bolton said.

“Busselton Water owns and operates a multi-million dollar network of bores and pump stations to extract water and treat it before reticulating it around the community. The deepest bore extends almost 800 metres below the earth’s surface to reach the massive freshwater reservoir,” he said.

“The science we’re using is much more precise than when I first started. It allows us to carefully farm groundwater rather than mine it. That means we can track usage and aquifer replenishment rates to make sure we take just what we need and to protect the supply for the future,” Mr Bolton added.

“All of Busselton’s water supply comes from ground water – it’s of a very high quality and we are doing everything possible to protect and preserve it,” said Mr Elliott.

“In saying this, we also remind the community to be aware that groundwater is a finite resource and we need to do more to reduce our water use and protect the source.”

Groundwater Awareness Week runs from 10 to 16 March and encourages the community not to take groundwater for granted and instead to pay it forward by reminding others about the importance of groundwater and asking them to pay it on.

For more information on Busselton’s groundwater system, its Annual Water Quality Report and ways you can help to protect groundwater visit busseltonwater.wa.gov.au.

Busselton Water’s operations team completing maintenance on one of the bores in the network