Health concerns regarding the local water

LONG TERM Esperance residents have expressed health concerns regarding the local water supply.

Joyce Pearce, a resident for 40 years, and Kayleen Freeman,who has lived in Esperance intermittently for 50 years, said that the vastmajority of residents purchase bottled water or source rainwater instead ofdrinking the local water supply, due to its smell and taste.

“I refuse to drink the town water and source it from Dalyupinstead,” Mrs Pearce said.

“It’s not so much the unpleasant smell and taste that botherme, it’s the fact that chlorine, calgon and fluoride are added to the water andI worry what effect these chemicals could have on my health.

“I believe that fluoride dulls the mind and creates apathy,which is why a former United Kingdom Prime Minister famously suggested addingmore of the chemical to Ireland’s water supply.”

Mrs Freeman completed a Curtin University research studyinto Esperance water in 1999 and said she became ‘alarmed’ at her findings.

“As part of my study, I researched the addition of fluorideto the Esperance water supply with the approval of the Esperance Water SupplyDepartment,” Mrs Freeman said.

Water Corporation Regional Manager Hugh Lavery said that thewater supplied in Esperance meets all health-related criteria set out in theAustralian Drinking Water Guidelines.

“We are required to add fluoride in accordance with theFlouridation of Public Water Supplies Act 1966, which is administered by theDepartment of Health,” Mr Lavery said.

He also said that calgon is added to the water supply toreduce scale build up in hot water systems and electrical appliances, whichoccurs due to the level of hardness of water in the area.

“Due to the hydrogeology of the borefield from which theEsperance drinking water is drawn, there are elevated levels of salinity andhardness which affect the aesthetic characteristics of the water.

“Reducing these levels requires complex and expensive watertreatment, which currently does not form part of the Corporation’s capitalinvestment program … which is prioritised across the state with priority toensuring provisions for growth, drinking water quality and meeting regulatorystandards.”

Minister for Water Bill Marmion released the Esperance WaterReserve drinking water source protection plan on October 31, which he said will“protect the high quality of Esperance drinking water.”

When asked if he had tasted Esperance drinking water,Minister Marmion said that he had drunk the town water on numerous occasions.

“I understand some of the community are concerned about thetaste of the water,” he said.

“However, I can assure residents that the WaterCorporation places the highest priority on the provision of safe drinking waterand the water supplied in Esperance meets all health-related criteria as setout in Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

ESPERANCE residents Kayleen Freeman and Joyce Pearce are concerned about the level of fluoride in the town water supply and its effect on human health.

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