Drinking water quality testing update

18 November 2016

In response to a request from the Department of Health, the contaminant from firefighting chemicals (PFAS) was included for the first time in the water testing program in Alice Springs, Katherine, Batchelor, Adelaide River and Darwin in 2016.

Dr Hugh Heggie, Chief Health Officer from the Department of Health has advised that public drinking water is safe for consumption in Alice Springs, Katherine, Batchelor, Adelaide River and Darwin regions. PFAS levels are under the national interim drinking water guidelines.

Initial reports indicate that source water supplies tested in Katherine, Batchelor, Adelaide River and Darwin region are below the national interim drinking water guidelines value of 0.5ug/L for PFAS, approved in June 2016 for use by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee in all site investigations across Australia. PFAS was not detected in Alice Springs.

Finalised results are expected within the coming weeks.

Department of Health has advised Katherine residents using private bores in the vicinity of RAAF base Tindal to contact Defence on 1800 365 414 (business hours) to discuss their water supply. Fact sheet and information in the Department of Health media release.

For more information, go to the NT EPA website https://ntepa.nt.gov.au/waste-pollution/compliance/pfas-investigation or call the NT EPA Pollution Hotline on 1800 064 567.

Contact: For media enquiries, please contact the media unit.

Phone: 0401 117 599