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Drinking water safety in recreational parks in northern New South Wales, Australia

journal contribution
posted on 20.06.2018, 00:00 by FG Jaravani, D Durrheim, P Byleveld, M Oelgemoeller, Jennifer JuddJennifer Judd
© 2015 Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand Inc.The objective of this study was to assess whether the drinking water supplies in northern New South Wales (NSW) recreational parks conformed to the recommendations of the NSW Private Water Supply Guidelines. Water supplies in 57 recreational parks were surveyed to assess implementation of the Guidelines. A random sample of five parks (excluding reticulated town water supply or rainwater) was selected for microbiological sampling over a 12-month period. Additional nine samples were collected from carted water supplies. Forty-four of the 57 water supplies were untreated. Escherichia coli was detected in 16 of 59 monthly samples. Two of 36 treated water samples showed contamination by E. coli compared to 14 of 23 untreated water samples. Three of nine carted water supplies had E. coli at initial sampling. Thirty-four supplies had warning signs posted somewhere in the park. Twenty-one drinking water tanks had evidence of physical deterioration. No supply had a risk-based drinking water management plan. Treated water supplies had lower rates of E. coli detection and presented a lower risk than untreated water supplies. Survey and sampling results indicated the need for reviewing existing water quality warning signs in the recreational parks and implementation of risk-based drinking water management plans.






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Taylor & Francis

Peer Reviewed


Open Access


Cultural Warning

This research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologize for any distress that may occur.

External Author Affiliations

Hunter New England Population Health, Tamworth; University of Newcastle; Environmental Health Branch, NSW; James Cook University

Era Eligible



Australasian Journal of Environmental Management