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Council Responds To 'Brown Water' Concerns In Mount Morgan

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Rockhampton Regional Council has responded, after Mount Morgan residents turned on their taps and found their water had a brownish tinge.

Chair of the Rockhampton Regional Council’s Water Committee, Councillor Neil Fisher, said a rare event called a dam inversion had occurred.

“Because cold water is denser than warm water, warm water always rises to the top and it’s no different in the No. 7 Dam. The deepest water is the coldest, and the warmer water is nearer the surface.

“Thanks to a recent cold snap and a strong southerly wind, the surface water cooled rapidly and it quickly became colder than the deeper water.

“When this happened, the water essentially turned over to keep the colder water at the bottom and the warmer water at the top.

“Sediments at the bottom of the dam were disturbed and made their way into the Mount Morgan Water Treatment Plant.

“We adjusted the treatment process to remove the majority of these from the water that comes through to residents, but a small amount of a naturally occurring substance called manganese made it through to the final drinking water.

“Manganese doesn’t compromise the quality of the drinking water or make it unsafe to drink – in fact our bodies need it, and we consume it through foods like spinach nuts and eggs. The water is still fine to drink, to cook with, to wash in and all the normal things you’d do with your water, it just changes the colour slightly to something that we aren’t used to seeing come out of our taps.”

Councillor Fisher said it was rare for this dam inversion to take place.

“It only lasts for a few days, so all the water is back to the normal colour now.

“You need a lot of specific things to happen in short space of time for this to occur, so I doubt we’ll see more tinges in our water any time soon!”