The 4350water Blog highlights some of the issues relating to proposals for potable reuse in Toowoomba and South East Qld. 4350water blog looks at related political issues as well.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Anna Bligh in damage control after SEQ water grid blunder hits homes ...

Courier Mail:

Damage control after fluoride blunder hits homes

15 May 2009

Thousands of households had to wait almost a fortnight to be told they had drunk water containing 20 times the allowable limit of fluoride.

The Bligh Government was in damage control last night, after admitting 300,000 litres of contaminated water were pumped into up to 4000 Brisbane homes for three hours on May 1.

The blunder went undiscovered for 12 days after a shutdown at the North Pine Dam treatment plant meant a routine daily test on April 29 was not processed until this week.

Queensland Health has insisted the risk of illness was "extremely remote" but the public relations disaster comes after promises fluoride was completely safe when the initiative began last year.

The investigation will also focus on why at least three safety devices failed at the plant, supplying homes in the northern suburbs of Brendale and Warner with 30mg/L of fluoride, when the limit is 1.5mg/L.

Premier Anna Bligh yesterday said the turnaround time for the test was unavoidable due to the shutdown, but admitted concern over the overdose.

"This is unacceptable and I, like other Queenslanders, have questions about it, and I'm not happy," she said.

"We're unaware of any precedent in any other fluoride treatment plant."

But Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek, a pro-fluoride dentist, said the two-week test delay was too long.

"Some people didn't want this, but they told us the processes would be safe," he said.

The bungle occurred when fluoride continued to mix into water when the treatment plant was shut down for routine maintenance late last month.

When the plant resumed operations on May 1, the overdosed water discharged into household supplies between 9am and noon.

SEQWater normally receives the results on the same day but The Courier-Mail understands the bulk supplier failed to test the water before its release after the shutdown.

It is understood the failure meant plant operator LinkWater tested the water further down the line, with its testing taking 12 days instead of SEQWater's normal same-day result.

LinkWater received the test results back on Tuesday.

SEQ Water was told on Wednesday before the Premier was told later that night.

Queensland Health chief health officer Jeannette Young yesterday said there had been no complaints of gastroenteritis, which would have produced diarrhoea and vomiting within 24 hours.

Letters had not been received by households last night and angry residents were contacting The Courier-Mail about the lack of information.

Fluoride My Choice campaigner Selwyn Johnston last night proposed a class action.

"I'd be bloody outraged if it was me," he said.

The plant has been switched off since the findings.

See - Courier Mail - Damage control after fluoride blunder hits homes.

Trust in Anna Bligh = Zero ...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:47 AM, May 15, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous (edited) said...

The overdose of fluoride in Brisbane's water supply is actually closer to 38.5 times greater than the amount of fluoride poison normally added to the water supply, NOT about 20 times greater, as was reported.

The reason being that 0.8 mg/L (0.8 parts per million) is the rate at which fluoride is required to be added to south east Queensland's water supply, NOT 1.5 mg/L (1.5 parts per million) as reported is recommended to be added.

There is nowhere in Australia that 1.5 mg/L fluoride is deliberately added to public water supplies. The highest rate of fluoride deliberately added to Australian water supplies is 1 part per million (Sydney, Hobart, Canberra, Melbourne).

I would go so far as to say that I believe that the authorities quoted 1.5 mg/L as the recommended rate to add to water supplies in order to deliberately mislead the public about the gravity of the recent overdose.

I wonder how many people have had asthma attacks more severe than normal as a result of this overdosing, or asthma attacks they would not normally have at this time of year?

Had ***** ******** of ******, Victoria, been exposed to this water - by either drinking it or bathing in it - there is the high possibility that she would have had an asthma attack severe enough to bring about her death. Some years ago, *****'s already compromised lung function dropped to 25% of its "normal" capacity when she was exposed to one glass of fluoridated water in a blind-controlled placebo trial in a hospital setting. This was conducted by a respiratory specialist. ****** has been known to collapse as a result of showering in water fluoridated at the "regular" rate. The Victorian Government agreed some time ago to provide ***** with tanks so she can avoid fluoridated water when Geelong's water supply is fluoridated. There is one proviso for the gov't to supply ****** with these tanks: that she not provide the media with a letter that was written by a medical officer which revealed how seriously affected ***** is by fluoridated water!

Premier Bligh was incorrect when she claimed the Brisbane fluoride overdose is unprecedented in Australia: Dalby had a fluoride overdose in the 1970s and the entire ****** family was taken to hospital with fluoride poisoning ("Fluoridation - Poison on Tap" by G.S.R. Walker, page 281). In fact, the author wrote:

"A family named ****** was rushed to hospital in Dalby, Queensland after malfunction of the fluoridation plant in October 1976. All the family were treated in hospital for fluoride poisoning. The plant was closed for nine months and the Council employee resigned and moved away. All this was reported in the Dalby Herald 28.1.77 and confirmed by Dalby Council even though there is no mention in the Council's minutes of any accident or harm to the ***** family."

Some time ago I saw an agenda online in which one matter for discussion by NSW government personnel was in relation to the oversupply of fluoride in two NSW public water supplies.

Premier Bligh's fluoridation initiative was as well researched as was

1) the professional 'expertise/reputation' of Bundaberg's Dr Death (Jaynat Patal) and

2) the Q'ld Government's "authentication" of the taxi drivers' licences of many Brisbane taxi drivers whose licences have recently been found to be forged - many of whom didn't even possess drivers' licences!

7:12 AM, May 15, 2009

Anonymous newswatch said...

ABC News:

Apology needed over fluoride bungle: Bligh

15 May 2009

For three hours earlier this month some residents at Brendale and Warner, just north of Brisbane, were drinking water with a fluoride concentration 20 times higher than the recommended maximum limit.

Opposition says it should not have taken nearly two weeks for the Government to find out about the bungle.

Ms Bligh says Queensland Health and the Environment Department are preparing information for households.

"I think it should contain accurate and factual information about what happened, what they should be aware of, if they have any concerns and how they can find more information, and some form of apology about how this happened," she said.

"This is not acceptable. This is something Queenslanders should be able to rely on and in this case they haven't been able to."

The Government says test results took 12 days to identify the problem and Ms Bligh says she learned about it on Wednesday night.

She has ordered a full investigation.

Opposition Leader John Paul Langbroek says it is not good enough.

"It's more an issue of the management of the system and it is of concern that it took two weeks for the Government to be told about it and to release to the public," he said.

Mr Langbroek says the Government cannot afford to make mistakes on the purity of drinking water.

"The Government should be reassuring Queenslanders that they have got all the procedures in place, that fail-safe mechanisms are working properly and that this sort of thing is not repeated," he said.

11:06 AM, May 15, 2009


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