QUERY RE DRINKING WATER QUALITY & DIFFICULTY LATHERING SOAP

I’ve recently recieved a complaint regarding ongoing issues with the taste of the reticulated (potable) water supply which has become more apparent in recent months together with a difficulty by some residents to lather soap.

At the risk of opening up a Pandora’s Box (I get a number of similar requests), I thought that I’d share the response from a Senior Council Officer with others who may be experiencing similar issues……

Re:  Drinking Water Quality – Hard Water difficultly forming a lather with soap

Council acknowledges your enquiry on water quality and undertakes regular monitoring of its treatment and reticulation systems to confirm the integrity of water and its quality.

To protect public health Bundaberg Regional Council wishes to advise that all potable water is treated to criteria and standards as specified in its Drinking Water Quality Management Plan (DWQMP). The criteria limits and standards specified in the DWQMP comply with standards as stated by the National Health and Medical Research Council – Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG).

The National Health and Medical Research Council – Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) can be accessed online via the URL address – http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines/publications/eh52

The difficultly or reduced ability to form a lather with soap is due to high water hardness caused primarily by the presence of calcium. The high water hardness that is currently being experienced is due to a change of the raw source water caused from the January 2013 floods. This hard water can cause scale build-up on water heating elements and problems with soaps and detergents. The hard water can also impart a slight salty taste however the water does not present a health concern.

Water hardness cannot be readily reduced by the water treatment processes however the water hardness will reduce over time as source water hardness returns to pre-flood conditions.

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