You may know about the current “dirty water” problem in Brisbane; perhaps you’re experiencing it first hand. If so, we have some good news.
There is a solution to the terrible taste and odour, and it’s not putting the water in the fridge.
What’s Wrong With Brisbane Water Right Now?
On the 12th of January, Queensland's water supply authority, Seqwater said the problem is due to recent weather conditions (rainfall followed by plenty of sunlight, warm weather and still waters).
‘The temporary changes to tap water are due to increased naturally occurring organic compounds in the raw water supply entering our Mount Crosby Water Treatment Plant.’
In an article from the ABC, Emeritus Professor Jurg Keller of the University of Queensland's Australian Centre for Water and Environmental Biotechnology said: “they are actually produced by algae and/or photosynthetic bacteria.”
How Long Will The Taste And Odour Last?
It’s impossible to tell, our authorities have said it should be resolved within a matter of weeks.
However, Geosmin compounds have been known to remain in lakes and reservoirs for days to months.
Best Drinking Water Filters to Remove Algae
You never know when events like this are going to happen so a Drinking Water Filter will ensure great tasting, contaminant free water all year round for you and your family.
Best all-around for price: Ultrapure Twin Under Sink Water Filter with Aragon.
This water filter features the Aragon cartridge, one of the best water filtration cartridges ever made.
Aragon represents the most up-to-date technology for water treatment with viruses, bacteria and cyst removal. That makes it possible to get completely safe and health-promoting water without boiling.
It absorbs offensive odours and tastes, including common earthy, mouldy or egg-like ones, all while retaining vital minerals found naturally in the water.
Latest & greatest technology: HPF 5 Stage Reverse Osmosis Filter with Alkaliser.
Of course, you can always go all the way and get the best! In that case, we highly recommend a Reverse Osmosis system, and there’s nothing quite like a HPF 5 Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System with Alkaliser.
Cheapest and most portable: ULTRAPURE Aragon 10" Single Stage Benchtop Water Filter.
Just like the first option, this benchtop water filter will mean you don’t have to drill a faucet into the sink top and is great for renters or anyone who wants a more portable, temporary solution that can be moved from place to place easily.
If you're not willing to tolerate the taste and smell of your water any longer, we have plenty of filtration options available.
If you need any assistance at all, we’re here to help, so contact us anytime.
Call us during our office hours on 1800 769 300.
Once you own your own water filter, there is no need to spend all your hard earned money on bottled water unnecessarily.
More Info on Harmful Algal Blooms
Cyanobacteria, also known as “blue-green algae”, are bacteria commonly found naturally in lakes, ponds, rivers, dams or slow-moving streams. Although many species of algae do not produce toxins, some species of blue-green algae can cause Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).
People and pets can get sick from exposure to cyanobacteria toxins. Still, it usually depends on the type of cyanobacteria, how much is in the water, and the type of contact with the algae.
Algal blooms can also produce neurotoxins (which affect the nervous system) and hepatotoxins (which affect the liver).
These toxins are probably not something people with compromised immune systems or other comorbidities want to expose themselves to unnecessarily - especially if other viruses are going around.
Health Effects of Algae and Cyanotoxins
Cyanotoxins released by some cyanobacteria can cause allergic reactions, stomach cramps, nausea, headaches, fever, sore throat, muscle and joint pain, oral blisters and liver damage.
What is Geosmin & MIB?
Geosmin (the smell after rain) is a natural compound produced by bacteria in soil and algae found in surface waters such as rivers, lakes and dams. Geosmin is the culprit for the odour of overturned soils, and both MIB and Geosmin can also occur as a result of blue-green algae.
2-Methylisoborneol (MIB) is an organic chemical with a strong odour and directly affects the quality of drinking water.
Some algae, particularly blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) such as Anabaena, produce MIB together with other odorous compounds such as geosmin. They give a musty or earthy odour that can be quite strong if an algal bloom happens.
Emeritus Professor Jurg Keller of the University of Queensland's Australian Centre for Water and Environmental Biotechnology says:
"These compounds are not 'dirt' and don't come from dirt either.
"They are actually produced by algae and/or photosynthetic bacteria, which is why they tend to be more prevalent during summer with more sunlight and higher water temperatures."
What Is Seqwater Doing To Address This Issue?
Seqwater is taking steps to reduce the change as much as possible by moving water around the SEQ Water Grid and making additional releases from Wivenhoe Dam to help ‘turnover’ the raw water and lower the compound levels.
Seqwater suggested there are a couple of things you can try to reduce the poor taste and odour:
- Cool the water down by putting it in the fridge
- Put a slice of lemon in it or another fruit
Is Brisbane Water Safe To Drink?
Unfortunately, Geosmin is not removed by conventional water treatment processes used by Seqwater’s water treatment facility.
While Geosmin and MIB are not immediately toxic or harmful, you may begin to notice the effects in your health over time.
Remember, if you don't have a water filter, you are the filter.
What Can You Do About Algae and Cyanotoxins?
Activated carbon is effective, and can resolve taste and odour issues.
Reverse osmosis (RO), nanofiltration and ultrafiltration will remove/reduce single-cell cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins.
Seqwater says this problem will end “in a matter of weeks” but you can take care of it yourself as fast as you can get one of our simple water filters shipped to your door.
Lucky we have free shipping too!
To learn more, continue reading in the Learning Centre and sing out if you have any questions.
We'd be delighted to help.