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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 1643 asked in the Legislative Council on 12 September 2018 by Hon Robin Chapple

Question Directed to the: Minister for Environment representing the Minister for Housing
Minister responding: Hon R.H. Cook
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Question

I refer to the drinking water issues in remote communities raised in question without notice C543, and ask:
(a) what type of filtration systems have been installed or upgraded in remote communities in the last 12 months;
(b) what remote communities have had water filtration systems installed or upgraded in the last 12 months;
(c) from the answers provided to (b), which of these remote communities now has access to water filtration systems capable of filtering out uranyl-nitrate; and
(d) of the answers provided to (b), which of these remote communities now has access to water filtration systems capable of filtering out nitrate?

Answered on 17 October 2018

(a) Ultrafiltration has been installed, which removes microscopic particles of matter that are suspended in the water. 

(b) Kalumburu. Three filtration systems have also been installed in Cosmo Newberry, Jigalong and Tjuntjuntjarra following the Auditor General’s Report - Delivering Essential Services to Remote Aboriginal Communities May 2015.  These
     systems improve the chemical composition of the drinking water.

     Planning is also underway for the Department of Communities to install additional systems in Jameson, Parnngurr and Warburton communities over the next 12 months. 

(c) None. Uranyl nitrate may form when uranium and nitrate are both present, however, the Department of Communities is not aware of uranyl nitrate naturally occurring in drinking water in Western Australia. Despite this, the planned
     systems at Jameson, Parnngurr and Warburton communities will be capable of filtering uranyl-nitrate.

(d) None. Kalumburu does not have elevated nitrate levels. However, the planned systems at Jameson, Parnngurr and Warburton communities will be capable of filtering nitrate.