Water issues plague WA towns
Dozens of remote WA communities are living on bottled water, with audits showing uranium and E. Coli among contaminants in their supplies.
Western Australia’s Auditor-General has issued a follow-up report after a damning audit in 2015 found widespread water quality problems in remote communities.
In 2015, 80 per cent of the communities surveyed had water below Australian drinking standards, with evidence of contamination from E. Coli, uranium and the amoeba Naegleria.
Six years later, experts have again reviewed water, power and wastewater services in 143 of the state's communities.
The latest report finds that while service quality and reliability have improved, there are still areas that need significant efforts.
The Auditor-General found water testing rates remain inconsistent, while harmful contaminants are still evident in up to 37 regional communities. WA’s Department of Communities is supplying bottled water to 24 areas. Locals have told reporters that they feel “forgotten about”.
The latest report brought with it four recommendations for change.
It called on the Department of Communities to increase its water testing and infrastructure in remote communities, improve transparency in its decision making, make an action plan for priority areas and create measures to ensure more value for money in its tendering process.
The department says it has accepted all of the recommendations.