Cooby Dam. Lake Cooby. January 2018
Cooby Dam. Lake Cooby. January 2018 Bev Lacey

Bacteria fears close popular Toowoomba dam

A TOOWOOMBA dam has been closed over fears E.coli numbers in the water are increasing.

The Toowoomba Regional Council has closed Cooby Dam to the public until further notice as a precautionary move due to elevated numbers of E.Coli bacteria.

The council's water portfolio leader Cr Bill Cahill said council officers were satisfied the increased bacterial numbers were due to an environmental phenomenon rather than contamination of the dam water.

"Council will close entry gates to Loveday Cove and the Cooby Dam wall picnic areas and signage will be put in place indicating the areas are closed to the public until further notice.

"All reticulated water within the Cooby Dam Wall picnic areas, including taps and toilets, are untreated and therefore poses a risk to human safety during periods of high bacteria levels.

"Council will undertake daily monitoring of these levels and will re-open both locations as soon as measured levels are below the recognised safety standards."

Cr Cahill said the bacteria did not represent a risk to drinking water supplies as they were removed by the water treatment and disinfection process.

"Additional testing will be carried out on a regular basis to monitor the numbers of E.Coli bacteria," he said.

"Council will undertake daily monitoring of these levels and will re-open both locations as soon as measured levels are below the recognised safety standards," Cr Cahill said.

"Council monitors the three dams on a weekly basis for algae and numerous microbiological parameters including E.coli. We also test chemical parameters such as iron, manganese, alkalinity, hardness, ammonia, nitrate, colour, turbidity and phosphate.

"The treatment process is also closely monitored (daily). When the water leaves the treatment plant we conduct tests in the distribution system in accordance with our drinking water quality management plans."

Cressbrook Dam is currently unaffected by this issue and therefore remains open for recreational based activities and camping.

It was closed earlier this year following a similar outbreak.

To view activities open or closed at the dams, please visit www.tr.qld.gov.au/damstatus. 



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