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AWQC Groundwater and Rainwater Tank Sample Collection and Analysis

The Australian Water Quality Centre (AWQC) provides Groundwater and Rainwater sample collection and analysis to South Australian Health based standards for landowners, councils, industry, businesses and the general community.

Groundwater and rainwater provide many South Australians with a water source for their household, gardens or agricultural practices. Although the water quality may be good on the day of installation, the quality of both groundwater and rainwater can change over time. Periodic monitoring of groundwater and rainwater is recommended to ensure your water supply is safe for use.

Common groundwater quality problems include:

  • Presence of Escherichia coli a micro-organism which is linked to human or animal faeces
  • High levels of salinity
  • High levels of nitrate/nitrite
  • High levels of iron causing build-up of iron bacteria which can clog irrigation systems
  • High level of volatile organic compounds from historical industrial contamination, for example trichloroethylene (TCE)

Common rainwater quality problems include:

  • Presence of Escherichia coli a micro-organism which is linked to human or animal faeces
  • High level of heavy metals linked to building materials (flashing, roofing, paint, guttering, piping and valves)
  • Air borne contaminants source from exhaust fumes, agricultural or industrial practices

Water quality compounds are assigned guideline values that are determined based on the end use of the water. The guideline values provide useful information about how safe your source water is for use (see links to SA Health, Australian water quality guidelines below).

A topical compound present in groundwater around areas of metropolitan Adelaide is trichloroethylene or TCE. TCE contamination can be found in the groundwater of areas where current or historical manufacturing or industrial practices took place. A groundwater TCE contamination can produce vapours which are released through the soil surface or as a result of irrigation. Groundwater containing TCE may not have any effect on your garden and therefore you may be unaware of the problem that lies beneath. Periodic monitoring of your groundwater will provide you with the peace of mind that your groundwater is safe for use.

For more information on the quality of ground or rainwater please visit the SA Health, Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality, links provided below.

For more information on Trichloroethylene groundwater contaminations contact the South Australia EPA, link provided below.

To find out more about AWQC’s groundwater or rainwater sample collection and analysis, contact us on 1300 365 366. If you wish to proceed with sample collection and analysis download an application form from our website located here and return it to AWQC email: awqc@sawater.com.au or post: PO Box 1751, Adelaide South Australia 5001.

SA Health – Water Quality http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/Public+Content/SA+Health+Internet/Protecting+public+health/Water+quality/

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines-publications/eh52

Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/53cda9ea-7ec2-49d4-af29-d1dde09e96ef/files/nwqms-guidelines-4-vol1.pdf

South Australia EPA http://www.epa.sa.gov.au/contact

SA Health – Water Quality http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/Public+Content/SA+Health+Internet/Protecting+public+health/Water+quality/