You are welcome to call and ask questions anytime however here are few of our most common questions and answers to help you out.
1. I am worried about Legionellae at work and at home.
Legionellae is a bacteria that generally can only be contracted through inhalation of very fine water aerosols from cooling systems (not typical household air conditioning that are refrigeration based) and or inhalation of fine moist dust from “potting mix”. All authorities recognise that you cannot contract Legionella by drinking water that contains these bacteria. Large buildings can have cooling system plants and these are regulated plant which means they must be correctly maintained to control the bacteria to recognised acceptable levels. If Legionellae were to be found in these systems it does not mean those breathing the air will become infected.
Household evaporative air coolers often situated on house roofs do have a risk of exposing persons to Legionellae if not correctly maintained.
In recent times in Australia there have been cases of Legionnaires disease originating from showers at health facilities. Often in these cases infected persons are those that do not have a healthy immune system. For household showers there is some controversy bECEuse it is possible that thermo-mixing valves that prevent water exceeding 50oC allows bacteria like Legionella to survive. It is debatable but in the absence of these prECEutions to prevent scolding, many people would turn the hot water on and after a few seconds regulate the temperature down and that process would kill many of the bacteria that may have been present in the shower head.
2. How do I know whether the water is safe to drink?
There are many aspects that contribute to water quality and The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, ADWG (http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/eh52_aust_drinking_water_guidelines_update_131216.pdf) recognised standards and other publications describes many of these. You are welcome to call the laboratory anytime and we help you to understand what your needs may be
3. What bottles do I need to take samples in?
Each analysis type requires prescribed preservation and bottles; please contact our laboratory and we can ensure you receive the correct bottles and send these directly to you on our prepaid priority delivery services.
4. Can you please help with the interpretation of results and what to do next?
At Enviro-Check we do not just issue results, we are happy to assist with the interpretation and responses. Simply call. Our reports can be fully customised so that at a glance your results are readily compared with your requirements. Furthermore, our data files sent with reports readily allow trending.
5. What are my obligations as a manufacturer or supplier of drinking water?
There are several related documents, guidelines, standards and statements within Federal as well as State Health Acts. If challenged by an investigating authority, those who have taken a minimalistic approach (e.g. “ADWG are only a guideline”) to ensuring the quality of the drinking water is fit to drink are in a more prECErious position than those who can demonstrate sustained systems that provide an acceptable level of confidence overtime. In essence the manufactured water and its supply (distribution) to persons for drinking must not cause harm when used correctly.
6. How do we treat the water so that it is safe to drink and do I really need RO?
In many cases reverse osmosis water purification is not necessary. Call an we can discuss the best options for you.
7. There have been complaints about our water bECEuse there is colour and odour even though our water treatment plant produces clear water. Why?
Some components that make up our water and its water chemistry can oxidise sometime after water treatment and this can change the colour. There are other causes such as possibly corrosion of metal pipes that may be part of a reticulated supply system or perhaps ingress of soils through a fractured pipe.
8. What can we do about blue green algae and are these dangerous in our water supply?
There are many types of blue green algae, often referred to as cyanobacteria, and these can pose a serious health risk. If you think that you may have BGA in your water supplies you are very welcome to call us as this is cannot be addressed simply.
9. The water never seems to lather up in the shower and even so it feels like you can never rinse off the soap
This is often related to pH of the water being above pH 8.5 and leaves your skin feeling soapy. There are means of adjusting the pH that we can discuss with you, however, if you are on a reticulated town water supply you should contact your Council.
10. How do I collect water samples and conduct field analyses
The importance of collecting representative samples and conducting field analyses at the time cannot be overstated. All your outcomes and responses are dictated by this first step. It is important to ensure that the persons collecting your samples are following a recognised (accredited) procedure but equally these SOPs require certified competent persons.
Large organisations risk unnecessary costs (e.g. responding to results that are not representative) and liabilities if certified competent persons are not collecting the samples. However, individuals/households/farms etc., who are personally undertaking these analyses for themselves we can also advise so far as is possible the principles behind sample collection.
11. What does your accredited training in water industry operations cover and can this be done progressively on site?
Our nationally accredited training is based on the full selection of NWP07 water industry units. Whether your requirements are just one aspect of water quality management right on through to certification levels 2, 3 and 4, Enviro-Check Trainer and Assessors deliver training customised to your needs. Our plant operators, field operators and trainers come to site and while there is essential theory and background our units have a strong practical emphasis.
We all recognise that you cannot simply obtain the expertise overnight after completing a course bECEuse putting theory into practice requires time to develop desired levels of confidence as well as independence. Hence our ongoing assessments are designed and progressive so as to foster development as well as interaction with our plant operators. Our team are always available to assist and mentor well after completion of our training units.
12. There are various methods of analysis but which one is appropriate for my application?
This is often an oversight where by either the analysis is “overdone” or “underdone”. That is, analysis schedules need to be rationalised so as to consider the application or use of the water as well as any environmental and health obligations. Too often we find new clients struggling with budgets have been duked into analysis suites much of which is not required.
13. The STP is bulking and the discharge effluent is not compliant, can you help?
Yes we are happy to help with Sewage Treatment Plant issues and have helped to restore the functionality of many STPs. Bulking can be due to many factors and combinations of factors. In order to provide answers and direction, we would first need to identify the type of STP and review its data history.
14. On site we intend to recycle water for irrigation and dust suppression but how should the water be treated?
Several factors need to be considered in order to answer this question in each instance. The essential factors here are the origins of the recycled water (e.g. grey water, treated sewage effluent, tailings, raw water etc), environmental requirements and community exposure risks. In some instances the water can be used directly for irrigation or dust suppression having ascertained that the components of the water represent low risk. However, in other instances the water quality may not be as good and its use must be restricted such as for dust suppression where there are no persons on the road or for irrigation during the hours of 2am to 4am.