Mount Isa City Council has denied levels of E. coli were found in drinking water despite claims from a whistleblower employed to test the water.
A Mount Isa City Council spokesperson said no drinking water containing E. coli reached the general public.
The denials come after a Mount Isa City Council water department worker who asked to remain anonymous said they found levels of E. coli in Reservoir 4 at the beginning of March.
"A few weeks ago I found E. coli in Reservoir 4 which a lot of the town drinks from. My bosses said they would let the public know but they never did," the water department worker said.
Mount Isa City Council said there was no cause for the public to be concerned.
"Initial Council water testing indicated the presence of E. coli in Reservoir 4 earlier this month, however immediate follow-up testing returned a negative result.
"Reservoir 4 was immediately isolated from the rest of the city water supply as a precautionary measure and to enable it to be drained and thoroughly cleaned," a Mount Isa City Council spokesperson said.
The water department worker claims they also found E. coli at Splashez Aquatic Centre.
"I had been finding dangerous amounts of E. coli in the Splashez Aquatic Centre since November last year. I kept telling those in charge but they didn't seem to care," they said.
"They would just tell me to test at certain times after they had dumped chlorine in the water, but I started testing on my days off and the results were very unsafe to the public."
Mount Isa City Council denied E. coli was present in the Splashez Aquatic Centre.
The water department worker claimed their results would get tampered with.
"I then noticed my results were not the same in the Council's monthly reports.
"They would be adjusted or make up reasons to explain the E. coli such as filtration system failure caused inaccurate results," the person said.
"In the end I felt as if I had no option but to speak out, peoples health and safety is at risk and they were stopping me from doing my job correctly."
Mount Isa City Council did not respond to the North West Star's question whether results were tampered with.
Mount Isa City Council issued a full response to the article.
"To allay any fears from this story: There has been a false report given to the North West Star that E Coli has been detected in several areas of the community water supplies," they said.
"We can confirm that there was never any risk to public health. Conclusive testing found the result to be negative. The reservoir was isolated until the final results were determined. Council has fulfilled its statutory obligations by reporting the incident to all of the appropriate authorities. There was no positive reading at Splashez at any time."
"We can confirm that the following information was given to the North West Star yesterday after they requested information.
"Initial Council water testing indicated the presence of E. coli in Reservoir 4 earlier this month, however immediate follow-up testing returned a negative result. Reservoir 4 was immediately isolated from the rest of the city water supply as a precautionary measure and to enable it to be drained and thoroughly cleaned. Council has fulfilled its statutory obligations by reporting the incident to all of the appropriate authorities. No drinking water containing E. coli reached the general public, nor did it reach Splashez Aquatic Centre."
E. coli is a bacterium commonly found in the intestines of humans and other animals, some strains of which can cause severe food poisoning.
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