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Water Quality

Listed below are frequently asked questions relating to water quality.

Do you have information on water hardness settings for dishwashers?

Some types of dishwashers require you to program them with a hardness setting. For Logan’s water supply, please refer to the table below for correct dishwasher settings.

Average hardness values of Logan’s water for different measurement units used around the world

Country of manufacture

Measurement unit

Average hardness

Australia

mg/L (milligrams of CaCo3 per litre)

117

Germany

˚d (German degree or 10 mg of CaO per litre)

6.6

England

˚e (English degree or 1 grain CaCO3 per UK gallon)

8.2

France

˚f (French degree or 10 mg of CaCO3 per litre)

12.0

USA

ppm (parts per million of CaCo3)

117

International

International mmol/L (millimol CaCO3 per litre)

1.2

Other

Physical Measure mval/L (50 mg CaCo3 per litre)

2.35

What is water hardness?

Logan City Council’s water hardness depends on the water source and season, and will change depending on where Seqwater sources the drinking water. The water supplied to Logan is commonly within the ‘good quality’ range of 60-200mg/L CaCO3, being normal hardness.

Water hardness is mainly due to the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium salts in the water, expressed as Total Hardness (CaCO3). Other elements like iron, manganese, strontium and barium can also contribute to water hardness however to a much lesser extent. Hard water requires more soap to form a lather than soft water. Very hard water > 200mg/L CaCO3 may lead to scale build up on water heating elements such as kettles and hot water service pipes and fittings.

Does Logan test for Legionella in water?

No. Legionella is a health risk when it grows over time in plumbing fittings and other sites where warm water can promote its growth. Legionella is best controlled by maintenance of these areas. Water services providers, such as Logan have a responsibility to prevent contamination of the water supply delivered to customers and have to follow & meet the stringent Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) & Queensland public health guidelines for drinking water monitoring and testing. The monitoring that water service providers use to detect contamination does not include legionella but does include regular testing for E.coli. E.coli is the primary recognised indicator for water contamination.

For more information about Legionella & New Reporting Laws click here.

E.coli (Escherichia coli) - What is it?

E. coli itself is generally not harmful but its presence in drinking water is a warning sign of contamination and is generally associated with human or animal waste. If Council detects E. coli, immediate corrective action is taken to ensure everything is done to protect public health.

What is water disinfection?

Drinking water distributed by Council contains either chloramine or chlorine as the disinfectant. These disinfectants are used to effectively kill or inactivate a wide range of harmful micro-organisms.

For more information see the Disinfection Factsheet (PDF 33 KB).

How do I make drinking water safe for my fish?

Drinking water straight from the tap is not suitable for use in aquariums or fish keeping, and must be tested and treated prior to adding to your fish tank. Disinfected tap water can kill your fish and other aquatic animals and also kill the (good) nitrifying bacteria that breaks down wastes in your fish tank filter.

Please contact your local pet store for specific information on how to make the drinking water supply safe for your fish prior to using it in aquariums.

Why is fluoride added to drinking water?

Fluoridation in Queensland is regulated in accordance with the Water Fluoridation Act 2008 and Water Fluoridation Regulation 2008. If you have any questions or concerns about fluoride, please contact Queensland Health on 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or visit the Queensland Health website.

For information about fluoridation recommendations made by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), please read the ‘2017 Public Statement – Water Fluoridation and Human Health in Australia’.

Who adds fluoride to Logan's water supply?

Fluoride is added to the bulk water supply by the Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority (trading as Seqwater) in accordance with the requirements of the Water Fluoridation Act 2008 and Public Health Regulation 2005 with advice from Queensland Health. Logan City Council does not add any additional fluoride to the drinking water supply. Logan City Council monitors for fluoride within the confines of the Logan City Council drinking water distribution network and levels are consistently within the Public Health Regulation (2005). Seqwater is the body responsible for the treatment of the raw water supply.

This factsheet from Seqwater should answer any additional questions. Alternatively, visit the Seqwater or Queensland Health websites.

Why does my water taste like chlorine/ pool water?

Council supplies drinking water which contains either chlorine or chloramine, which helps to effectively kill or inactivate a wide range of harmful micro-organisms. Council recognises that some customers may notice the taste of these disinfectants, and aims to maintain a balance between taste preferences and ensuring that Logan’s water supply is safe. For more information see the Disinfection Factsheet (PDF 33 KB).

If you find the taste is too strong, place a covered container of water in the fridge for a few hours, and the chlorine taste will reduce. Adding lemon juice may also help.

If Council’s water smells strongly of chlorine, is unpleasant to drink, or if have concerns, please call Council on 3412 3412.

Why does my water have a petrol/ kerosene/ pesticide taste?

Your water should not taste like petrol/ kerosene/ pesticide or any other petrochemical product. If this occurs, do not drink the water and call Council immediately on 3412 3412.  

Petrol, solvents and some pesticides can pass through the polythene water pipes used in domestic plumbing and could contaminate your drinking water, resulting in health risks and costly repairs. For further information see Council’s Chemical Contamination Factsheet (PDF 127 KB).

Always dispose of unwanted chemicals appropriately. Council has regular chemical drop-off days to assist you with appropriate disposal. Click here to find out more information.

Why does my water have a plastic taste?

Many new plumbing installations use plastic pipes. When first installed, there can be a plastic taste to the water for a few days. You can minimise this taste by running the water for a 2 to 5 minutes before drinking.

If you are concerned about the quality of your water supply, please call Council on 3412 3412.

Why does my water have a metallic taste?

Corrosion of iron or copper pipes in your household plumbing system can lead to a “metallic” taste. This is often associated with an orange, rusty, or blue colour to your water, or blue green staining on sinks. This is most commonly noticed if you have not used your taps for a while, such as returning from holidays. If you run your taps for a few minutes to replace the water in your household pipes, the taste should disappear.

Your licensed plumber can help you if the problem persists.

Why does my water have a musty or earthy taste?

South East Queensland water supplies often have a slight “musty” or “earthy” taste. This is from algae and other microorganisms in the raw water supply sources. These tastes and odours are more common during the hotter months of the year. The compounds causing the odours do not affect the safety of the water, but can give a distinct taste at extremely low levels. The taste may be less pronounced in cold water and can be removed by household carbon filters. For more information visit the Seqwater Website.

Why does my water look white/ milky?

If your water looks white or milky, it could be due to recent maintenance works, which can trap air bubbles in the pressurised pipes. You can confirm this by filling a glass with water and allow it to sit. If the milky colour disappears, it is due to the air bubbles and is safe to drink. If it does not clear within 10 minutes, please call Council on 3412 3412.

Why does my water look dirty/brown/black?

Where Council is undertaking planned maintenance works, we will notify residents ahead of time, however unexpected events such as mains breaks or firefighting may result in dirty water. This may be due to deposits that build up over time in the pipes being disturbed by the change in the water flow rate and direction.

If you experience dirty water, run the tap closest to the water meter for 5 to 10 minutes and your water should run clear. If not, avoid using the dishwasher or washing machine during this time and call Council on 3412 3412.

Why is my water orange or rusty looking?

If your water looks orange or rusty brown when you first turn the tap on but within 2 to 5 minutes runs clear, this normally indicates corrosion in the internal plumbing of your house. Water pipes in older homes were made of galvanised iron, which corrodes over time.

A licensed plumber can help you locate the problem and replace the old pipes. If you do not replace the pipes, this may eventually result in a leak or pipe burst.