Precautionary health warning at Normanville

People are advised to avoid contact with water in the Normanville Creek and Bungala River, after a system fault at SA Water’s nearby Normanville Wastewater Treatment Plant saw untreated wastewater discharged into the creek, which joins up to the river and then discharges into the sea.

The Department for Health and Wellbeing’s Principal Water Quality Adviser, Dr David Cunliffe, said around one megalitre of wastewater has been released.

“We’re also asking people to avoid contact with the seawater, 100 metres each side of the river outlet at Normanville Beach,” Dr Cunliffe said.

“The affected areas are being clearly marked with signage, and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has attended the site to assess.

“People who come into contact with un-treated wastewater could experience gastrointestinal illness, including diarrhoea and vomiting.

“Anyone who suspects they have been in contact with wastewater in this area and are also experiencing symptoms should speak to their GP or healthcare provider.”

The fault at the wastewater treatment plant was identified by SA Water staff completing routine checks, who immediately notified SA Health and the EPA.

SA Water’s Senior Manager Production and Treatment, Lisa Hannant, said a thorough investigation will be undertaken into the incident.

“Our top priority will be understanding what happened, to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Ms Hannant said.

“The plant has returned to normal operation and additional monitoring processes are in place while our investigation is underway.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this incident may cause river, creek and beach visitors and assure the community that steps will be taken to prevent a recurrence.

“We will work with the EPA to assess localised clean-up options and any necessary actions to monitor and rehabilitate the affected watercourses.

”Water samples have been collected from several downstream locations from the treatment plant to determine the extent of the discharge, with results expected within the next 24 hours.”