WATER WORRIES: Bundaberg Regional Council mayor Jack Dempsey called an urgent media meeting to help spread the word about a contaminated water supply in Bundaberg.
WATER WORRIES: Bundaberg Regional Council mayor Jack Dempsey called an urgent media meeting to help spread the word about a contaminated water supply in Bundaberg. Emma Reid

Bundy Mayor hits out on Facebook over water contamination

BUNDABERG Mayor Jack Dempsey has called on the Department of Environment and Science to investigate how PFAS chemicals got into part of the region's water supply.

Posting on Facebook this morning, Cr Dempsey said Bundaberg Regional Council wanted to know "how, where and when this chemical entered the groundwater".

Late last week authorities advised the community that tap water in the Svensson Heights area had been contaminated with PFAS chemicals. The bore that supplies water to this area has been turned off with water now supplied from another source.

"The news last week that water from one bore in Bundaberg had high levels of PFAS came as a shock," Cr Dempsey says.

"The bore was immediately disconnected from the network and Svensson Heights is now being supplied from other sources.

"I want to assure the community their water is now safe to drink.

"Council wants to know how, where and when this chemical entered the groundwater. We want the Department of Environment and Science to investigate and report to the public as quickly as possible."

He said his heart went out to residents in the affected area.

"They are now dealing with anxiety and fear, so it's little consolation to hear from health experts that there is only a low risk," Cr Dempsey said.

"PFAS is an emerging issue for health and water authorities following revelations from Defence bases.

"That's why there hasn't been regular testing before now and the drinking water guidelines are still in draft form. Research into human impacts is ongoing and inconclusive.

"Health authorities are correctly taking a precautionary approach.

"Council will work with Queensland Health and the Environment Department to make sure there are answers to important questions and all relevant information is provided."