Second boil water alert issued for Cherbourg

The entire community of Cherbourg has been asked to boil all water for personal use until further notice due to low chlorine levels in the water supply. Picture: Joe Pregadio / Unsplash

Cherbourg residents received the second boil water alert in one week on Tuesday, with Council and Queensland Health alerting the public to low chlorine levels in the town’s water supply.

The alert, which was raised on Tuesday 14 November, covers the entire Cherbourg township, with residents and guests in the First Nations community advised to boil all water for drinking and food preparation until further notice.

Cherbourg’s second boil water alert was called due to “low chlorine levels throughout Cherbourg’s reticulation system”.

Water should be boiled and allowed to cool before use, or stored in a clean, closed container for later.

Water for consumption or food preparation should be boiled, including for brushing teeth, drinking, preparing baby formula or ice, and bathing infants.

Unboiled water can be used to flush toilets, take showers or baths, as well as wash dishes and clothes.

Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council and Queensland Health warn that drinking unboiled water could lead to health concerns, as chlorine is used in the water supply to destroy any harmful bacteria; a low chlorine level means bacteria may survive in the water and make those who consume it – especially people with weak immune systems like children and the elderly – sick.

Over the previous weekend, Queensland Health also flagged the presence of the dangerous bacteria Escherichia coli in the town’s water supply around Murray Road, with residents of that street urged to boil their water to prevent getting sick.

A spokesperson for Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council confirmed that this earlier alert for Murray Road was still in place.

CASC have apologised for the inconvenience and vowed to fix the low chlorine levels as soon as possible.

If you are concerned about your health contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84), your local doctor or local hospital and advise them of your concern.