“Power and Water has asked drilling companies to look for clean water to supply Katherine.

A long-delayed tender for works to discover if new bores can be found to supply the town was launched this week.

The ‘Katherine – Katherine Alternative Water Source – Groundwater Investigations – Investigation Bore Drilling, Construction and Testing‘ has come more than a year after the town’s water was found to exceed health standards.

Health Minister Natasha Fyles famously held a press conference in Darwin on April 3, 2017 to outline a lowering in national limits for PFAS chemicals meant Katherine was at times in breach.

Two bores used to supply the Katherine water treatment plant along with the Katherine River remain well above health standards.

Those bores are no longer in use and the application of water restrictions and an emergency water treatment plant flown in from the US means the town’s drinking water is today well under those standards.

Previously the Federal allowable limit for the PFAS group of chemicals was 0.5 micrograms per litre, now it is 0.07.

The plant’s bores regularly produce results of 0.2 and some tests produced a result of 0.33.

At the time, bore water blended with river water was found to be 0.079 and tap water was found to be 0.05, perilously close to the new standard.

Authorities are now searching for “clean” bores on the north side of the Katherine River and evaluating a bigger treatment plant for Katherine which removes all the PFAS.”

Read the full article by Chris McLennan