By Paul Robinson and Francis Tapim
Wed Jan 2, 2013
A coal seam gas (CSG) camp has been shut down near Gladstone in central Queensland after deadly legionella bacteria was found in its water supply.
Santos GLNG issued a statement yesterday confirming that one of its oil and gas contractors, Saipem, found the bacteria during routine tests at a temporary campsite at Bauhinia, south-west of Gladstone.
The company says further testing confirmed the presence of the potentially fatal bacteria.
A Santos GLNG spokesman says the site has been closed until further notice and the pipes are being cleaned and treated to kill the bacteria.
The company says no workers at the camp have reported symptoms of legionnaires’ disease.
Central Highlands Mayor Peter Maguire says the company has done the right thing by closing the workers camp.
Councillor Maguire says the council has no jurisdiction over the camp but can be involved in approving plumbing systems.
He says it is fortunate the bacteria was picked up before any workers contracted symptoms of legionnaires’ disease.
“This can have very serious consequences,” he said.
“These camps can just be built anywhere in our shires and we have no involvement in the statutory planning process.
“These things are around the area and certainly anyone involved in the operation of those facilities, where they are compelled to have a potable water supply, then they need to make sure that they comply with all the relevant legislation.”
Councillor Maguire says water is an important issue for the CSG industry.
“Some of these facilities can have 500 to 600 people in them so they are small townships in some ways,” he said.
“People need to be assured that these facilities are meeting all the relevant state, local and federal government guidelines to operate these camps.”
It is frightening to see how often deadly bacteria is found in water all over the world. Children die at an alarming rate, yet there is no SERIOUS attempt to conserve water, to use less water and to save water. By using less water in the home/office will reduce so many water related diseases. Please conserve water.