Clermont residents continue to experience discoloured water as a result of elevated levels of manganese and iron in Theresa Creek Dam. The orange-brown water has stained clothes and sinks.
Clermont residents continue to experience discoloured water as a result of elevated levels of manganese and iron in Theresa Creek Dam. The orange-brown water has stained clothes and sinks.

Refunds demanded as taps spew dirty water

SIX days after Isaac Regional Council announced an end to Clermont's water woes, angry residents say their taps continue to spew out discoloured liquid.

For weeks residents have been frustrated by the orange-brown water, caused by elevated levels of manganese and iron in Theresa Creek Dam.

With a baby and toddler in tow, Clermont mother Luanna Thompson said she did not have the time or patience for the murky liquid staining her clothes, baths and sinks and children.

The Lime St resident said her tap water had continued to alternate from clear to dark brown liquid even after the council announced successful flushing of the water network on Friday.

Ms Thompson is not alone. Residents of 35 Clermont streets say they also have discoloured water.

The council said yesterday residents should see a significant improvement in discolouration but divers would continue to clean and vacuum reservoirs over the next three days in effort to clear up the issue.

"Unfortunately, this can stir up the water supply and flow through the network," Isaac council chief executive officer Gary Stevenson said.

Lilah Thompson, 20 months, holds up a cup of water 'fresh' from the tap of her Clermont home. Her mother, Luanna Thompson, is concerned about the impact Clermont's dirty water could have on her young children.
Lilah Thompson, 20 months, holds up a cup of water 'fresh' from the tap of her Clermont home. Her mother, Luanna Thompson, is concerned about the impact Clermont's dirty water could have on her young children.

When it came to keeping her 20-month-old daughter Lilah clean, Ms Thompson joked there was no difference between the toddler playing in the mud or taking a bath.

But for her six-week old son, Ms Thompson said she could not trust the water.

"To leave a newborn baby to wash in the dirty water, you wonder about what it's doing," she worried.

Clermont mother Luanna Thompson with her children, six-week-old Nate and Lilah, 20 months. She is concerned about the impact Clermont's dirty water could have on her young children.
Clermont mother Luanna Thompson with her children, six-week-old Nate and Lilah, 20 months. She is concerned about the impact Clermont's dirty water could have on her young children.

While the council has assured residents the tea-coloured water is safe to drink, Ms Thompson said most residents had invested in alternatives.

Many had bought water filters to pull out the brown sludge from the water, she said.

Her family was using their rain storage tank for their drinking water.

With little faith in the council's water quality, Ms Thompson said she had been annoyed to see the Clermont rate bill arriving in letterboxes earlier this month.

With the dirt-coloured water still pumping from her tap, she said, the $100 water charge was unacceptable.

"We're paying absolute top dollar … They should be refunding the rate," she said.

Isaac Regional Council will address the contentious issue at its next meeting on March 17.

Mr Stevenson said on Wednesday councillors would discuss applying a remission of water usage charges for Clermont residents at the meeting.

He also revealed the new strategy to clear the water network - a team of divers armed with vacuums to clear the reservoirs.

But while the divers were clearing the network this week, Mr Stevenson warned, it could result in more discolouration.

Water in Clermont on Wednesday February 26

"There may be isolated pockets of discolouration until the divers complete these works and mains flushing is finished."

The cleaning was expected to be completed by tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the council is providing free bottled water and citric acid laundry additives at the Clermont council office, at the corner of Karmoo and Daintree streets.

Clear water is also being provided by a bulk water tanker at Hoods Lagoon from 8am to 3.30pm today, Thursday, March 5.

Residents are encouraged to bring containers or buckets to collect the water.

Luanna Thompson says she and other Clermont residents cannot get clothes clean while the water remains discoloured. She said citric acid supplied by Isaac Regional Council was not effective against the stains.
Luanna Thompson says she and other Clermont residents cannot get clothes clean while the water remains discoloured. She said citric acid supplied by Isaac Regional Council was not effective against the stains.

Streets where residents have reported continued water issues as of Wednesday March 4

  • Beatty St
  • Blair St
  • Blamey St
  • Box St
  • Canis Ct
  • Capella St
  • Capricorn St
  • Carina Cres
  • Collins St
  • Cottonpatch Ln
  • Daintree St
  • Douglass St
  • East Ln
  • Edge St
  • Francis St
  • French St
  • Haig St
  • Herschel St
  • Herring Ct
  • Jellicoe St
  • Karmoo St
  • Lavarack St
  • Lime St
  • McDonald Flat Rd
  • Monash Ct
  • Monash St
  • Palmer Ct
  • Powerhouse Ln
  • Newton Ct
  • Racecourse Rd
  • Risien St
  • Samson St
  • Sirius St
  • Spoonbill Rd
  • Tropic St


REVEALED: Woopi and Sawtell pool designs make a splash

Premium Content REVEALED: Woopi and Sawtell pool designs make a splash

First look at Council’s proposed redevelopment of popular aquatic centres

UPDATE: Fireys play waiting game as blaze battles continue

Premium Content UPDATE: Fireys play waiting game as blaze battles continue

Fires on two fronts keep fire authorities on constant vigil, ahead of a wait and...

VOTE: What does Coffs Harbour need?

Premium Content VOTE: What does Coffs Harbour need?

Jobs, housing, a theme park and even an Ikea - these are just some things locals...