Private Drinking Water Study

A community unlike any other

Explore inspiring articles, discover events, connect with locals and learn more about Coffs Harbour City Council.

COVID-19

COVID-19

You can find information on current changes to our programs, services and facilities, necessitated by precautions introduced in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic here...

Read more
Swim Between The Flags

Swim Between The Flags

Stay safe at the beach these school holidays by swimming between the red and yellow flags at patrolled beaches...

Read more
Bushfire Revocery

Bushfire Recovery Portal

Council have created the bushfire recovery portal to ensure that the recovery process is as simple and clear as possible...

Read more
View all news

Latest News

CCS

Take a Look Inside the Cultural and Civic Space

The moment has come for a sneak peek inside our exciting new community asset, the Cultural and Civic Space...

Read more
Regional Athletics

Feedback Sought on Proposed Regional Athletics Centre

We are seeking feedback from the community on a proposed Regional Athletics Centre at York Street Oval in Coffs Harbour

Read more
Jetty Beach

Art from your Armchair

The Regional Gallery is now inviting art-lovers from anywhere in the world to enjoy its very first 3D Virtual Tour of its current exhibitions....

Read more
Visit Coffs Newsroom

Private Drinking Water Study

​Council's Environmental Health Team in collaboration with the Mid North Coast Local Health District and with involvement from NSW Environment Protection Authority conducted an assessment of private drinking water tanks in close proximity to intensive plant agriculture operations (IPA).  This was in response to increasing complaints from residents alleging pesticide spray drift and concern with potential health issues. 

The study commenced in 2017 and concluded in June 2019. 

Water from 23 private rainwater tanks was sampled and 71 samples were collected in total during the study.

The study:

  • Detected six different agricultural pesticides in ten of the 71 rainwater tank samples across six different rainwater tanks.
  • Showed that all levels of detected pesticides were below the Australian Drinking Water Guideline values (or an international equivalent where there was no ADWG guideline value), so all water tested was considered safe for human consumption.
  • Detected the presence of pesticides in private rainwater tanks which may indicate that off-site movement is occurring. However, further studies would be required to validate the source of the pesticides detected.

Where pesticides were found, the EPA was notified as the agency responsible in NSW for regulating pesticide use under the Pesticides Act 1999.

Council will be writing to all NSW State Agencies that have an interest or responsibility in pesticide use and its potential impacts - including the NSW Environment Protection Authority, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and Mid North Coast Local Health District - requesting they consider further research and review regulation.

A copy of the report can be accessed below.

Final Report - Assessment of Drinking Water Tanks in Close Proximity to Intensive Plant Agriculture in the Coffs Harbour LGA 2017 - 2019