Our water a top drop

MAYBE it was the work of dung beetles, but Ballarat's water supply was of a consistently high quality in 2006-2007.The water quality report released by Central Highlands Water showed Ballarat's supply regularly met Australian drinking water guidelines.Water is assessed for colour, turbidity, total dissolved solids, hardness and the presence of metals including cadmium and lead.The authority's 2006-2007 annual report showed that actions taken this year to improve water quality included the release of 20,000 dung beetles in the Lal Lal Reservoir catchment.The beetles were to help reduce the amount of nutrients entering waterways."They're unsung heroes," CHW marketing manager Phil Anstis said.The few glitches for the Ballarat water supply included higher than recommended levels of trihalomethanes at Enfield and Napoleons while Enfield also failed to comply for a colour requirement. CHW described trihalomethanes as a "range of organic compounds found when chlorine reacts with naturally occurring organic matter in water."The water authority received 117 complaints about water quality during 2006-2007.Avoca residents were less fortunate than Ballarat with the town's water supply consistently failing to meet standards.In five of 12 months it exceeded the recommended quantity of trihalomethanes.Avoca water also failed to comply with standards for total dissolved solids.The standard for total dissolved solids is less than 500ppm while Avoca's supply averaged 1876ppm.Avoca failed hardness standards, so did Lexton.Maryborough's water supply systems also failed to comply with trihalomethane standard.Avoca, Ballan, Dean, Lexton and Maryborough had non-compliant iron readings although higher iron levels were not considered a health risk.