Nov 102008

For the past week and a bit, the Oz has been putting a “don’t-drink-poo-water” article on the front of their website.

This one today is just the latest example. Each article is aimed directly at the Bligh government’s upcoming 2009 election, and while it might be that Labor is beginning to stink a bit in Queensland, any stench is not coming from the recycled water issue at grass roots level. Perhaps the various journos scribbling for the Oz should do some pavement pounding and find this out for themselves. The only people concerned about drinking “poo-water” are those who are ignorant to the facts of the matter. No-one will be drinking sewage, any more than anyone is going to be drinking hospital or industrial waste. In fact, the Oz article linked to above points out, indirectly, just how innocuous treated, recycled water can be. I’ve not seen any reported deaths from the Coomera-Pimpama region of the Gold Coast City Council. If what was mistakenly piped out of there had been “poo-water”, there’d be a few crook chooks around the place by now.
This entire issue is a non-event, but the Oz, through the auspices of editor Chris Mitchell undoubtedly, is trying hard to make it a big one. Saint’s preserve us all that treated, filtered water should be returned to the headwaters of a major storage reservoir, as opposed to be pumped out to sea or sprayed onto some golf course. Combined dam levels for S.E.Qld currently sit at 41.21%. If those levels drop under 40%, it’s back to level 6 restrictions, showering in buckets and flushing toilets only when there’s brown to go down. The Queensland Water Commission website says it’s highly unlikely that we’ll need to revert to those restrictions, but up until 2005, no-one ever thought we’d come to that anyway. It happened. But for a few unseasonal wet spells earlier this year, we’d not be discussing the recycling of waste water back into storages. The need would be a matter of course. It’s November, and Summer is officially less than three weeks away. This time last year it was bye-bye gardens, hello greywater. Who’s to say this coming Summer won’t be a hot, dry one?
Perhaps the Oz might be considered less of an anti-Labor organ of the Murdoch media machine and more of a public interest guardian if Chris Mitchell would look at all sides of an issue, than blindly following a conservative argument which has no basis in fact. An unlikely change of pace for a media outlet known for it’s partisan political views, but one can hope for common-sense from the least likely direction.

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