Water safety standard remains

The City of Armadale’s annual health report said contamination trigger levels had been realigned in accordance with international standards for water safety.

Last week, Armadale chief executive officer Ray Tame told Comment News the centre’s operators had been using dated international standards different to those the Department of Health now required.

‘As a result the water body was being closed unnecessarily on numerous occasions,’ Mr Tame said.

The centre was closed to swimming 29 times from February, 2011, to July, 2013, and on three occasions total lake closures occurred.

Contamination was blamed on water bird faeces.

However, VenuesWest chairman Graham Partridge said trigger levels had not been altered but he did believe it was time for a review.

He said the present guidelines were proposed by the City and approved by State Government agencies.

‘Whilst VenuesWest cannot control things like storm water into the lake and the huge population of bird life causing bacterial triggers, we do control very strictly the testing standards set for the venue,’ he said.

‘Whilst there have been comments made that if VenuesWest is permitted to adopt a different standard for the venue it would not be closed for swimming as often, we will ensure the public safety by maintaining the existing high standards until we are directed to change to different guidelines.

‘VenuesWest is not in a position to change the standard of its own accord.’

VenuesWest recently received a report into bacteria at the venue and is considering the findings and recommendations.

A plan for responding to the recommendations is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2014.

The move to an international standard came ahead of a report due to VenuesWest to identify how the quality of the water could be improved.

Mr Partridge said that was no longer the case as a result of an agreement on the more appropriate standard in consultation with the health department, which was the appropriate authority for ensuring any public health risk was avoided.