Water Boiling in the Home

Saibai Island, TSIRC Water and Sanitation Water Boiling in the Home

  • This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 3 months ago by Michael Dyer.
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    Michael Dyer

      Hi Team

      I would like to ask a question around the need for boiling water in the home as outlined in the p19 of the EWB Challenge Brief. It states:

      Some households in the community choose to boil water for an added redundancy of disinfection before drinking

      Is this done due to concerns for water quality from the existing treatment facilities, or is this water obtained from other non-public sources (rainwater tanks etc) and then boiled?

      Additionally, is there any habitual or cultural reasons that the community members are aware of that would be contributing to this need for boiling water before use in some households (eg: general perceptions around quality) as Saibai was one of the 6 Qld state wide finalists in for “The 2012 Orica Australia, Best of the Best, Queensland Water Taste Test” (Refer Queensland Water Newsletter # 4 August 2012 – Release Date 07-Aug-2012).

      Any additional information from the community around the topic of boiling water and perceived taste would be appreciated in regards to this matter.

      Many thanks

      Michael D.

      Michael Dyer

        Hi Team

        I would like to ask an additional question in regards to the water connections to households.

        In the document “Saibai, Sustainable Land Use Plan, PART 2”, on p110 it states:

        Potable water is delivered to Community from the reservoir via 100mm underground mains with the pressure being maintained by variable speed drive (VSD) pumps. All facilities are connected to the mains via branch lines. The majority of household water tanks can be topped-up by the reticulation system. Small individual pressure pumps deliver the water from the rainwater tanks to a single internal tap isolated from the mains as an emergency.

        Could we confirm if there is any filtration on the connection from the rainwater tank to the internal tap?

        Also, is the top up of the rainwater tank an automatic process (eg via a float valve etc) or a manual process.

        Any information from the community on the connection and filtration of the rainwater tanks in the household would be appreciated.

        Many thanks

        Michael D.

        Sai Rupa Dev

          Hello Michael,,


          Your question about the practice of boiling water in Saibai Island homes raises important considerations about water quality and community habits. Let’s explore the possible reasons behind this practice without necessarily engaging directly with community members:

          1. The need for boiling water could stem from concerns about water quality from existing treatment facilities. While Saibai Island participated in the 2012 Orica Australia Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test, indicating a commitment to water quality, some households may still prefer to boil water as an extra precaution against potential contaminants or fluctuations in water quality.

          2. Alternatively, households might obtain water from non-public sources such as rainwater tanks. In such cases, boiling water could be a standard practice to ensure its safety for drinking, as these sources may not undergo the same treatment processes as public water supplies.

          3. Cultural and habitual factors may also contribute to the practice of boiling water. Historical experiences with water-related issues or cultural perceptions around water quality and taste could influence the community’s preference for boiled water, regardless of its source.

          Secondly, the paragraph you quoted talks about the water connection from the reservoir to homes. Which is different from rainwater tanks. Nevertheless, water collected in the reservoir goes through a filtration process. Please check the interactives regarding the same for more information. The primary reservoir’s cover collects the rainwater, and allows to flow in to the catchment, which is then connected to an RO for filtration purposes, which is then treated via chlorine dosing before being distributed to the community. Hope that helps.


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