IT’S “chunky”, it smells “putrid” and it makes three year-olds run screaming from the bathroom.
It’s Bungunya’s water supply, according to resident Tammy Barry.
“It smells like a duck pond, it’s putrid,” she said on Friday.
When she spoke to us, she had a picture of grey slush in a bottle.
“I’ve got another photo of a bottle we filled three days ago. It’s got about two inches of sludge in the bottom.”
Tammy, her partner Brett Harrison, 17 year-old daughter Acacia, 10 year-old son Aiden, six year-old daughter Taylah and three year-old daughter, Britney have lived in Bungunya since Britney was a baby.
“There’s been numerous complaints about the water supply,” she said.
She also understands the complaints are long-running.
And her parents described the water condition at Bungunya as “third world”.
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“It’s been so hot and the humidity has been so bad you just wanted to jump in the shower, but who’d want to jump into that,” she said.
Her three year-old daughter certainly doesn’t.
“We went to give her a bath and she grabbed her nose and ran out.”
The family uses a rain tank for drinking water.
If the tank is full.
“It okay now, we’ve got a few falls lately but when it was dry we didn’t have tank water so we had to buy water to drink,” she said.
She says that shouldn’t be the case in town which pays rates.
Talwood and Toobeah have treated water.
“I understand we pay less rates but the water part is the same as Toobeah and Talwood? If that’s true why don’t we have access to treated water as well,” she said.
That’s a question she will be taking up with Council. She also wants to know why the water was so good over the Christmas period.
“It was clear and only had a slight yellow tinge. Now we have this,” she said. Is it a health risk? She doesn’t know but she says her doctor told her the water would not be helping her son who has an ear infection.
She also said she couldn’t say the ear infection was caused by the Bungunya water. Another Bungunya resident Leclesha Brosnan says they have to clean out their hot-water system “around every two weeks.”
“If you don’t they stop heating up or you’ll need to buy a new hot-water system.”
“You clean them and the elements are just sitting sludge,” Brett Harrison said. The GRC flushed out the lines on Monday. But sadly there’s not much more Council can do according to the Mayor, Cr Graeme Scheu.
He said while he symapthised, Bungunya’s water is as it has always been. Cr Scheu said he spoke to a resident on Tuesday morning and he was told the water was back to “normal”.
“Unfortunately we just don’t have the money to provide potable water in Bugunya,” he said.
However he did promise to look at a more “equitable way” of charging for non-potable water.
At present residents throughout the region are charged a water connection fee for each block they own.
One Bungunya resident has four blocks and assists with the cost of three others. Cr Scheu said in a village which only has between 25-30 people there’s probably a better system. “It’s something council will look at,’ he said.
Non-potable water is water that is not of drinking quality, but may still be used for many other purposes, depending on its quality.