Katherine water restrictions to remain indefinitely as PFAS contamination fallout continues

A permanent solution to Katherine’s water supply woes may take up to two years, as residents continue to endure water restrictions put in place when PFAS chemicals were discovered in the Top End town.
Authorities say the town’s water supply remains safe to drink, and the restrictions were designed to limit the amount of contaminated bore water used to boost supplies during the dry season.
Katherine’s water supply is a mix of river and bore water, and during periods of low rain — such as the dry season — more water from the town’s bores must be used.
The current treatment plant was supplied by Defence to remove PFAS from Katherine’s groundwater and has been in operation since October.
"We’ve looked at alternative groundwater sources, at a different, a number of locations," Mr Brito said.
An expansion of [the] treatment plant, as a permanent solution, could take 18 months to two years to be completed, Mr Brito said.
The water-saving measures include only watering lawns with a sprinkler three days a week, and not watering hard surfaces.
The chemicals were used at the Tindal RAAF base in the late 1990s and early 2000s as part of firefighting operations.
About 50 properties near the Tindal RAAF base are already receiving bottled water supplies, as a precaution, and have been offered rain tanks.
The voluntary blood tests are on offer for people who live or work, or have lived or worked, in the RAAF Base Tindal investigation area.

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