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The destruction of the “Great Artesian Basin” by the SA State Labor party

Back in late 2000, a series of events took place with in Adelaide’s water supply, in fact so much has been happening in recent times, I thought it worthy of exposing all this, as the media and the government appear to think it is none of our business.

Government websites were closed, links go missing, legislation changed, the corporate sector empowered, while we are asked to use less and pay more, while the truth is swept under the rug.

From secret pipe lines, secrecy agreements, water theft, the dodgy desal plant, free access grants, to large supplies being sold to foreign investment were all kept quiet, empowering the government to step so far over the line, their mere existence is reliant on the people either never finding out, or being so apathetic, they will never be held to account.

I will skip to the now, where the government are about to destroy our very best source of water, the great artesian basin.

For so many years I have fought to better utilise this resource, using the expertise of Colin Pitman and the very successful “Salisbury Wetlands project” to cleanse storm and rain water and use our massive natural aquifer system for term storage, this debate was underway well before the concept of the desal plant, but those that fund Labors campaigns, had more interest in the money winning infrastructure projects, than any concept of affordable clean water that would accompany habitat restoration and embrace environmental empowerment.

The government as of this week (starting 7/4/2015), fully intend to start pumping reclaimed sewerage water into our aquifer, water labelled “Not safe for drinking”. So how unsafe is it?

The government’s own website is clear, “The recycled water is suitable for landscaping, dust suppression and some infrastructure construction activities, toilet flushing, washing cars, managed irrigation, and other household garden and municipal uses. It is not suitable for human consumption.”

Many of our plains producers refused for many very good reasons to irrigate with this recyled water, now every one of them will have no choice, neither will consumers.

About 87,000 chemicals with potential long term effects and potential endocrine disrupting effect on future generations have been identified by the United States Environment Protection Agency and are potentially present in sewage water. Tests for these chemicals are yet to be developed and the long term effect on humans even in minute doses even, is not known.

The problem here is that most research relating to treated effluent in major water supplies is based on a much better grade and treatment regime, so the government are going to inject water of a quality they already know is not safe.

All this because of what you are not meant to know, they let their mates suck the aquifers dry, which resulted in growers needing to drop new bores deeper in search of water, so now rather than stop, what should be known as illegal access, they simply top it up with treated sewerage water, because that's all the construction industry need, as usual forgetting our farmers and producers, or the concept of clean safe produce for we the people.

Australian Professor John Aitken is recognised as an international expert on reproductive health, his research suggests that phenolic oestrogenic by-products that are often in reused drinking water could damage the male sperm line with resultant cancers. He says “testing should be done for the removal of these products from drinking water, especially from recycled water” the problem here is this water is only purified by DAFF filtration through skimming, think about that. full reports are found here.

There is a host of research that goes against the ideal of even using this water for irrigation, here is a brief extract from the Australian Academy of Science news release 7 April 1998. “Is there something in our water?”

“There are significant levels of the female hormone, estrogen in some sewage outfalls. In inland Australia, this water is returned to water for irrigation, stock and drinking.” “The health risk of these very low levels of hormone is still a matter of heated scientific debate.”

In London in 1994, Dr. Jean Ginsberg from Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London headed a scientific research project that linked decreasing sperm counts to men living in the Thames water supply area. The research investigated, “the disturbing trend in the past 50 years of decreasing sperm count and seminal volume and the concomitant increase in cryptorchidism (undescended testes) and testicular cancer which have been attributed to oestrogenic environmental pollution.”

“So in brief the science on supposedly potable water extracted from sewerage plants has inherent dangers, so to use treated sewerage water that is already un-safe to drink, and pump it into our largest water catchment, is a very, very, bad decision indeed. (notes and further links available at the end of this article).”

I will not apologise to the Labor party for letting the cat out of the bag, because I have been doing this for over a decade, and only once have the media covered it, and in any event, after the one story aired, the people, or was it Labor themselves that re-elected themselves through dodgy electoral conduct, were elected for another term, so I can assume people are happy with Labors actions, well at least 40% of them.

If you decide to read on, I will continue with a very brief overview of how the South Australian Labor party has treated our water rescores since early 2000.

When the Labor party took power on the swing of the Liberal Independent Peter Lewis, legislative reform was immediate, previous government sites on water were taken down, and legislation was passed allowing those in the corporate sector to take as much water they liked without charge from any resource.

While passing this legislation, new laws were brought in to stop us using water, do you remember washing your car or having to water your garden with a bucket, the 2 minute shower, this progressed to a massive increase in the cost of water to deter us the people using it.

The lead up to these horrendous decisions was 27 years of inaction, in articles I wrote back then, I covered the fact that future water storage and any increase in supply for our growing population was on the back burner. In an expose I worked on with Today Tonight, we found Labors corporate mates, dropping bores and using as much as they could pump out of our Aquifers, without even being bothered to meter their use. “While we were still on restrictions”, Labor gave their corporate sponsors free access across the board.

Then there was the expose on the Desalination Plant, that never went to air, the plant that buggered up, and even when the contractors breached set completion times, were paid massive bonuses, and yet no mention ever that a massive drill bit still remains lodged in the main intake pipe, but that does not even matter, over 1 billion dollars for a plant that doesn’t even work, will bother no one, if they never use it, you will never know.

I took to the river to do some research, only to find Chinese investors going up and down our mighty Murray, looking for the largest pump stations and buying up the land they were attached to, finding secret Labor party inspired pipe lines running water direct to even more self-interest, every property this pipeline crossed, resulted in the property owners contracted to secrecy clauses, to ensure no one was to find out.

I will refrain from listing everything I found, so as to keep this short and sweet.

As I doubt this “from memory” article will reach many readers, I will keep it this short, but for those who actually care about this nation’s future and the future health of their grandchildren, it only takes a few hours to research my statements or find my older articles.

The government are far from finished, after they have raped every cent out of “Our” water supply, they will sell the lot, and we will be left paying through the nose for water, to foreign governments, and the quality of that water will no longer be safe to drink or irrigate the produce we eat.

Mark M Aldridge, community advocate.

The Government websites are missing all the really important links, but this is what you can easily find, and this in itself, goes nowhere near backing their actions, but trust me, the truth and common-sense never gets in the way of their actions, because common-sense in no longer all that common.

Water Treatment - Dissolved Air Flotation and Filtration

The Dissolved Air Filtration Floatation (DAFF) Plant was funded by SA Water

(approximately $30 Million cost) and constructed to reduce wastewater discharge to the

marine environment and provide water of a suitable quality for irrigation through the

Virginia Pipeline Scheme. United Water operates the DAFF plant, which was constructed

during 1998 and 1999.

A DAFF treatment process was selected as the most economic solution to achieve the

required treated water quality and quantity following a review of options and a pilot plant


The treated product water is meant to meet a range of quality criteria set by the SA Department

of Human Services, SA EPA and SA Water, including:

• Turbidity < 10 Nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) for a 24-hour average;

• Salinity < 1500mg/l over 12-hour average;

• E. coli < 40 / 100ML with monthly median < 10 / 100ML ;

• pH between 6.5 and 8.5;

• No cryptosporidium detected in treated water; and

• Various chemical parameter limits such as soluble BOD, heavy metals and pesticides.

Key potential health risks

Microbial pathogens in wastewater from sewage effluent are the major concern for human health when recycling water. The major groups of pathogens are:

Bacteria (e.g. Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp)

Viruses (e.g. Enteroviruses, Rotavirus, Hepatitis A)

Protozoa (e.g. Giardia Lamblia, Cryptosporidium parvum)

Helminths (e.g. Taenia spp (Tapeworm), Ancylostoma spp (Hookworm))

Key potential environmental risks

Some of the common environmental risks from recycled water include:


A chronic problem which needs to be managed in all irrigation systems. Can result in reduced plant growth and plant damage and can impact on freshwater plants and invertebrates in natural ecosystems if discharged directly with little dilution. Most common salts are sodium chloride


Excess sodium in recycled water can cause soil dispersion/swelling, reducing water infi ltration on heavier textured soils. This can be difficult to remedy.


Can be toxic to some plants if it accumulates in soils from ongoing irrigation. More important as a omponent of salinity and sodicity.


Can be toxic to plants if sprayed directly on leaves, and if it accumulates in soils from ongoing irrigation, but is usually more important as a component of salinity.


Mostly of benefit to cultivated plants, but can cause eutrophication (excessive nutrient levels) in land and aquatic ecosystems.


Mostly of benefit to cultivated plants, but can cause eutrophication (excessive nutrient levels) in land and aquatic ecosystems.

Chlorine residuals

By-products of disinfection processes may be harmful to aquatic or marine ecosystems if discharged directly with little dilution.

Hydraulic loading

Too much water applied to land can result in excess groundwater recharge, water logging and secondary salinity.


Plant toxicity may arise in some plants in some soils if it accumulates from ongoing irrigation.


Some organic and inorganic surface active agents from detergents can remain in recycled water and be harmful to some aquatic organisms.

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