The NT Government has been called on to urgently invest in an upgraded water treatment plant for Katherine.
CLP leader Gary Higgins said the government should stop waiting for the Defence Department to act and intervene immediately because of the contaminated water scare.
“I don’t care if it’s $5 million or $10 million, spend it now and argue with defence about the bill later.”
Mr Higgins said the government needed to be more upfront on the PFAS issue.
“The government needs to take the lead on this,” he said.
Mr Higgins was speaking at the Katherine Show yesterday while Chief Minister Michael Gunner, who was also at the show, was not taking questions on Katherine’s water contamination.
A spokesman for Mr Gunner said he had nothing further to ad.
This follows last week’s advice that weekly tests of Katherine’s water had produced four individual results which had spiked above the 0.07 allowable limit.
Health officials say Katherine's town water remains safe to drink despite the "spike" in chemical contamination.
The Katherine Times has now twice asked for more specific information on the four results which came back above 0.07, what actual numbers were discovered, but is still awaiting on a response.
Chief health officer Dr Hugh Heggie said the average results were below the 0.07 limit, at 0.05.
The PFAS chemicals were contained in firefighting foams used at the Tindal RAAF Base between 1998 and 2004.
The Department of Defence has launched a study into the extent of contamination from the base which has since been found in Katherine’s drinking water.
Primarily the highest results come from bores which are used to shandy Katherine River water during the dry season when flows are low to provide Katherine’s drinking water.
The most recent result from the treatment plant’s bores have recorded PFAS levels of 0.29.
A Power and Water spokesman said the authority is developing a number of long term solutions to deliver the “most cost effective solution for customers in Katherine In conjunction with Defence”.
“The solutions being considered include, but are not limited to, alternative supply sources and advanced water treatment options.
“Costs are unknown at this stage since they depend upon which long term solution is selected,” the spokesman said.
The authority has also cautioned residents on the effectiveness of home filters.
”Water filters are useful for a range of water contaminants, however there is no known benefit for specific point-of-use filters to remove PFAS,” the spokesman said.
The authority says the 0.07 PFAS limit is an average and that average is currently at 0.05 and has remained below the 0.07 limit - even though four individual tests have been above this level.