4 Mar 2010

Water well survey in Nauru to determine quality and isolate contamination

6:23 pm on 4 March 2010

A first ever survey of water wells is to be conducted in Nauru to determine water quality, usage, and possible contamination.

Nauru relies on a mix of desalinated water and rain harvest, while up to 700 households rely on wells into the thin freshwater lens found under the small island.

There are concerns that some of this water is either brackish or susceptible to being contaminated by septic tanks, which are common on the island.

The Nauru Government is working with the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission, or SOPAC, and a hydro geologist working with the agency, Peter Sinclair, says they will compare their information with health statistics to isolate any links with diarrhoea and skin sores.

"In addition to that we are looking to assess the risks and threats through a sanitary survey of the wells and we will be providing that information back to the community through a series of district based workshops to allow users feedback in terms of what their risks and threats and what options they themselves can do to remedy that."

Peter Sinclair of SOPAC