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Menindee locals challenge authorities to drink water for fear of large amounts of contaminated fish

Key Point
  • The community was skeptical of attempts to remove the fish because the water was “messy”.
  • The issue was raised after millions of fish washed up in the westernmost river in New South Wales.
  • The mass kill of fish is likely due to low dissolved oxygen levels in the water.
According to locals, something stinks in Menindee, and it’s not just millions of fish carcasses in the Darling Baka River.
Tuesday’s city hall meeting turned into a confrontation after residents demanded the entire emergency response team drink tap water.
Emergency services and state government water management officials have met to provide a possible timeline for removing the millions of fish that have washed up on the Menindee River in westernmost New South Wales and lower Poonkaree.

Faced with five days of daunting sights and overwhelming stench throughout the town, residents decided they wanted to know if their drinking water was safe for consumption.

The mass fish deaths are likely due to low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, known as hypoxic blackwater, exacerbated by last month’s floods.
After dead fish covered the water at the main weir late last week, locals came with questions and requests about the safety of drinking water in their homes.
“Let’s try Yasu. Will you sit at the table and drink a glass from the faucet? I just want to know, will all Yasu do it?”

“If this water is good enough for our children and the elderly, I would like to see it.

Menindi residents have asked emergency response teams to drink tap water over concerns of contamination. sauce: SBS News

When an official explained that the water in his glass on the table was tap water, residents insisted to panel team members, “It’s water.”

Water authorities and police assured residents that the water was safe to drink, and drank mugs of water provided by local residents.
“Initial assessments have determined multiple viable solutions to maintain water supplies to the town of Menindee and its surroundings, so no community concerns are necessary,” NSW Police said in a statement ahead of the meeting. said in

The meeting ended after an hour and a half, but many residents remained unsatisfied.

Michelle Kelly, a Barkandji woman and director of the Aboriginal Land Council, said locals were frustrated that their voices were not being heard enough and some questions were never answered. said no.
Kelly said it was hard for the First Nations community to see the river in its current state.

“Rivers are in our blood,” she says, and is a key element in many Aboriginal Dreamtime stories.

“How can I go and heal if I don’t go to a healthy place?”
Cameron Ray, Director of Freshwater Environment for DPI Fisheries, said he understands the frustration of locals.
“They live in the river, they’ve been in the river all their lives. I really welcome that level of passion and emotion,” he said.
Emergency response teams, including Fire and Rescue NSW, will provide assistance over the next few days to remove the fish carcasses.


https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/menindee-locals-challenge-authorities-to-drink-water-over-mass-fish-kill-contamination-fears/akziloyhm Menindee locals challenge authorities to drink water for fear of large amounts of contaminated fish

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