Sewage water dropped on Perth bushfire

Sewage dropped on a Perth bushfire has led to a formal investigation about the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Sewage dropped on Perth bushfire

Emergency services in WA used wastewater (sewage) to extinguish a bushfire in Perth this week, prompting an official investigation.

Firefighting helicopters dropped the water, which may have contained hazardous and toxic materials, on the suburb of Bullsbrook on Wednesday.

A health alert has since been issued, advising residents to empty any water tanks and avoid eating homegrown vegetables or fruit.

Authorities said any bacteria spread by the water should be neutralised by warm weather in the coming days.

Sewage dropped on Perth bushfire

The wastewater was dropped as part of wider efforts to contain bushfires in Perth’s northern suburbs this week.

The water wasn’t dropped over any properties, but concerns about drifting wastewater spray forced school closures on Thursday.

Primary students returned to class today, while a deep clean is continuing at a local high school. Residents are advised to seek medical attention if they’re feeling unwell.

Sewage investigation

An investigation has been launched to determine how the wastewater ended up being used on the fires.

It’s believed the water came from a sewage treatment facility, which is not where water for firefighting purposes is typically drawn from.

However, emergency service officials said the water wasn’t viewed as a “no-go” before it was dropped.

Premier’s response

WA Premier Roger Cook said the risk to residents was minimal.

“Our priority is to keep people safe and to get the fires out, and in an emergency situation sometimes it doesn’t always go to plan,” he conceded.

Cook said he had spoken with the emergency services commissioner and confirmed an investigation would go ahead.

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