Terang Express
Lead traces shut off water fountain

LEAD found in a Terang drinking fountain has caused its indefinite disconnection.

The Corangamite Shire Council has decided to disconnect Terang’s main drinking fountain after determining repairs may damage the historical landmark.

Shire acting manager of facilities and recreation Jane Hinds said the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) commissioned an independent assessment of the fountain after lead was found in two Geelong fountains last year.

“An initial test showed minute traces of lead,” she said.

“The contamination was most likely from solder in the pipes and minimal use.”

The DDHS recommended closing the fountain and engaging a plumber to find the cause of the presence of the lead, which could include the use of brass fittings, lead pipe or solder or corrosion.

Ms Hinds said due to the historical significance of the fountain, council has decided to leave the fixture disconnected until a solution was found.

“Even though the level was above the limit, it was not enough to cause any health effects unless the fountain was somebody’s main source of drinking water,” she said.

“We were advised that, because of the age of the infrastructure, fixing the plumbing could destroy the monument.”

The council constructed the fountain as a memorial to former Terang resident John Wilkinson, who died in 1938, and his son Henry Edward Wilkinson.