Residents in part of the Rosebery township have been advised not to drink or cook with their household water after routine testing detected lead contamination in a localised part of the public drinking water supply.
Boiling the contaminated water does not remove the lead.
Acting Director of Public Health Dr Mark Veitch said the levels of lead in recent samples from the Howard Street supply system exceeded the health-based guideline value of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
Dr Veitch said a Public Health Alert had been issued.
"Recent tests have detected lead in water at up to 30 micrograms per litre (ug/L). This exceeds the health-based guideline value of 10 ug/L," Dr Veitch said.
"The alert affects residents on Dalmeny Estate and Primrose, which comprise the north-western part of the Rosebery township.
"Cradle Mountain Water is investigating the source of the lead and working to resolve the issue, which affects 259 connections in the town."
Cradle Mountain Water will supply safe drinking water for residents from a hydrant at 49 Dalmeny Street. This water comes from the Stirling Valley Water Treatment Plant and does not need to be boiled before drinking or use for cooking.
Dr Veitch said household tap water was safe to use for other domestic purposes such as cleaning, showering or bathing, although children should be supervised to ensure they do not drink the water.
"The water is safe to use on gardens and vegetable patches, but leafy green vegetables should be washed with clean drinking water" Dr Veitch said.
"Prolonged exposure to lead can cause accumulation in the body, and health effects. Short-term exposure at the detected levels is very unlikely to cause harm."
The remainder of Rosebery receives water from the Stirling Valley supply system and is unaffected by this Public Health Alert.
This lead contamination of part of Rosebery's household water supply does not appear to be related to the environmental heavy metal concerns of recent years.
For more information visit towww.publichealthalerts.tas.gov.auor call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 or contact Cradle Mountain Water on 136992.
17 May 2013