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Ash From Bush Fires May Contaminate Sydney Drinking Water Supply


Ongoing bushfires have incinerated most of the forests in Sydney's main catchment, leaving water reserves exposed to significant contamination in the event of a major downpour. The resulting bushfire ash contains organic material and concentrated nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen. While the ash acts like a sponge, if sufficient rain falls in a short time that material could be pushed into the dam, triggering a range of water treatment challenges.