Free campers at Harding Dam in the Pilbara have been accused of putting the vital drinking water source at risk of contamination with human waste.
There has been a significant increase in recreational activities around the Harding Dam catchment such as fishing, camping and swimming,” the Western Australian Water Corporation’s regional manager, Rino Trolio, told the ABC. “This has caused an increase in the amount of rubbish and human waste within our source protection area, also known as a P1 area.”
The Harding River was dammed in 1983 for a new source of water in the west Pilbara.
The Water Corporation tried to manage the natural attraction by creating a recreation area where people could visit without risking the water quality.
“Harding Dam is a crucial drinking water source for the West Pilbara Water Supply Scheme, which provides water for our customers in Karratha, Roebourne, Wickham and Point Samson,” Mr Trolio said. “It is important visitors abide by the two kilometre exclusion zone around the high water mark of Harding Dam, where recreational activities are not permitted.”
The Water Corporation is reminding all visitors to abide by all signage when visiting the drinking water source. It says it will increase surveillance at the dam, and people found undertaking prohibited activities would face fines of up to $5,000.
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