Winton is situated on the Great Artesian Basin, one of the largest artesian groundwater basins in the world. Most communities in this part of Queensland draw their water from bores, as there are few natural springs.
Water quality across the Basin is generally quite good, although in some areas the pH may be very high, and generally high sodium levels make it unsuitable for irrigation.
The Winton Township bores produce water that is approximately 83-86 degrees Celsius, which has to be cooled to around 44 degrees Celsius through a radiator system and cooling ponds before it is circulated into the town supply.
Trapped with the water is sulphur gas, which gives Winton’s water a distinctive smell. If the water is allowed to stand to allow the gas to escape and chilled, it is the sweetest, cleanest water on earth. The sulphur in the water also causes precious metals, especially silver, to tarnish. So take care not to wear your jewellery in the shower. If your jewellery does tarnish, it’s nothing a good clean won’t cure!
While you are in Winton, have a look at the bores that supply the town, and the cooling system used.