Geraldton’s sole source of drinking water could be under threat of contamination if the Main Road’s proposed bypass route is given the green light. The preferred site for the new freight corridor which bypasses Geraldton to connect Dongara and Northampton is directly over the Mount Hill bore field which provides drinking water in the Allanooka-Dongara Water Reserve. The aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock and sand, with the groundwater extracted using a water well. It is the only source of drinking water for Geraldton, Dongara, Northampton, Mullewa and smaller surrounding localities. Mount Hill farmer Teresa Johnson said its sandy soil would quickly soak up spilled fuel or agricultural chemicals in the case of a rollover. She said it was a “massive” worry as farmers faced restrictions on using certain chemicals because of the impact they would have on the water supply. “We have concerns that if they are trucking in triple road trains and they have spills on that bypass, does that not pollute Geraldton’s whole water source?” she said. Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney agreed the risk was a real concern. “That to me is a really serious issue,” he said. “Sometimes trucks roll over, and a lot of things carried up that road are agricultural chemicals, chemicals for mining, and a lot of fuel. “That surely has to be an issue because that is the aquifer we get a lot of our water from and it’s very light sandy soil in the main, so it is not like it is under a heap of clay. “It would go through the sand quite quickly.” A Department of Water and Environmental Regulation spokesperson said restrictions were in place to protect public drinking sources. “The Allanooka-Dongara Water Reserve is a protected public drinking water source area. This means certain activities are restricted to minimise risk to the water quality of the aquifer,” the spokesperson said. “The (reserve’s) drinking water source protection plan states that the use of herbicides and other chemicals should be applied in accordance with legislative requirements and best management practices.” Deputy Mayor Tarleah Thomas raised concerns about how the proposed freight bypass route might affect the city’s water supply at the City of Greater Geraldton’s agenda forum on Tuesday. City chief executive Ross McKim said he had raised the issue with two government organisations and was awaiting their responses.