Firefighters were battling a 30 hectare brush fire in Kew, near Port Macquarie, Australia on Tuesday. A Rural Fire Service helicopter sucked up water from a pond, flew over the fire, and dumped the water on the blaze. But the pond, at a wastewater treatment plant, was the wrong one to draw water from - it was full of "secondary treatment" water, also known as sewage.
An RFS spokeswoman said 12 firefighters had been directly exposed to the "secondary treatment" water, while a further seven were in the general area.
"All 29 firefighters on the fireground and their equipment were immediately withdrawn and decontaminated by Fire and Rescue NSW," the spokeswoman said. "As a precaution, each firefighter has since been provided with further medical follow-up. At this time, no firefighters have complained of any ill-effects. They will continue to be monitored by the Rural Fire Service."