The Queensland government was warned about the failure of critical infrastructure more than a year before lead was discovered in the drinking water of a major Queensland Aboriginal community.

In May levels of lead up to twelve times the safe level were detected in the tap water of schools, health facilities and some houses in Yarrabah, in far north Queensland.

The ABC has revealed an automatic pH system controlling the acidity of the town’s water supply was broken for more than a year before the heavy metals were found.

A government spokesperson told media $1.25 million in funding had been provided to Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council to upgrade the water treatment plant, and that extra funding for critical works including the pH controller had been provided.

Testing of lead levels in the community have been limited but of 250 people already tested 11 adults and children have shown elevated results.