The rollout of the 5G tech on water towers could lead to faecal contamination of water as "critters" invaded the towers, federal parliamentarians have been told.
Queensland Water chief executive David Cameron also said the electromagnetic frequencies of the technology posed a health risk to workers.
Mr Cameron told a parliamentary inquiry into the 5G network rollout on Tuesday there was a public health risk associated with the operation of the towers.
“Particularly through things like faecal contamination, infiltration through critters defecating on roofs and holes in roofs,” Mr Cameron said.
There have been concerns raised across the globe about the health impacts 5G would have, with claims it would cause cancer and even autism.
Mr Cameron, who’s group represents Queensland’s water utilities, also said safety diagrams and access to the network infrastructure were poorly maintained.
“We think the new framework needs to consider ease of future maintenance, including site upgrades and emergency works,” Mr Cameron said.
He warned the towers may not be able to hold the amount of network infrastructure that would be installed on them.
But also as older networks like 3G or 4G became redundant, it would require telcos to access water towers to remove the infrastructure, further testing the structural integrity of the towers.
Mr Cameron said utilities currently had trouble confirming which telcos owned what infrastructure on water towers, with ownership poorly documented.
He also said it was illegal for utilities to shut off telecommunications technology on towers, even in an emergency, and this needed to be addressed.
Telstra told the committee there was no evidence to suggest the rollout of 5G technology would pose health risks.
Network principal Mike Wood pointed to the latest report from the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection.
He said the body, drawing on studies provided to groups like the World Health Organisation, found no evidence 5G caused adverse health effects or cancer.
In its submission to the inquiry, Telstra said it wanted the government to do more to address a mounting health scare campaign against the network.
Mr Wood said 5G networks had struggled to perform in countries which had lower limits on the amount of electromagnetic frequencies transmitters could emit.
He said Telstra’s own tests showed its 5G technology was emitting frequencies up to 1000 times under national public safety limits.