With the onset of very hot weather Cobar Shire Council received an increase in complaints earlier this month from residents with discoloured water.
A number of residents also took to social media to voice their dissatisfaction with the state of the town water supply.
Council’s water and sewer manager Eric Poga is encouraging any residents who are experiencing discoloured water to contact council with their complaint (even after hours).
He said council can then dispatch staff to flush the water pipes in the affected area.
“Council appreciates that the hot weather conditions make it difficult to reduce water use and that it is also making it difficult to correct the discoloured water you are experiencing,” Mr Poga said in a council press release.
Council will continue to flush the pipes in areas where dirty water appears and, with the co-operation of residents adhering to water restrictions, Mr Poga said that should help to alleviate the problem.
Discoloured town water has an ongoing issue for council and, while some progress has been made to rectify the problem, there is no “quick fix” solution.
Mr Poga explained that council is taking a four step process to rectify the matter, the first of which is to flush the system.
He said this is however only an interim fix to residents’ discoloured water.
He said the next step is air scouring (to remove a deeper layer of accumulated sediment).
“Prices for air scouring have been sourced and this work will be undertaken in February (dependent on the availability of the contractor),” Mr Poga said.
“The purpose of these works is to remove as much sediment from the pipes as possible.”
Mr Poga warned that during the air scouring process residents may experience higher levels of dirty water.
“The contractor will be in contact with our residents when this is likely to occur,” Mr Poga said.
The third step in the process is ice pigging, a process in which an ice slurry is pumped into a pipe and forced along inside in order to remove sediment and other unwanted deposits to leave the pipe clean; and also pipe replacement.
Mr Poga said council has applied for a State Government grant to carry out the repair work and also for the replacement of 6km of old cast iron pipes in the water system.
Council’s funding application has successfully made it to the second round with the
second round application to be finalised this week.
Mr Poga said the construction of the new town water treatment plant (expected to be completed in about 18 months) will also help to improve the quality of the treated water.
Council hopes residents will strictly adhere to the new odds and evens water restrictions which will also help to alleviate the problems of discoloured water.