Cobar Shire Council has reported some very good and immediate results from work on the town water pipeline by specialist air scouring service Clearflow Australia.
The contractor began work last Wednesday to systematically clear the town water pipeline of built-up sediment with the ultimate goal being to clear up Cobar’s dirty water problem.
Cobar Shire Council’s water and sewerage manager Eric Poga explained the air scouring process to The Cobar Weekly.
“The compressor forces compressed air into the pipeline which forces out any sediment and then the water comes through and flushes it out so the two work together,” Mr Poga said.
Work began last Wednesday at the top of Bathurst Street and crews have moved progressively from block to block through the town.
He said the time taken to clear different sections of pipework had been varying.
“One section in Green Street took one hour to clear and it was really black,” he said.
“There is a lot of older pipe in that section.”
He said the water was black from the manganese sediments while water that is discoloured brown/yellow was due to iron sediments.
He said council had received a number of complaints about the quality of water from residents in that area.
“Our water meets health guidelines, just not aesthetic guidelines,” Mr Poga said.
“It looks terrible, but it’s not a health risk.”
In one section of Frederick Street the contractor had been working on last Thursday it took 45 minutes before the water began to run clear while other areas are averaging around 20 minutes.
“It’s been varying quite a bit,” Mr Poga said.
He said the section between the council depot and the primary school only took 10 minutes to clear.
“That’s not a cast iron section, only a new plastic section which just goes to show over the years the sediment has spread over the whole of the town.
“That’s why we are trying to do the whole town, not just the worst sections.”
He said the contractor worked over the weekend in the CBD and side streets in order to minimise disruption to businesses.
Council staff tested some of the first sections that were cleaned last week and Mr Poga said “the water was crystal clear”.
“I’m very happy with the progress,” he said.