Site contamination not affecting water safety at new plant

Cobar Shire Council is keen to let the public know their water supply is “totally safe” after detecting contaminated soil on the build site of the new Water Treatment Plant last week.

Routine testing during preparations for the official opening of the new Water Treatment Plant last week found fill used on the build site to be contaminated.

Council’s acting general manager Kym Miller said their tests had revealed “some irregularities” in the gravel fill used onsite.

“Steps have been taken to ensure there is no contact between the aggregate and the water going through the plant.

“There is no risk to water consumers at all,” Mr Miller said.

“Public Works Advisory and council’s authorised representative for the construction are liaising with the relevant authorities including the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] and NSW Health who are conducting a rigorous testing regime.”

Mr Miller said EPA conducted more water testing on site on Monday with those results to be returned early next week.

He said soil testing results will be available at a later date.

“This monitoring will continue for some time,” Mr Miller said.

He said council had also taken some precautions with dust suppression by laying aggregate on the road to the filtration plant.

He said this would help with the expected extra traffic on site today with the official opening of the Water Treatment Plant by NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro.

“Water is not coming into contact with any of the contaminated gravel fill and therefore there is no public risk with our water.”

Mr Miller said when Public Works has concluded its testing, they will arrange remediation.

He said any remediation work by the
EPA would not involve the shutdown of the plant and would also be done at no cost to council.