$2.5m to deliver clean water
LISMORE City Council will spend the best part of an estimated $2.5 million on delivering clean water to some 80 rural Nimbin residents.
Last November councillors voted to proceed with stage one of the Nimbin water supply upgrade: the construction of a new pump station, pipeline and reservoir to provide residents of Gungas Rd with water from the DE Williams Dam.
Under the NSW Public Health Act, councils are now required to meet the 2011 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, and during heavy rains the water pumped to Gungas Rd fails to do so.
The rural residents receive water directly from the Mulgum Creek trunk main with only one dose of chlorination instead of via the Williams Dam, where the water is rechlorinated.
Last year, Lismore City Council raised a storm when it canvassed the possibility of cutting off supply to Gungas Rd, but ultimately settled on the more expensive solution of creating a new reservoir to serve the rural road.
Lismore City Council's strategic water engineer Rod Haig said the proposal was consistent with recommendations made by NSW Public Works 10 years ago to improve the water system.
But according to long-time Nimbin resident Charles Green, who spent three years on the Nimbin water supply committee, it's "engineering overkill" which fails to address the underlying problems in the system.
"The dosage of chlorine is staggering," Mr Green said.
Mr Green also said the council had failed to complete work recommended by the committee, and endorsed by council in 2003, to introduce an aeration system at Williams Dam, which suffers from weed overgrowth.
Council is now hoping to complete that work in stage two of the upgrade, estimated at a further $4 million.