Plant to wash away Bonalbo's blues

KYOGLE COUNCIL is confident the new $1.2 million Bonalbo water treatment plant, which came on-line last month, will put an end to the town’s washing day blues.

The new treatment works, built using state and council funds, chemically treats and filters the town’s water supply which comes from Peacock Creek and is stored in Petro-chilos Dam.

Up until now the Bonalbo water supply was only ever disinfected, which meant it was often discoloured and had a strong odour.

While the water was classed as drinkable, most Bonalbo residents only used it in the bathroom, laundry and garden, preferring to use their own tank water for drinking and cooking.

“The water was potable, but not palatable,” Kyogle Council’s manager of asset services Graham Kennett said. “It was often discoloured and tasted like dirt.

“In the past most residents relied on rainwater tanks for drinking water.

“We always used to know when someone new moved to Bonalbo because they would invariably ring up the council to complain that a load of white laundry had been discoloured by the water.

“Now that the new water treatment plant has come on-line we will have to find another way to keep track of who’s come to town.”

Mr Kennett said the new treatment plant would filter, chlorinate and fluoridate water from Petrochilos Dam before it was pumped to the Bonalbo reservoir for reticulation back to the village.

“For the first time since the Bonalbo water supply was constructed in 1966 council is able to deliver water that consistently meets the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines,” he said.

“We’ve already started to receive comments from residents about the quality of the water.

“The town’s doctor told us that when he went to clean the waterfilter he had installed, there was nothing in the filter for the first time ever.”

However, not all of the town’s residents are celebrating.

Jenny, a long-time Bonalbo resident, who wanted to be identified by her first name only, said while the water coming from her taps ‘isn’t as yellow to look at’, it was still smelly.

“There’s no way I would drink it just yet,” she said.

The new water treatment plant will be officially opened on Monday, August 23, at 10am.

Kyogle mayor Ross Brown is expected to do the honours.

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