Murrurundi's emergency bore is flowing.
Upper Hunter Shire Council has been working to getting a bore underway for the last few weeks and one worked just in time as Murrurundi was expected to run out of usable water within 60 days.
If the town had run out, water would have to be trucked in from Scone at a significant cost compared to the $225,000 the bore has cost to install. The NSW Government is contributing to the cost of the bore.
The bore was tested on Wednesday and the first water was pumped to the Murrurundi Water Treatment Plant.
The emergency bore is still a work in progress. The pump, which is at a depth of 150m inside the bore, is being powered by a diesel generator (currently running about 8 hours a day, out of consideration for the nearby property owners who have generously allowed us free operations). A new electrical supply is currently being installed on the site, and the bore will then be able to run 24/7.
The water being drawn is a reasonable flow and of good quality, except for high iron levels which has necessitated additional treatment measures. This basically involves pumping water from the bore into the pre-treatment lagoon, where exposure to the air and chlorination reduce the iron content to acceptable levels. Additional testing and pipework modification may be required to get things working efficiently.
The water is then run through our membrane filtration plant and then to the town reticulation. Once the bore is fully operational, the Murrurundi Dam will be bypassed in order to reduce evaporation and improve water quality. Until then, or until the iron problem is resolved, the bore will be used to simply ‘top up’ the dam.
It's certainly not an end to water restrictions though with the town still on level six restrictions.
Mayor Wayne Bedggood said Council’s priority will always be to supply potable water to homes, business, schools, hospital, aged care and other essential services, and the new emergency bore should cover that.
“If the bore continues to work well, even if the current drought condition continue, it should be able to meet the town’s essential needs until the $14.2 million Scone to Murrurundi pipeline is complete in 2020,” he said
Image credit: Upper Hunter Shire Council