21 January 2020
NSW Health has advised that the boil water notice for Quaama, Cobargo, Bermagui, Beauty Point, Fairhaven, Wallaga Lake, Wallaga Lake Heights, Akolele and Wallaga Lake Koori Village can be lifted.
The news follows improved chlorine and turbidity levels across the water supply system and recognition from NSW Health for Council’s management of the system.
The lifting of the boil water notice occurs immediately. Water from the tap no longer needs to be boiled for any purpose in these areas.
The boil water notice was introduced on Tuesday, 31 December 2019 due to the loss of power to chlorination facilities at Brogo due to the impact of the Badja Forest Road fire.
Council’s Network Operations Superintendent of Water and Sewerage Services, Bruce Powell, said generator power enabled chlorination to be reinstated soon after the fire on New Year’s Eve.
“Water quality from Brogo River remains high and has yet to be affected by the fire in the catchment, being able to stabilbilse chlorination and turbidity adds to our confidence,” Mr Powell said.
“However, we’ll be monitoring it very closely, particularly following rainfall.
“There are some uncertainties around what the impact of future rainfall in the catchment will be on water quality at the pump station downstream from Brogo Dam. It is likely that there will be an increase in turbidity, which will pose challenges for disinfection.
“A strategy for this is being developed and processes put in place now in consultation with NSW Health,” he said.
Looking further ahead, the episodic re-introduction of boil water notices may be required over the coming 12 months as dam water levels and the catchment recover.
Brogo Dam is currently at around 11% capacity and approximately 50% of the catchment has been affected by fire. WaterNSW reduced water releases from the dam earlier this month primarily for town water supply.
“We understand the inconvenience caused by having to boil tap water and we will be doing everything we can to minimise boil water notices,” Mr Powell said.
“The cooperation and understanding of all people affected by boil water notices is very much appreciated.”
Council has secured $10 million in funding from the NSW Government to construct a treatment/filtration plant on the Brogo – Bermagui system which will lessen the need for boil water notices in the future.
Planning for that project is ongoing.
A boil water notice remains in place for the Bemboka community, regular water testing is taking place in consultation with NSW Health.
As dry times continue further shire wide water management is on the Council meeting agenda for February.