Many residents may not be aware that Level 1 water restrictions remain in place in the Clarence Valley. These water restrictions will need to stay in place until water can be safely extracted from the Nymboida River.
Following the unprecedented bushfire season and subsequent heavy rain, the water extraction was halted to prevent unwanted debris being washed into the water supply.
“The water in the Nymboida River is now clear and some water has been extracted from the river over the past few weeks,” said Greg Mashiah Council Manager – Water Cycle.
“Unfortunately, we could not continue extracting water as we have found the tunnel and pipeline from the river to our treatment plant is causing the water to dirty when we have to increase the flow. The flow has to be increased to be able to fill the dam and also provide water through the regional water supply scheme to Coffs Harbour.”
As with normal practice the pipeline has been flushed at several locations between the river and the treatment plant, however, this has not solved the issue as it normally would.
“We believe this is a result of the bushfire silt deposited in the pipeline after the heavy rain received earlier this year, as this is the first time this issue has persisted after flushing. We have been using the dam again to supply our treatment plant with water.”
“As we cannot fill Shannon Creek Dam with dirty water from the river the current Level 1 water restrictions must remain in place, both in the Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour Council areas until the issue is rectified. This may take several weeks,” Mr Mashiah added.
Due to NSW Government licensing conditions, the water received directly into the dam from rainfall must be released to the environment, therefore the level of water in the dam will fall below 80% when this process if finished.
Further investigation into the issues are ongoing, and divers and remote operate vehicles will commence the assessment of any offtake issues and tunnel issues shortly.