A CURE for the city’s dirty water problems has been found.
However, the solution is set to present a multi-million dollar dilemma for Bathurst Regional Council, which needs to fund the initiative.
Award-winning manganese removal trials on one filter at the local water treatment works over the past 18 months have been a success story.
But the new dosing process now needs to be rolled out across all 14 full-size filters at the plant which takes water from the Macquarie River at Gormans Hill.
It is anticipated this exercise would go a long way to cleaning up the town water before it reaches homes cross the city.
Mayor Monica Morse noted this week the trial had been recognised in Division B of the recent Local Government Excellence in the Environment awards.
Russell Deans from Bathurst Regional Council told the Western Advocate further testing will continue into summer.
“We want to see how the manganese removal works when peak summer conditions increase demands on the water supply,” he said.
“We didn’t get the type of conditions we were hoping for last summer.
“Preliminary design works are underway to implement the dosing of the water with chemicals to treat the manganese across all 14 filters.
“This, along with cleaning the reservoirs, using specialist divers backed up by regular flushing, should go a long way to solving the issue once the process has been rolled out across the rest of the treatment plant.”
Mr Deans said the earliest time frame for the work was around 18 months and that it would now be up to council to come up with funding arrangements as part of its budgetary process.
“We’re talking millions of dollars and council would envisage trying to get funding assistance for the project,” he said.
Mr Deans pointed out the one filter that is able to treat the water for the manganese does not solve the problem because its outflow goes into the main clearwater tank that feeds all of the town.
“Generally we get most manganese problems in the section of pipes between the filtration plant and the older, gridded part of the city,” he said.
“The extent of the problem area includes Eglinton and Raglan, but really it can happen anywhere in the system.
“The manganese in the water is contained in the soil in the catchment area of Ben Chifley Dam and chlorine typically brings it out, and that’s what leads to calls from customers when their washing is stained or dirty water comes out of their bathroom or kitchen taps.”
Should dirty water occur for more than a few minutes, please contact council on 6333 6100 during business hours or 6334 2795 after hours.