Lithgow mayor Ray Thompson has declared his support for a planned pipeline diverting water from a colliery north of the town to Regis Resources' proposed McPhillamys Gold Mine near Blayney.
Cr Thompson's support comes after councillor John Fry raised concerns earlier in the week regarding the pipeline running underneath Bathurst and how it could tempt council to tap into a polluted water source in times of drought.
With the pipeline a means for the proposed gold mine to access water from the Angus Place and Springvale collieries, Cr Thompson said the idea "could be a win-win" for the Lithgow community.
"The water from Springvale Colliery is not water that's potable at all, it's water that could be used for the gold mine and rightfully so it's good that you can have a win-win situation," he said.
"And in saying that there would be a monetary gain for the LGA too - to get the water out there - it would come at a price for sure."
"I know there are people saying that in times of drought Bathurst (Council) would most probably want to use the water but it's water that's got a fair bit if saline in it, so not treated. They'd have to put up a major plant to use the water."
Cr Fry said council would need to invest in desalination by reverse osmosis to properly filter out pipeline water, which he feels would create further complications.
"Firstly, it would require council to fork out millions and millions of dollars we currently don't have," he said.
"Secondly, the desalination process required produces highly toxic waste. If you were to filter five megalitres of highly saline water via reverse osmosis, a megalitre of what comes out is super toxic."
"No council engineer can tell me what we'd do with those toxic deposits: it can't go in any catchment, our drinking water or groundwater, and it's not economically sound to truck it out; there's no benefit to Bathurst having this pipeline running underneath."
According to Cr Fry, council has already agreed to the DA conditions 'in principle', however admitted he was still waiting on a clearer response from both the general manager and mayor.
The project has previously looked at water from the Macquarie River to source the mine, but the plans were scrapped in 2017.