BATHURST’S black water problems should be a thing of the past after the Federal Government granted Bathurst Regional Council $150,000 to filter manganese from the water supply.
The money is a small part of a $1.6 million upgrade of the city’s water infrastructure that is due to be complete in June.
The upgrade included a trial of various methods of removing discolouration from drinking water.
Sustainability and urban water parliamentary secretary Senator Don Farrell was on hand yesterday at the filtration plant to announce the upgrade of local water infrastructure.
“People have said that the government has panicked by looking at desalination plants and spending money on water infrastructure, because Australia will return to normal water patterns, but what we know is drought and flood will occur and drought will return,” Senator Farrell said.
“When they do return we will not have to go through the pain of what we have had to go through over the last 10 years.
“It does seem to be ironic that we are launching water saving techniques when there is so much rain about, but improving the filtration system means Bathurst is saving water and, as the population grows, it will be needed.”
More than $1 million has been used to treat water that would otherwise go to waste.
The technology allows residual water generated by the filtration process to be reprocessed and treated to a drinking standard.
“By recycling and treating supernatant [residual] water up to 192 million litres of water will be saved each year,” Mr Farrell said.
“The great thing about it is the same amount of water is taken from the Macquarie River – just more of it will be used for drinking water.”
Mayor Greg Westman was excited by the launch and said the filtration system has started and trials of manganese removal have been positive.
“Bathurst’s annual water consumption is about 6000 megalitres and we could recover close to 200 megalitres of that a year,” Cr Westman said. “With our growing population this figure will only increase and in 50 years could amount to saving 340 megalitres a year.”
Mr Farrell knows Bathurst residents are concerned with the colour of the water and said that now people will not have to waste fresh water flushing out the manganese from the pipes.
“We know Bathurst has manganese in the water and although this is not dangerous to health it does discolour water,” Mr Farrell said.
“The trials that have been undertaken I believe have been very successful and removed 95 per cent of the manganese, ensuring Bathurst has clean, clean drinking water.”