Thursday, May 30, 2024

Mid Coast water plant expansion to boost drought security

An expansion of the Nabiac borefield and water treatment plant is underway to increase the region’s drought security, MidCoast Council has announced.

Five new bores are being added to the borefield and the capacity of the plant is being upgraded to increase the volume of water it can provide, the Council said.

MidCoast Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Rob Scott said the project would further diversify the MidCoast’s water supply and reduce reliance on the Manning River.

“Around 80% of our customers are supplied by Bootawa Dam, which stores water pumped from the Manning River,” said Mr Scott.

“As we saw during the 2019-2020 drought, having a secondary source of water from the Nabiac aquifer can be crucial during those prolonged dry periods when flows in the river get low.

“This expansion means we won’t have to rely as much on water from the Manning River and Bootawa Dam during water restrictions. The daily capacity of the borefield and treatment plant will be sufficient to meet our water use target under Level 4 water restrictions.”

New gravel access tracks at the borefield have been constructed and the five new bores have been drilled. Over the next 12 months, more than 2.5 kilometres of water mains and underground power will be installed at the site. 

The upgrade to the water treatment plant is also underway. Key components of the plant are being duplicated to increase its treatment capacity and ensure it can continue to operate if something breaks down or requires maintenance at a critical time.

Mr Scott said the project was an important interim measure until an off-stream storage dam was built to increase the region’s water security.

“This project is going to ensure we’re better equipped to deal with a drought if one arises in the next five or 10 years,” he said.

The Nabiac borefield expansion has been made possible thanks to $1.47 million in funding from the Australian Government.

The NSW Government has contributed $8.5 million to the Manning Water Supply System Drought Response Stage 2 Project through the Regional Capital Stimulus Program.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

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