WATER problems at Willow Tree have had an impact on residents, but Liverpool Plains Shire Council says it’s been minimal and rumours the town’s water supply is running out are untrue.
The village’s woes are a result of the inability for water to be pumped at a pace that keeps up with increasing demand on the supply – from a well in the centre of town.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council acting general manager Greg Tory said the biggest problem facing the ability to supply water to residents was the dry weather causing ground movements, that were in turn breaking a number of water mains.
“We have had five breaks since early December,” Mr Tory said.
“This has resulted in losses from the reservoir capacity.”
Mr Tory said residents asking for more water than normal was another issue.
“Restrictions were brought in in early- to mid-December to combat that,” he said.
Those restrictions were set at level three – meaning watering has been reduced to hand-held hoses in the early hours of the evening when evaporation is less of a threat.
Mr Tory said despite the problems the village was far from facing a water crisis.
“Supply is and will be fine and we won’t be in a situation where we move Willow Tree to level-five water restrictions, if the level-three ones are adhered to properly,” he said.
At one stage last week water was carted from Quirindi to the village to fill the reservoir, but as early as Monday night, it was back at 100 per cent.
“There is more than enough water there but when we experience those mains breaking, we obviously lose our ability to pump more water, and therein lies the problem,” he said.
“If there is a drop in the supply, we usually replenish it within 24 hours.”
Mr Tory said the biggest impact on residents would be to those living on hills or away from the well whenthe problem arose, that they were likely to experience low water pressure,” Mr Tory said.
Willow Tree Cafe manager Lorna King said the main problems experienced by residents were a result of the mains breaking.
“When that happens the biggest problem is that the water is cut off,” she said.
“For us, as a business, it causes disruptions and interferes with what needs to be done.”
Willow Tree hairdresser Catherine Hewitt, who runs Hair Heaven out of the same building as the cafe, has been caught out a couple of times by disruptions to supply.
On more than one occasion, a client with a dye in has had to have their hair washed out with rainwater from the building’s tank.
“It’s not ideal,” she said. “It limits what you can do, and to a point, the services you can offer.”