Offline Narrabri bore adds to water crisis

A NARRABRI town bore which has been offline since November is causing a water crisis this week as hot temperatures bite hard and water usage has soared.

Narrabri Shire Council general manager Patrick White even went on radio yesterday morning to implore residents to lessen their water use as the town struggles to replenish stocks overnight.

The remaining town bores online produce 90 litres per second.

The bore that is offline produces 60 litres per second – so this represented a substantial cut in the town’s ability to maintain a good supply, Mr White said.

He said maintenance crews had noticed gravel coming up through the pipes at the end of November.

The bore was shut down so new pumps could be installed and sleeves replaced.

The problem had been compounded by the Christmas break and contractors being unavailable over the break.

But it was the heatwave this week which had really created the problem, he said.

Mr White said council had been able to replenish overnight stocks to about 80 per cent, but the heatwave had seen this drop to less than 50 per cent in the past couple of days.

“Up until that point, we’d been holding our own. We’ve been managing fine but with this hot weather ... we need people to abide by the regulations. Stick to the regulations and we’ll be fine,” he said.

People were flouting the level-two restrictions (sprinklers OK from 6pm-8pm; pools allowed to be filled from 6pm-8pm).

Council staff had seen people flouting the rules.

“We know that because we’ve actually sent warnings to people,” Mr White said.

He said council was hoping to have the bore online again by the end of the week, maybe even by tomorrow.

The maximum fine for flouting water restrictions is $2200.

At the moment, the council is not doing any bulk-water sales except for potable water.

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