Barraba water safe

BARRABA residents have been reassured about the quality of their water as Tamworth Regional Council works to correct the problem.

Manager regional water Tamworth Regional Council  Michael Bryant said residents may have noticed a slight discolouration in the past week, but stressed the water remained safe to drink and there was no need for concern. 

“A fast drop in the water level of Split Rock Dam from 86 per cent in November down to the current 20 per cent has affected the quality of raw water flowing to the Barraba Water Treatment Plant,” Mr Bryant said yesterday. 

“There are elevated levels of manganese and iron in the raw water being pumped from Split Rock Dam which is causing some teething problems with the treatment process and residents may have noticed, at times, the treated water is slightly discoloured.

“We have been treating it in the usual way with potassium permanganate, but we are having mixed success. Some process specialists will now be in Barraba over the next few days to investigate the issue and help us resolve it.”

The treatment plant was upgraded late last year as part of the multi-million dollar Split Rock Dam to Barraba pipeline construction to allow it to receive and treat raw water from the dam.

The work at the plant included the installation of powder-activated carbon dosing facilities which are used for odour and taste improvement, as well as facilities for potassium permanganate dosing. 

Potassium permanganate is used to treat water with high levels of iron and manganese.

Mr Bryant said despite the intermittent discolouration of Barraba’s water in recent weeks, ongoing water testing showed it continued to meet the guidelines. 

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