BRAND new washing machines breaking, shower heads clogging up and kettles lined with a thick white crust – this is life in Attunga, and the residents have had enough.
The small village on the outskirts of Tamworth has been struggling with high levels of calcium in its water supply for years.
While the water is safe to drink, it puts an unnecessary financial strain on the town’s residents.
Pensioner Dick Ranclaud just spent more than $1000 on a new hot water system, after calcium build-up destroyed his old one.
His taps don’t move because they’re stiff with calcium and he’s been forced to rely on a small fan in the hot summer months, after his evaporative air conditioner broke from the hard water.
Mr Ranclaud told The Leader he took a letter from a local plumbing service to Tamworth Regional Council, which stated the town’s problem could be improved by installing a CalClear system, which would cost about $8000.
However, council rejected the idea.
“That’s pocket change for them,” Mr Ranclaud said.
“It’s another case of the little town’s missing out and all the money going straight towards beautifying Tamworth.”
Mr Ranclaud isn’t the only one having problems – The Leader spoke to more than a dozen people in Attunga and everyone had a story to tell.
TRC’s water manager Dan Coe said complaints about hard water were received from time to time, however council had no plans to use water conditioner for any of its supplies, as the water was safe to drink.
“Like many inland communities, it is a problem which arises naturally in the water throughout our region,” Mr Coe said.
“We have seven different water supplies and the range of hardness varies but it is never above the healthy limit of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines set by the National Health and Medical Research Council.”
Mr Coe said council had previously trialled water conditioner in Barraba to see if it would improve the impacts of water hardness.
“However neither the responses from residents nor council testing gave any conclusive indication that the water conditioner was effective and its use did not continue,” he said.
Council’s water division has been in touch with Mr Ranclaud, who has raised the issue with council a number of times, to explain that the water at Attunga remains within heath guidelines, Mr Coe said.