COUNCIL’S early estimates suggest it could cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix the busted pump station which forced the city on to emergency water restrictions.
Tamworth, Moonbi and Kootingal had level three water restrictions lifted on Friday following a contractor-caused meltdown at the Peel River pump station on Wednesday.
With concerns the current demand for water couldn't be met, council quickly imposed restrictions and banned outdoor watering, only to lift the ban within 48 hours.
No fines or warnings were issued during the ban, but Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) water director Bruce Logan said the pumping failure was cause for concern about emergency notifications in the local government area, even though consumption did fall.
“On Wednesday, when we had the problem, it dropped to 34 [megalitres per day] and on Thursday it dropped to 28 megalitres,” Mr Logan said.
“We didn’t get to 20, which is what our goal was, and I think that points out, firstly, those who heard did respond and it also points out that we need a better way of getting emergency information out to the relevant people.”
As a result, TRC residents can now register contact details online in order to receive emergency updates via text or email.
“Then, if we have some information which we think might affect you, we can do a bulk message or something like that,” Mr Logan said.
He said, while council already had access to some contact details, there was “privacy issues” associated with sending unsolicited messages to residents and ratepayers.
“It’s a better idea for people to tell us, ‘yes, you can do that with my number’, rather than for us to assume they’re happy for us to get their number and send them information,” he said.
Council is continuing to seek compensation from the contractor blamed for the damage, with the water director estimating “$20,000 would probably be the ceiling” for the repair costs.
The pump station will now operate on one motor for, at least, the next seven days, while the two remaining motors are dried and repaired.
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