COUNCIL has been urged to shift Kootingal and Moonbi to the town water supply permanently.
The villages have been connected to Tamworth’s water supply since October 2016 when it was discovered uranium levels in the bore had breached national guidelines.
Tamworth Regional Council will vote on the issue at its next meeting on Tuesday night, where it is expected to decommission the towns’ troublesome bores for good.
A report to be considered by councillors has said NSW Health has serious concerns with the ongoing use of the existing bores because of the risk of future uranium contamination.
While two of the five bores along the Cockburn River weren’t affected, the council report registered concern NSW Health might “not agree to the use of any bores to provide groundwater because of the possibility of uranium contamination”.
Growth in the Kootingal area has also prompted council to consider the permanent water switch.
It is recommended council abandon the current bore supply.- Tamworth Regional Council
“Whilst the bore system may have been an appropriate method of supplying water to Moonbi/Kootingal when demand was low, as the area continues to grow and demand with it is considered a bore system without a common treatment point is not appropriate,” the report said.
“The current groundwater supply is not able to meet Moonbi/Kootingal’s demand in times of drought and therefore is already reliant on the Tamworth supply to an extent.”
Since it has been connected to the reticulated supply, the Moonbi-Kootingal population’s consumption has only made-up only 3.9 per cent of overall water use which was deemed an “insignificant” level.
Council modelling suggested a range of new water infrastructure would be needed over the next 15 years, if the permanent switch is applied, coming with a price tag in excess of $1.7 million, including “a new two megalitre reservoir at the existing Kootingal twins reservoirs at an estimated cost of $1,273,000; possible pump station upgrade at Nemingha at an estimated cost of $500,000.”
However, when “the risk, capital cost and operating cost associated” with the bores was considered, the town supply was seen as the better option.
“It is recommended council abandon the current bore supply and make Moonbi/Kootingal permanently part of the Tamworth water supply system,” the report said.
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