MANILLA will get its long-awaited new water treatment plant, with the NSW government committing $3.75m in Tuesday’s budget to kick the project off.
Tamworth Regional Council lodged an application for the funding at the start of the year, but hadn’t heard anything since.
Council’s water director Bruce Logan said the current plant was “very old and doesn’t have the ability to be automated”.
“When there is a high flow in the Namoi River or a flood, it struggles to treat water,” Mr Logan said.
“We think Manilla will become more dependent on the Manilla River supply in the future, and its water quality is vastly different to the Namoi River. The new plant will be able to handle both supplies, either separately or as a mixture.”
Council has already bought a block of land for the new plant, located behind the reservoir, bound by Reservoir and Kanangra roads.
While council will provide the rest of the project’s funding, Mr Logan said he couldn’t reveal the total cost of the project until after the tender process was completed.
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Meanwhile, the Dungowan Dam upgrade remains in limbo, with no money allocated in the state budget.
The federal government has already committed $75m to the project, with the expectation that the NSW government would match it following a feasibility study. However, that plan has stalled, following a cost blow out of $480m.
“We’ve got to look at the other potential options before we settle on what is appropriate,” Mr Logan said.
“We’re talking to the government now about how we move this issue forward and who does the investigating.”