TAMWORTH Regional Council has been forced to fork out thousands of dollars for security following reports of water theft.
At a recent meeting, the council voted unanimously in favour of a $4000 spend to install CCTV cameras at the city's bulk water filling stations.
A report to the council said there had been an escalating number of thefts at the Tamworth stations.
They have removed the fittings from the station and tapping into water illegally.TRC water director Bruce Logan
The council had already installed deterrents at the stations.
"To prevent this, a metal cage was placed over the pipe infrastructure, but individuals then gained access using specialist tools," the report said.
"There have also been some staff and resident reports that water carters may potentially be accessing restricted water supplies, then stating to customers that the water was sourced from an unrestricted supply."
As a drought relief measure earlier this year, the council created a scheme where farmers could access free water for domestic use on their properties.
The scheme was rolled back once the city and other villages in the council area hit level 4 restrictions.
The new CCTV cameras will be installed at filling stations in areas under level 5 restrictions, Tamworth and Moonbi-Kootingal.
Water director Bruce Logan said there were some people who were determined to do the wrong thing.
"They have removed the fittings from the station and are tapping into water illegally," Mr Logan said.
"They are not entitled to take it.
"We did try to prevent them from removing the fitting, but they are very determined.
"What we have asked council to do is install CCTV to deter people from doing that."