CREWS have been working day and night to complete the new dam at Calala water treatment plant, after crews were delayed by the bushfires raging across the state.
Tamworth council water and waste manager Dan Coe said all the earthworks were completed and he expected to start filling the dam within the next 10 days.
"The contractor doing the liner was a couple of days late because they were delayed by the fires," Mr Coe said.
"They were working on the coast and got tied up around Taree.
"They're making up the time with night works. The liners can only work when the temperature is below 35 degrees, because the plastic expands.
"We're trying to doing everything as quickly as we can with the river's flow shutting down next week. We've fast-tracked the dam to tie in with that project, so we have an emergency supply of water."
The 120-megalitre dam was designed to hold two days of peak water use, as the water treatment plant can process about 60 megalitres a day.
"Given the level five restrictions at the moment, it'll be able to hold about a week's worth of water," Mr Coe said.
"It makes it easier and more efficient for us to harvest water.
"It also has benefits in a flood event, where the water in the river is too dirty to use, but we'll have a clean supply here."