An end to Uralla's toxic water problems is in sight after Uralla Shire Council applied for funding from the State Government to address the situation.
It is believed the amount requested, $1,035,000, will become available within the next two weeks and the project will be implemented over the next six to eight weeks.
The funding will cover treatment plant upgrades, alternative water supply investigations, research into the origin of the arsenic and the cost of trucking in bottled water.
In a statement, Uralla council acting general manager David Aber said: "This should provide the necessary funding to upgrade the Uralla Water Treatment Plant to remove the arsenic to acceptable levels as per the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, as well as to provide information for future operation plans should another incident occur."
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has backed the plan and is working to secure the emergency funding as soon as possible.
"This issue has been going on way too long to the point where it's having a damaging impact on Uralla's economy and the well-being of residents," Mr Marshall said.
The upgrade plan involves replacing the sand in the water treatment plant's filtration system with Granular Activated Carbon to remove the inorganic arsenic compounds and pre-dosing the raw water entering the plant with ferric chloride to remove the organic arsenic compounds.
This plan uses the existing sand filters at the water treatment plant at a much more economical cost and the Council will not be installing the bank of GAC filters originally considered.
The flow rate through the plant will need to be reduced with the plant operating over a longer period each day.
The updated plant could also give Uralla residents better quality water than they've had in the past.
"The modifications should provide a much improved water quality to what our residents have been experiencing prior to the alert," Mr Aber said.
Mr Marshall said investigating longer-term water security measures for the town was also an important aspect of the funding.
"While arsenic has been one problem for Uralla the second bigger issue is finding a way to secure its long term water security," he said.
"Before the Kentucky Creek storage spilled this week the dam was down to 29 percent, with the town facing the serious risk of running dry by the middle of this year.
"Whether it's locating and putting down bores or raising the wall of Kentucky Creek dam to increase storage capacity council must take steps now to prepare for the next inevitable dry time.
"I'll continue to work with council and the community and provide all the support I can to rectify the current situation and address Uralla's long-term water security needs."