ENVIRONMENTAL releases will see 62 megalitres of water wash out of Chaffey Dam and down the Peel River over the next three days, according to Tamworth Regional Council (TRC).
TRC water and waste director Bruce Logan said on Wednesday he understands Water NSW plans to let 62ML of water out of Tamworth's main water supply over three days now the dam has surged past 20 per cent full.
Mr Logan said regular releases of 3ML per day will be carried out daily after the bigger release.
"As a result of Chaffey Dam getting above 20 per cent, previous approvals that were in place have waived or lapsed for a little while and that means ... environmental releases can start again," he said.
"I believe that releasing water all the time for environmental flows like the 3ML a day is a poor approach and we should have the approach that the government has adopted when it gets less than 20 per cent, which is to store the water and release it when there is an environmental need for it."
Mr Logan said the state water authority is set to make the 62ML release over the coming days due to concerns about the Peel River's health in between the dam and Duncans Creek.
"My understanding is that's an environmental release because of concerns about the state of the Peel River between Chaffey Dam and Duncans Creek, because there hasn't been any water released from the dam since the 1st of July and there are some environmental concerns," he said on Wednesday.
Duncans Creek meets the Peel River near Woolomin, meaning the environmental water is being released for a stretch of river roughly 7km long.
Chaffey Dam surged from 15.7 per cent on Friday to 21.2 per cent on Wednesday after significant rainfall near the head of the Peel.
Mr Logan said other tributaries downstream of Duncans Creek are flowing with more force, adding to the level of the Peel River in Tamworth.
He said the releases are only a small amount of water and there is no other water currently being released from the dam for Tamworth city's needs.
The Leader has contacted Water NSW for comment.
More to come.