A FUEL leak that poisoned the groundwater in Duri, could see residents banned from the use of any bore in a 500m radius of the general store.
At least 12 households will need an alternative water source, and on Tuesday, Tamworth Regional Council councillors will decide whether to grant access to the Marius Street Bore in the short-term.
A report to the council reveals the Department of Primary Industries and Environment Water (DPIE) might open its wallet to help Duri village residents cover the cost of the short-term supply of bore water and the cost to reconnect them to rainwater supplies.
Water would have to be trucked from the Marius Street bore to individual homes to fill up tanks connected to bores.
Under the Emergency Relief for Town Water Supply Funding Grant, the council is obligated to pay the first $1.90 per kilolitre, with DPIE to cough up the rest.
To truck the water into Duri residents adds up to about $12 a day the council would need to fund for 12 months, a total spend of about $4500.
Water would be delivered to homes until plumbing for bore water users can be reconnected to rainwater supplies, but DPIE has offered to pay for those connections.
The council was first alerted to the groundwater contamination just days after Christmas last year.
After investigations it was revealed one of the Duri General Store's underground storage tanks had been leaking for years undetected, before it seeped into a new domestic bore one door up the road.
The owners of the store were told to have an environmental consultant investigate the extent of the soil and groundwater contamination.
In July, the Environmental Protection Authority declared the site was 'significantly contaminated'.
To reduce any further complications, DPIE, NSW Health, NSW EPA and the council's compliance division staff have established a 500m groundwater ban zone around the general store.
If the restriction on bore use is issued it would exist for at least three years with the possibility of an extension if the groundwater remediation needs more time.
The restriction is on hold until NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey and the EPA agree to implement it.
After that, the council's compliance staff will undertake community consultation to explain why the ban is needed, what the alternate water supply arrangements are and how further contamination will be managed for residents of the village.