Ararat Rural City Council is keeping a close eye on the weather to ensure it can get started on the municipality’s grading program as soon as the area receives decent rainfall.
CEO Dr Tim Harrison said the Council is aware that many of the municipality’s gravel roads are in need of grading, with its maintenance grading program due to increase once the weather turns.
Dr Harrison thanked the community for their patience during this period of longer than expected dry conditions.
“We want the community to know that we are keeping a very close eye on conditions as we know that there are many roads in need of attention,” he said.
“Council cannot grade much over summer and during drier months as it is very inefficient – we would have to use many thousands of litres of water for the grading to succeed. And with low ongoing rainfalls, the road surface quickly goes back to how it was before.
“We can use water tankers on gravel roads while grading but nothing is as helpful as a good soaking rain as this allows us to grade a road well and ensures it stays in good condition for longer with less corrugations.”
Dr Harrison said that on average it takes around 100,000 litres of water (or five tanker loads) to grade one kilometre of gravel road, which means significant extra cost.
“The end result seldom has the same integrity as a road graded after rain where the moisture has had ample time to penetrate the road surface,” he said.
“With water at a premium Council is always mindful of ensuring water reserves are ample for firefighting and stock watering purposes.”