Tamworth Regional Council will commence a trial this weekend to ascertain whether treated effluent released from the Westdale Wastewater Treatment Plant into the Peel River will reach high security water entitlement holders in the required volumes.
Due to works recently completed in the Peel River at Dungowan Village by WaterNSW, to help secure water for the Tamworth Town Water Supply, the Peel River will cease to flow. This means high security entitlement holders downstream of the works are unable to access their water entitlements putting the livelihood of their businesses at extreme risk. Council was approached by the high security entitlement holders with a request for assistance and the option of redirecting water from the Westdale Wastewater Treatment Plant down the Peel River for their use was proposed.
In order to maximise efficiency and minimise instream losses Council will be trialling pulse releases from the holding ponds at the Plant. Infrastructure has been put in place which will allow approximately 60ML to be pumped from the ponds into the Peel Anabranch each weekend.
Council has been provided environmental approval from the NSW Environmental Protection Authority for the water to be released into the Peel River.
NSW Health advises that surface water from farm dams, rivers and creeks should not be used for drinking, cooking or bathing without appropriate treatment and disinfection. The water may be suitable for non-potable uses such as irrigation and gardening.
Water from the Plant is currently pumped to the Tamworth Effluent Reuse Farm. The Farm’s dam is estimated to currently have 2 months of water stored which will allow the Farm to continue operations while the trial is undertaken. Negotiations with the Farm regarding the future redirection of all effluent are ongoing. An agreement with the Farm will be required prior to a final report being presented to Council.