Water restrictions in Guyra will be raised to the highest level from Monday 24 June, as one of the measures to stop the town supply from running dry.
The escalation from Level 4 to 5 will bring little change for households but has implications for businesses that have significant levels of water consumption.
“How businesses use water varies greatly, so how Level 5 restrictions apply to Guyra businesses is being determined on a case by case basis,” Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said.
“Council has been working with a number of businesses who consume large quantities of water to identify opportunities to curb water use and minimise impacts on their operations. Council appreciates the cooperation of those businesses that have already achieved significant reductions in water use. Businesses in the horticultural and construction industries have already reduced their water consumption by more than 60 percent.”
“Council is very conscious that some businesses may have to temporarily stop some activities and the move to Level 5 is an emergency measure until the Malpas Dam to Guyra pipeline is completed and operational,” he said.
“This is one of a number of necessary steps to ensure the Guyra community continues to have town water for its day-to-day essentials.”
Work on the pipeline is being fast tracked for completion by mid August. However, Councillor Murray said it became apparent in recent weeks that Guyra’s current water shortage, and the town’s rate of consumption, would leave the town without water before the pipeline is completed and fully operating.
Trucking company SRH Milk Haulage has been contracted by Council to transport treated water from Armidale to the Guyra Water Treatment Plant to supplement town supplies.
The Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall, announced on Monday 17 June 2019 that the State Government would provide $820,000 to help cover the cost of trucking the water. SRH began carting water last week and with no forecasts of significant rain, will continue until the pipeline comes online.
In addition, contractors Detection Services have been engaged to identify and locate hidden leaks in Council’s treated water network in Guyra. The visual and acoustic monitoring of the water pipe network, which totals approximately 49 kilometres, is being undertaken this month to help ensure none of Guyra’s precious remaining supplies are lost to leaks.
Residents have responded well to Level 4 restrictions and also to the free showerhead replacement program with a number of households taking the opportunity to switch to a more water efficient showerhead.
Cr Murray said: “It’s fantastic to see Guyra residents become more water efficient in their every day use. Unfortunately even with all these measures, it still hasn’t been enough to forestall further restrictions and consumption levels need to reduce more to conserve the very last of the water supply. The level in the Guyra dams is rapidly approaching 20 percent capacity and it’s uncertain at what point water quality will diminish and become untreatable.”
“The move from Level 4 to 5 does not bring additional restrictions for households but we strongly urge all town water users to do everything they can to minimise consumption.”