A new water dispensing station has been opened at the Armidale Arboretum to make it easier for drought-affected rural residents to access water for domestic uses.
The automated station enables residents not connected to the town water supplies to purchase water for $3.90 per kilolitre.
“We know there are a significant number of rural households that have run out of tank water and other onsite supplies and needed an emergency supply for use around the home until they could get a water delivery,” Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said.
“That’s apparent from the waiting list for water carters and the number of people accessing the standpipes at our depots.
“The new Arboretum station makes it much more convenient for residents to source water because it is accessible outside business hours and seven days a week,” Councillor Murray said.
“Many rural households are running out of water for drinking and washing, despite their best efforts to conserve water, and the stations will enable them to tap into the town supplies. However, we urge people to limit their use of this water to essential domestic purposes only, as we need everyone to minimise their consumption at every opportunity.”
Another automated dispensing station has been installed at the Mother of Ducks recreation area in Guyra and will be activated once the Malpas Dam to Guyra pipeline is fully operational and the trucking of water to the Guyra water treatment plant has ended.
The two dispensing stations are among Council’s initiatives to make the region more drought resilient, using funds through the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Program.
Each station has a 25mm threaded connection for normal garden hoses, while the Arboretum station has a 50mm male Cam Lock fitting for bulk collections and the Guyra unit has an 80mm male Cam Lock fitting. Users need to bring their own fittings and hose.
Purchases must be made by credit or debit card. The stations do not hold cash.
With the arboretum station operational since last Friday, the tap at the Armidale depot has been disconnected.