Water restrictions across the MidCoast region will wind back to Level 2 (high) water restrictions from Friday 7 February.
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“It’s a great relief to see some regular and good rainfall returning after what has been one of the driest periods ever seen in the MidCoast region and NSW,” said MidCoast Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Rob Scott.
“Good rainfall through January in the Barrington catchment has allowed us to return to the river to supply the town of Gloucester. We were trucking water to Gloucester for the first three weeks in January.”
“The river is continuing to rise and tributaries of the Manning are also all on the rise, allowing us to progress refilling the Bootawa water storage, which supplies the Manning and Forster – Tuncurry areas.”
The Bootawa storage is currently around 72% capacity, with Council continuing to pump when water is clean enough. After the drought, the first flushes of water down the rivers have presented challenges with high turbidity (dirty water) and phosphorous levels.
“Fortunately the Bootawa Treatment Plant has great capability to treat water to a very high quality compared to many other areas of NSW. This allows us to extract and use water that otherwise might have to be let go.”
“Severe water restrictions have an impact on local businesses and the economy, along with considerable inconvenience for local residents, so we’re looking to ensure the balance between water conservation and protecting local jobs and livelihoods is maintained as best as we can.”
“Together with the increase in supply from the Nabiac Aquifer, we now have some operational flexibility to supplement the water supply system, so we’re able to ease the burden of water restrictions on our customers and our local businesses for now. We want to thank everyone – the whole community has pulled together to conserve water during this extended drought.”
With hot weather continuing for a couple of months yet, it’s important for everyone to continue to be water conscious, with Level 2 water restrictions in effect from Friday 7 February.
Level 2 restrictions mean that you can use handheld hoses for up to 30 minutes every second day, before 9am or after 4pm. You can also use garden irrigation systems, or sprinklers, for 15 minutes only, as part of the 30 minute allocation.
If your house number is an even number, water on the even days of the month; for houses with odd numbers, water on the odd days of the month, and there’s no watering at all on the 31st day of any month. This includes topping up home pools. And if rain’s on the way – don’t water outdoors at all. Saving water saves you money as well!
In addition, use buckets, with trigger hose rinsing for washing cars and boats. If possible, always wash vehicles and flush boat motor engines on grassed areas – this will help keep your lawn alive!
Outdoor cleaning of driveways, paved areas, windows, walls and roofs should all be undertaken using buckets only.
The restrictions apply to households, businesses and public areas – with Council restricting their watering of parks and public areas also.
Bulahdelah’s water storages have been topped up, the Karuah River at Stroud is starting to flow again, and Tea Gardens continues to rely on its aquifer supply.