Level 4 restrictions now introduced in Upper Hunter town

THERE are two major projects underway to provide Murrurundi with a secure water supply – a pipeline from Scone to Murrurundi and a Water Treatment Plant that is now filtering water for the town.

The Scone to Murrurundi Water Pipeline project is progressing and on target to be completed in 2020. 

In the meantime, Upper Hunter Shire Council undertook an additional project to install a new Water Treatment Plant to more effectively use the water supplies available.

With the Water Treatment Plant now fully-functional, Murrurundi water restrictions were reduced to Level 4 as of midnight on Monday, February 12.

However, the watering of lawns is not permitted. 

Watering of residential gardens is permitted only with micro-sprays, drip systems, soaker hoses between 6pm and 8pm on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Pipeline in 2020

WITH the 40km pipeline in place, the town will have a plentiful supply of water coming from Glenbawn Dam.

The NSW Government contributed $13 million towards the pipeline project via the Restart NSW Water Security for Regions program. 

Additional funding has also been provided by the council, who are managing the works.

The concept design is being finalised and landowners are being approached to finalise easement agreements.

In 2017 the pipeline project was focused on meeting council’s obligations in regards to potential indigenous heritage sites, the field work for which is now complete.

A report will be generated for review and then submitted to the Office of Environment and Heritage as support for an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit, which will allow the pipeline to be built.

Currently in the design phase, the Scone to Murrurundi Pipeline will provide the same reliable and quality water supply from Glenbawn Dam that Scone residents currently enjoy, with new reticulated supplies planned for Parkville, Wingen and Blandford along the way. 

Water restrictions should become a distant memory, and water quality will also be notably improved.

Water Treatment Plant in place now

WITH the pipeline project a few years away yet, council implemented an advanced treatment solution for Murrurundi that will enable council to more effectively use the water supplies that are already available, and reduce the instances and severity of water restrictions.

Council has installed a membrane water treatment plant to filter water coming from the Murrurundi Dam and the Pages River. 

Installation of sludge lagoons, internal pipe works and electrical work is complete. 

After several weeks of testing, the plant is now working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Town water is being drawn from both the Murrurundi Dam and directly from the Pages River bed, before being treated.

The project is a partnership with Litree Purifying Technology Co. Ltd., a company that specialise in hollow fibre Ultrafiltration (UF) membranes and membrane modules. 

“The Litree Purifying Technology Co. Ltd. donated the Water Treatment Plant and Upper Hunter Shire Council has spent about $400,000 on required site works to get it operational,” council’s manager of water and sewer Phillip Hood said.

“The plant has been operational for a fortnight, and council will host an official opening ceremony later this month to thank representatives of the Litree Purifying Technology.”

The Litree membrane module comes pre-manufactured as a package unit, which has been integrated with the existing treatment infrastructure at the Murrurundi Dam.

In plain terms, the Litree module provides very fine filtration of raw water supplies, meaning instances of high algae or turbidity in the Murrurundi Dam no longer hinder council’s ability to provide water to the town and should mean less regular water restrictions over the next few years.

It has also improved the quality and taste of Murrurundi’s water.

The treatment plant will also be able to filter the water from the pipeline, when it is completed in 2020.

Mayor Wayne Bedggood said council was committed to future-proofing Murrurundi’s water security.

“Water security will make an enormous difference to Murrurundi and its growth potential,” he said.

“Most importantly the residents of Murrurundi will have the constant uncertainty of their water access removed which is what we have all been striving for, for many years.”

More information on the Scone to Murrurundi Water Pipeline Project, including the proposed pipeline route, is available on council’s website at http://upperhunter.nsw.gov.au/our-services/on-your-property/water-services/murrurundi-pipeline-project.aspx