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Uralla bottled water alert finally lifted after four months


A shipment of bottled water delivered earlier in the year.

After months of having to drink bottled water, Uralla residents can now turn on their tap and fill up their glasses for a drink. Uralla Shire Council Mayor Michael Pearce advised that the “Do Not Drink” alert for the Uralla water supply is lifted as of Monday. “Working with NSW Health and the Department of Planning Industry and Environment - Water, the decision has been made to lift the alert based on consistently compliant water quality,” he said. The elevated levels of arsenic in the town water supply have been reduced to concentrations below the Australian Drinking Water Guideline values. The final decision was made based on consistent treatment plant performance and consistently compliant water quality results within the town’s storage and reticulation network over the last two weeks. Due to recent rainfall and the resulting increase in the storage volume of Kentucky Creek Dam levels, the concentration of arsenic in the raw water has also decreased. The granular activated carbon filter media was successfully installed in one of the two treatment plant filters. Council said this filter will be commissioned over coming weeks prior to the refurbishment of the pipework and replacement of media with GAC in the remaining filter. It added the GAC media will assist in achieving an improved treated water quality output while providing a protective treatment barrier for organic forms of arsenic. “I would like to thank Adam Marshall MP and the State Government for funding the bottled water costs during the alert and also providing funding towards process modifications and improvements at the Uralla Water Treatment Plant,” Mayor Pearce said. Uralla Shire Council worked with a multi-agency approach including State Government, Government Laboratories, Health and Water in resolving the issue and would like to thank them for their assistance, technical support, funding and commitment. “We would also like to once again thank the community for their support and understanding during the last few months and I hope that the lifting of the the “Do Not Drink Alert” can provide some relief to residents,” Mayor Pearce said. “Uralla Shire Council sincerely hopes that the treatment process ensures that levels remain within the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines with Council continuing to monitor the issue." The bottled water distribution will close this evening with Mayor Pearce adding his thanks to “the volunteers who enthusiastically stepped up to help out as well as Foodworks Uralla and Invergowrie Store for their continued support and assistance.” Water restrictions will remain at Level 5 until further notice. Further information can be found on the Council’s website and Facebook page with the Council encouraging residents to get in touch if they have any concerns or questions regarding the lifting of the “Do Not Drink Alert”.

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