Discoloured Water Update

Since last week the Lithgow township has experienced widespread dirty water issues.  Whilst Council investigated the problem an extensive mains flushing program was conducted in an effort to remove the dirty water from the system.  In addition to this, Council also increased its water testing program.

During this period water quality testing around the distribution network found that the water has remained within health requirements of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, however elevated iron levels resulted in poor colour and taste.

Upon investigation, it was found that the iron levels entering the Oakey Park Water Treatment Plant were higher than usual.  It is believed that through a natural occurrence deep stagnant waters in the water supply dam have risen to the upper layers of the dam, causing a spike in dissolved iron.  Dissolved iron does not have any visual impact on water, and is able to pass through the water plant’s filtration system.  Once the water with the dissolved iron is treated a reaction occurs resulting in discoloured water.  It is believed that this was further exacerbated in those areas with older iron pipes.

In response to this Council, with advice from the NSW Office of Water, yesterday made a temporary modification to the water treatment process.  Since commencing this process, the iron levels in the treated water have dropped significantly.  The water mains and reservoirs throughout the supply network are being flushed and scoured to draw the clean water through.

The water supply dam, Farmers Creek No. 2 Dam, has had a very extended period of natural inflow keeping the Dam at capacity.  Council is investigating the water profile at the Dam and will be closely monitoring the network over the next few weeks.

Council with continue to flush the water mains in an attempt to remove any remaining discoloured water from the system.  Residents are, however, asked to continue to check their water supply over the next few days prior to doing any washing as some iron may remain in the system or in household pipes.

Council apologises for any inconvenience that residents may have experienced from the discoloured water.

Thanks is extended to the NSW Office of Water for the assistance during this period.

If you experience dirty water at your residence please contact Council’s Customer Service Team on (02) 6354 9999.


Iain Stewart
Group Manager Operations
Tel: 02 6354 9999
Fax: 02 6351 4259

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