Uralla Shire Council has a Funding Agreement with the Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Environment, Water Division for this project. It is $1.5M dollars and 100% funded by the grant. This project is scheduled to be completed by June 2022. A program for the works is below.
During the 2020 drought severe water restriction impacted the township of Uralla’s potable water supply. Kentucky Dam water levels were low and there was levels of arsenic recorded which exceeded Drinking Water Guidelines. Bottled water was provided to the community for an extended period of time. Since January 2021, rainfall patterns have improved and Kentucky Dam levels have been high. Water testing has met the consumption guidelines.
Due to the restriction issues during the drought, Council has determined to investigate the potential for supplementary source to meet a growing demand and also provide for water security.
Phase 1 included a desktop assessment* of possible groundwater sources preferentially near the Kentucky Dam site. This has been carried out by Uralla Shire Council’s contracted consulting Hydrogeologists; Harwood Environmental Consultants (HEC) This is for utilisation of the existing Water Treatment Plant. HEC staff will be attending Uralla in late November, 2021, to check that the locations of the potential bore sites are viable options. The locations of the proposed bore sites are detailed in the list below.
*This is the complete 900 page assessment (38MB). A 43 page summary document (15MB) is available under 'related information' below.
Airborne Magnetic Survey
Current and Historic Mines
Deep Lead Workings Rocky River
Historic Mining Areas
Potential Bore Locations
Rocky River Gold Field
Rocky River Gold Field 2
Topography Geology Groundwater Bores and Mines
Topography Mines and Homesteads
Phase 2 of the project is exploratory drilling. When this commences HEC will carry-out the drilling supervision in conjunction with Council’s Project Manager. This is anticipated to be commencing in January 2022, there is a Tender listed with Council for Drilling contractors closing in December 2021. Prior to commencing completion of exploratory drilling licenses are required through the Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) with suitable Review of Environmental Factors approved before commencing.
Phase 3 of this project is the construction and licensing of these bores to supplement the Kentucky Dam water supply. However, this is all dependant on the findings of Phase 2, i.e. has the drilling located viable supplementary sources for quality and quantity.
Should no viable sources of water be found, the project will be halted and other supplementary supply and drought proofing strategies will need to be investigated.