Current Notices and Alerts

Notice: 14 February 2020

Discoloured Water – Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I have discoloured water?
Council recommends that residents run a house tap for several minutes to see if the water clears. Please contact Uralla Shire Council’s Customer Service Centre on 6778 6300 if your water continues to be discoloured. Council staff will then be deployed to flush water mains pipework to help remove the discoloured water in your area. After Council flushes the pipes in the street, affected residents should flush discoloured water from the internal pipes on the property by running water through all of the taps until it is clear.

Businesses and residents requiring a higher quality water for operations such as dentistry, food processing, brewing, or laundering, should consider additional treatments at their premises to ensure water is of a consistently acceptable and suitable quality. Installation of commercially available in-line filtration systems within the internal pipework of individual properties may be a worthwhile consideration.

Council is unable to install additional treatment processes within private premises, as such facilities are the responsibility of the property owner or occupant.

What do I do if my laundry is stained?
Citric acid can assist in the removal of iron and manganese stains in the event of laundry being affected by discoloured water. Citric acid is available commercially and can be found at most supermarkets. Laundry should not be allowed to dry as this may set the stain. Do not apply bleach.

Council cannot reimburse residents or businesses for stained clothing or linen. 

Why does my water look dirty? 
Water discolouration is caused by iron and manganese oxides which accumulate in the water supply network. The “dirty water” event can be triggered by a surge in pressure, break in the mains, or caused by ground movement or vibrations. Often the iron and manganese oxide particulates are mobilised with no apparent cause.

This phenomena occurs in Uralla and Bundarra and many other town water supplies because dissolved iron and manganese occurs naturally in the raw water supply. Water treatment processes at the Uralla and Bundarra water treatment plants are unable to completely remove the iron and manganese present in the water. These low levels of iron and manganese in the water supply do not pose any health risk.


Water in Uralla Shire

There are two urban centres within the Uralla Shire which have potable water supply schemes: Uralla (population 2400) and Bundarra (population 400). Raw water is sourced from the Gwydir River in Uralla Shire. The surrounding rural areas mainly rely on rainwater tank supplies for domestic water.

For information on water quality, please visit the Water Quality Analysis page.

For current water usage and dam storage volumes, please visit the Water Production and Storage Volumes page.

Uralla Water Supply - Kentucky Creek Dam

The raw water supply for the Uralla township comes from an on-stream weir (500ML capacity) on Kentucky Creek about 5 km south west of Uralla, and through 85m of pipeline to the water treatment works.

Water is treated by a conventional sedimentation and sand filtration treatment plant with a capacity of 5 ML per day and distributed by a system comprising 3 service reservoirs with a total capacity of 5 ML, 1 pumping station, 11 km of transfer and trunk mains and 27 km of reticulation mains.

Bundarra Water Supply - Taylors Pond

Raw water is sourced from a pump well adjacent to a depression in the Gwydir River (capacity 120ML) known as Taylors Pond. It is pumped approximately 600m to the treatment works. The water treatment plant has a capacity of 0.8 ML per day (plus a 20% hydraulic loading) and uses conventional sedimentation and sand filtration similar to the Uralla plant. Following treatment, potable water is pumped to two service reservoirs located on the northern and western extremities of the village.