Water Quality Analysis

Latest Information - Upgrades Works at the Uralla Water Treatment Plant

03 April 2020

Our staff have now removed the sand filter media to gain access to the underdrains and air scouring system in preparation for the repairs needed prior to the installation of the Granular Activated Carbon (GAC).

Unfortunately, suppliers continue to be delayed with the GAC and filter support media expected on Friday, 27th of March 2020 now expected early next week.

Test results of the treated water are continuing to show arsenic levels below the 0.010mg Australian Drinking Water Guideline and are controlled at around 0.004ppm.

While the upgrade works are in progress, the Uralla Water Treatment Plant will continue to operate at the level 5 restriction production rate. To assist with flushing the system of contaminated water, residents are able to use water in their gardens and wash their cars between the hours of 6pm and 7pm daily.

25 March 2020

Upgrade works at the Uralla Water Treatment Plant continue with delivery of the Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filter media expected on Friday, 27th March 2020. In anticipation of this, Council staff have commenced the process to remove the sand filter media from the filters at the Treatment Plant. Works on the filters will be undertaken separately.

Prior to the installation of the GAC, the backwash and air-scour pipework will be inspected and repaired or replaced if necessary.

Adjustments to the chemical dosing and flow rate, combined with the dilution of the raw water from recent rains, have provided initial test results of treated water showing arsenic below the 0.010 mg/L Australian Drinking Water Guideline limit..

Additional testing will be undertaken throughout the works process to ensure that results observed at the plant and within the reticulation are consistently compliant and within the Guidelines.

Upgrade works at the Uralla Water Treatment Plant will include the installation of an on-line arsenic meter. This will allow real-time notification to alert Council to any future elevated arsenic levels in the raw and treated water in addition to Council’s usual water testing schedule.

While the upgrade works are in progress, the Uralla Water Treatment Plant will continue to operate at the level 5 restriction production rate. To assist with flushing the system of contaminated water, residents are able to use water in their gardens and wash their cars between the hours of 6pm and 7pm daily. For further details, please refer to Council’s Media Release dated 25 March 2020.

upgrades-at-UWTP.jpg

Removal of the sand filter media as part of the upgrade works at the Uralla Water Treatment Plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there arsenic in the Uralla Town Water Supply?

The elevated levels of arsenic in the water supply is originating from groundwater entering the tributaries which flow into the Kentucky Creek Dam, which were the primary inflows into the Dam while the dam storage levels were low. These elevated levels of arsenic in the raw water supply has resulted in higher than usual concentrations of arsenic going through the treatment plant.

What is the difference between raw water and treated water?

Raw water is the untreated water contained in the Kentucky Creek Dam. Treated water refers to the town water supply which has been treated at the Uralla Water Treatment Plant.

Why is there more arsenic in the raw water supply?

The concentration of arsenic is higher in the raw water supply before it is treated at the Uralla Treatment Plant. While the treatment processes currently cannot remove all of the arsenic present in the water, the current treatment processes in place do remove some of the arsenic and therefore treated town water has a lower level than the raw water supply. The arsenic test data has been posted on here.

How is the arsenic going to be removed?

In conjunction with treatment specialists from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Water, Council has now commenced the improvements to the Uralla Treatment Plant. The upgrade plan involves replacing the sand in the water treatment plant’s filtration system with Granular Activated Carbon filter media to remove the inorganic arsenic compounds and pre-dosing the raw water entering the plant with ferric chloride to remove the organic arsenic compounds. This approach uses the existing sand filters at the water treatment plant. Council will not be installing the bank of Granular Activated Carbon filters originally considered.

Why is it taking so long to remove the arsenic from the water?

Council has needed to change its strategy of how to remove arsenic from the water supply as more information has been obtained. Any upgrades to the Water Treatment Plant must be practical and successful both now and for the future removal of arsenic should levels become elevated with a reduction in the storage level in Kentucky Creek Dam. Rigorous testing will be required once the solution has been implemented to ensure water quality is consistently within safe levels.

Are there other elements in the Uralla water supply?

Arsenic is the only element in the Uralla water supply which does not meet the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. Trace amounts of other minerals are present in the water supply, however these are all within acceptable levels. 

Arsenic Test Data

Testing Location Maps

Click on each map to enlarge.

test-location-map-01.jpg(JPG, 37KB)

WTP04 and WTP05

 

test-location-map-02.jpg(JPG, 58KB)

TP01 - TP09

test-location-map-03.jpg(JPG, 49KB)

WTP01, WTP02, WTP03, WTP06

 

Arsenic Test Data

The table below shows current test data from 12 March 2020 to 25 March 2020. Please click here for comprehensive arsenic test results.

Testing Agency Sample ID Sample Area Sample Date Parameter Result mg/L Test date
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001117 WTP01 - Raw 19/03/2020 Arsenic 0.021 20/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001118 WTP02 - Settled 19/03/2020 Arsenic 0.001 20/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001119 WTP03 - Final 19/03/2020 Arsenic 0.004 20/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001114 WTP04 - Retic - Depot 19/03/2020 Arsenic 0.013 20/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001112 WTP05 - Retic - Sport Complex 19/03/2020 Arsenic 0.010 20/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001113 WTP07 - Alma Park 19/03/2020 Arsenic 0.012 20/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001116 WTP09 - Fire Station 19/03/2020 Arsenic 0.009 20/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001115 WTP11 - D Philps 19/03/2020 Arsenic 0.012 20/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001069 WTP01 - Raw 16/03/2020 Arsenic 0.019 17/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001071 WTP02 - Settled 16/03/2020 Arsenic 0.001 17/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001070 WTP03 - Final 16/03/2020 Arsenic 0.004 17/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001066 WTP04 - Retic - Depot 16/03/2020 Arsenic 0.012 17/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001064 WTP05 - Retic - Sport Complex 16/03/2020 Arsenic 0.008 17/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001065 WTP07 - Alma Park 16/03/2020 Arsenic 0.009 17/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001068 WTP09 - Fire Station 16/03/2020 Arsenic 0.027 17/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001067 WTP11 - D Philps 16/03/2020 Arsenic 0.013 17/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001056 WTP01 - Raw 13/03/2020 Arsenic 0.012 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001055 WTP01 - Raw 13/03/2020 Arsenic 0.021 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001054 WTP01 - Raw 13/03/2020 Arsenic 0.023 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001053 WTP01 - Raw 13/03/2020 Arsenic 0.024 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001052 WTP01 - Raw 13/03/2020 Arsenic 0.031 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001051 WTP01 - Raw 13/03/2020 Arsenic 0.031 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001050 WTP01 - Raw 13/03/2020 Arsenic 0.033 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001049 WTP01 - Raw 13/03/2020 Arsenic 0.020 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001048 WTP01 - Raw 13/03/2020 Arsenic 0.022 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001047 WTP01 - Raw 13/03/2020 Arsenic 0.023 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001045 WTP01 - Raw 12/03/2020 Arsenic 0.020 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001046 WTP03 - Final 12/03/2020 Arsenic 0.008 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001042 WTP04 - Retic - Depot 12/03/2020 Arsenic 0.018 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001040 WTP05 - Retic - Sport Complex 12/03/2020 Arsenic 0.019 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001041 WTP07 - Alma Park 12/03/2020 Arsenic 0.012 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001044 WTP09 - Fire Station 12/03/2020 Arsenic 0.014 16/03/2020
NSW Health Pathology (FASS) 2020001043 WTP11 - D Philps 12/03/2020 Arsenic 0.013 16/03/2020

 

Drinking Water Monitoring Program Data

Please click on the links below to view the data of the Drinking Water Monitoring Programs conducted for the Bundarra and Uralla town water supplies. Results compiled show data for the past 10 years.

Bundarra Drinking Water Monitoring Program Data(PDF, 151KB)

Uralla Drinking Water Monitoring Program Data(PDF, 151KB)