Major failure at Peel River Pump Station

Tamworth Regional Council is imposing temporary emergency Level 3 water restrictions on Tamworth, Moonbi and Kootingal as a result of a major failure at the Peel River Pump Station.

The introduction of Level 3 water restrictions will apply to anyone connected to the town’s reticulated supply, including business and is designed to reduce demand to manageable levels whilst the pump station is out of action.

Tamworth Regional Council’s Director of Water and Waste, Bruce Logan, is appealing to the community to support this temporary intrusion.

“As a result of damage to the suction line at the Peel River Pump Station, Council will be limited in its ability to pump enough water to meet current demand, unless outdoor water is severely restricted,” Mr Logan said.

“If the community gets behind our call to notably restrict their outdoor use of water whilst we make urgent repairs to the Peel River Pump Station, then daily indoor water use should not be affected.”

The Peel River Pump station supplies raw water from the Peel River to the Calala Lane Water Treatment Plant and then consumers in Tamworth, Moonbi and Kootingal. Initial estimates by Mr Logan and his team suggest that repairs will take approximately seven days to complete.

“This morning, a contractor engaged to refurbish one of the three pumps at the Peel River Pump Station appears to have, whilst removing the pump, broken the only suction line from the river into the pump well.  This has caused the well to fill with water from the river and flood the pumps and motors,” Mr Logan said.

“As a result, the Peel River Pump Station is out of action until we can get rid of the water out of the well, identify and repair the break to the suction line, dry the electric motors and reinstate everything.

“We had one piece of luck – one of the three electric motors had already been removed to allow the pump to be removed so this motor was not flooded and will be available to be reconnected as soon as the well is dry and repairs to the suction can be carried out.”

Tamworth Regional Council has confirmed that it can supply the equivalent of an average winter day’s worth of water.

“Whilst the pump station is out of action, we are only able to supply around 20 Megalitres of water from the other sources to meet Tamworth’s current water demand.  20 Megalitres per day is about what Tamworth consumes when we severely limit outdoor watering,” Mr Logan said.

Under Level 3 restrictions, water use is restricted to internal use and essential external use only, such as cleaning of windscreens, pet enclosures or emergency purposes.  Watering of gardens and lawns is not permitted unless by hand and for reduced periods of time.

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