Armidale is another step closer to greater water security, with plans for an $11.5 million pipeline and pump station upgrade officially set in motion.

Armidale Regional Council officials signed an agreement that formalises funding for an $11.5 million upgrade of the pump station and pipeline linking Puddledock Dam to the region’s town water network.

The NSW Government has committed $5.77 million to the project, following support from the Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall.

Armidale Regional Council Mayor, Simon Murray, said the project was an important step towards bringing greater water security to the region.

“A more robust connection to Puddledock Dam will help to supplement supplies during any future droughts and if there are interruptions to supply from Malpas Dam,” Mr Murray said.

Puddledock Dam, constructed in 1928, is Armidale’s secondary source of raw water, with a capacity of 70ML. However, its pipeline has a top flow of 5.5ML per day, while Armidale’s average demand is 14ML per day in summer and can peak at 20ML per day.

“Its current capacity is barely sufficient to meet Armidale’s demand in winter, if the Malpas Dam supply was temporarily shut down because of equipment failure or algal blooms,” Mr Murray said.

“This fantastic support from the NSW Government will help give us a reliable, year-round backup so residents and business are not left without water for an extended period if Malpas Dam goes offline.”

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