NSW Health Water Branch in Sydney has advised Bega Valley Shire Council to introduce a Boil Water Notice as a precautionary measure following the recent rain within the Brogo River water supply catchment.
It applies to townships and villages of Quaama, Cobargo, Bermagui, Beauty Point, Fairhaven, Wallaga Lake, Wallaga Lake Heights, Wallaga Lake Koori Village, Akolele and also trunk main customers in these areas.
Council recommends that all water for consumption, food preparation, cleaning of teeth and ice making should be boiled before use. Water can then be allowed to cool and stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigerated.
Dishes should be washed in hot soapy water or in a dishwasher and children should take boiled or bottled water to school.
BVSC manager of water and sewerage services Jim Collins said fine suspended solids such as clay, silt and organic matter, termed turbidity, increase in the Brogo River following catchment rainfall and increased river flow.
“When this happens the river pumps are turned off to allow the first flush water in the river to pass and to maintain good quality water in the system reservoirs for as long as possible,” he said.
“Ultimately though the pumps need to be restarted to ensure continued water supply.”
BVSC said it has been in discussion with NSW Health about the situation and what practical measures are necessary for recommencing supply. The Brogo-Bermagui water supply system is an unfiltered water supply system with water disinfected with chlorine only.
Advice from NSW Health Water Branch is that a boil water notice should be introduced as a precautionary measure due to the elevated turbidity in the river and lifted when river water quality improves.
“Council understands the inconvenience that a boil water notice causes people. We will be working with NSW Health to lift the boil water notice as soon as possible.
“A water filtration plant remains the long term solution,” Mr Collins said.
Upon the river water turbidity dropping below the level recommended by NSW Health, the precautionary boil water notice will be lifted and residents advised through local media, council's website and Facebook page at that time.
Council encouraged residents to go to the NSW Health website for more detailed information on boiled water notices.
Please note that water supplies in all other areas of the shire are currently unaffected.
For further information contact council on 6499 2222.