Water quality experts partner with Murrumbidgee

Water quality experts from WaterNSW will be in the Murrumbidgee on 8-9 May partnering with Murrumbidgee Council to explore ways to improve drinking water by reducing risks at the source of water used for local supplies.

Water quality experts from WaterNSW will be in Murrumbidgee on 8-9 May, partnering with Murrumbidgee Council to explore ways to improve drinking water by reducing risks at the source of water used for local supplies.

“WaterNSW is a national leader in the water sector, operating most of the large dams in NSW and protecting the health of the drinking water catchment that supplies the more than 5 million people of Greater Sydney,” said WaterNSW Executive Manager Strategy and Performance, Fiona Smith.

“One of the big lessons from the most recent drought is the water sector must collaborate more closely to build expertise and provide better access to niche skills outside normal local government functions.

“Some of those niche but critically important functions include catchment management and better ways to monitor and reduce risks at the source of water used in local town water supplies.

“This is why our experts are well placed to help councils identify risks and fast-track improvements to source water quality under the NSW Government’s Town Water Risk Reduction Program (TWRRP), which is an initiative of the NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW).

“The site visits to key source water locations at Jerilderie, Coleambally and Darlington Point are the next steps in our partnership with Murrumbidgee Council,” Fiona said.

Murrumbidgee Council seeks to improve drinking water supplies

Murrumbidgee was one of six regional councils that helped WaterNSW pilot phase one of the TWRRP in 2022.

“We’re delighted to again have our team working alongside Council water managers on opportunities to enhance the management of source water quality to ultimately reduce risk to drinking water supplies,” Fiona said.

Source water quality is a critical part of the multi-barrier approach to address risks to water quality throughout the whole of the water supply chain, from the raw water source in the catchment, water storages and transfer systems to treatment plants and delivery systems to customers’ taps.

“The multi-barrier approach recognises that while each individual barrier may not be able to completely remove or prevent contamination all of the time, they collectively provide greater assurance that the water supply will be safe,” Fiona said.

The TWRRP brings the strengths of major entities in the water sector, like WaterNSW, to local councils, providing extra support to help improve water security, quality, and reliability by enabling them to tap into the skills and knowledge that will best assist them.

WaterNSW has received NSW Government funding under the TWRRP to work with councils on dam safety risk assessments and to help improve raw water quality monitoring. Under the program, DCCEEW provides ongoing support and expertise, free of charge, to Councils to improve water treatment, including training to water operators and funding to Councils to carry out upgrades to plants.

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