Town water breakdown demonstrates
value of backup supply, says Mayor
COWRA Shire’s Water Treatment Plant was returned to service on Friday evening after a 24-hour shutdown caused by mechanical failure.
While the repair of the river pumps was a priority for council staff, it was not a major emergency given the backup water supply now available from Lake Rowlands near Neville, says Mayor of Cowra Bill West.
The shutdown demonstrated the importance of the recently completed $4.5 million emergency water pipeline to provide an emergency feed from Central Tablelands Waters’ main pipeline east of Woodstock.
“This is the type of situation that the 33km pipeline was designed for; for times when Cowra’s primary water supply is reduced or threatened due to drought or mechanical problems,” says Cr West.
“During last Thursday after the breakdown of the pumps in the river, preparations were made to call on this emergency supply.
“Even though it wasn’t required to source water in this instance, having the emergency supply available indicates its value,” says Cr West.
Council staff is still investigating the cause of the breakdown after becoming aware of the problem on Thursday afternoon.
The immediate cause is believed to be a valve failure that led to the motors that drive the pump being inundated, forcing the shutdown of the treatment plant.
“A replacement motor was shipped from Newcastle, arriving Friday afternoon, and was fitted immediately,” says Cowra Council’s acting general manager, Michael Carter.
“Council staff worked well under pressure to bring the river supply back on line around 9pm on Friday.”
The damaged motors are being refurbished and are expected to be back in service as soon as possible, Mr Carter says.