3 August 2021

Council takes next step in Yass Water Treatment Plant upgrade

Start the conversation
Yass resident Tom O’Dea shows the brown water that pours from his taps.

Days of smelly, discoloured water should be reduced once the first stage of a water treatment plant upgrade is completed. Photo: Supplied.

Yass Valley Council has accepted a $2.543 million grant from the NSW Government’s Housing Acceleration Fund to complete stage one of the Yass Water Treatment Plant upgrade.

Under stage one, council will install bubble plume aeration at Yass Dam, upgrade the raw water pump station and complete urgent works at the Yass Water Treatment Plant.

Yass Valley Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Assets, James Dugdell, said this should reduce the number of days residents experience water discolouration and/or water with a noticeable odour.

“Stage one will enable council to manage the treatment process more closely by controlling the rate at which water is processed through the treatment plant,” Mr Dugdell said.

“It will also assist with providing a more consistent quality of raw water during periods of low rain.”

Construction of stage one is due to begin in October 2021 and finish in January 2022, weather and COVID-19 restrictions permitting. Meanwhile, work on the business case and design for stages two and three will commence.

READ ALSO Ongoing project funds needed to support Yass Valley growth

Stage two is a new water treatment plant that will ensure Yass Valley residents consistently receive high-quality drinking water. Stage three will refurbish the existing treatment plant for use when the new plant is undergoing long-term maintenance or experiencing excessive demand.

“The existing plant cannot produce water of the quality required under all operating requirements. High levels of organic compounds, manganese and iron from heavy rain will not be mitigated by the stage one upgrades,” Mr Dugdell said.

“The current plant does not treat the water for hardness. The new plant will be capable of treating all raw water quality issues present at Yass Dam.”

The current Yass Water Treatment Plant

The current Yass Water Treatment Plant. Photo: Yass Council.

Council has been advocating for a new water treatment plant to address plant operational, safety and water quality issues for several years.

While the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (Water) has approved stage one, it has queried the comprehensive nature of the upgrade proposed by council for a range of technical, operational and cost-related reasons.

READ ALSO MP moves to dampen Yass residents’ water woes

“Council and its consultant, Hunter H20, completed a very detailed study of Yass Dam and the raw water quality to ensure that the design for the new water treatment plant meets all health and water quality guidelines,” Mr Dugdell said.

“After receiving feedback from DPIE (Water), council engaged an experienced peer reviewer, City Water Technology, to conduct a peer review of all council and Hunter H20’s proposal.

“The peer-review confirmed the need for the new water treatment plant to deliver the water quality requirements. The electrical control circuits in the 31-year-old plant are no longer suitable and a full upgrade is required to reduce the risk of unacceptable outages and disruptions to the water supply.

“Council will continue to work with DPIE (Water) and NSW Health as the regulating authorities to ensure the best outcome for the community.”

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.