Stage one of the Yass town water clean-up has been completed, but residents will still have to wait for guaranteed clean water to come from their taps.
For years, locals have complained that the town water is discoloured and has a distinctive aroma, with images posted on social media of residents bathing and washing up in brown water.
The NSW Minister for Lands and Water, Kevin Anderson, was in Yass on Wednesday 1 February, to announce that residents and businesses should see improvements in the town’s water quality with the completion of the $2.5 million upgrade to the Yass Water Treatment Plant.
“While Yass’s water has always been safe to drink, we listened to residents who reported water problems that needed urgent attention,” Mr Anderson said.
“This included iron and manganese that can impact the colour, texture and smell of the water which is why funding this stage of the project was a priority for the NSW Government.”
Mr Anderson said the upgraded infrastructure to the water plant would enhance the quality and reliability of Yass water, particularly during extreme weather conditions – of the kind which have affected the region recently.
“Water is our most precious asset and a basic human right, so we are continuing to invest in water infrastructure projects that will provide certainty for the people in our regions,” he said.
The now completed stage one of the water treament works includes the installation of bubble plume aeration at Yass Dam, upgrading the raw water sewerage pump station, improving chemical dosing and other urgent water treatment works.
The Mayor of Yass, Allan McGrath, thanked Yass residents on Wednesday for their patience, adding that the completion of this work was a win for locals.
“Council hs been working hard to get the job done and we will be keeping a close eye on the treatment process to ensure we get it right,” he said.
The Member for Goulburn, Wendy Tuckerman, said every community deserved access to good quality drinking water.
“This was a particular concern for Yass during the drought so the completion of this project is an important moment for Yass,” she said.
Mrs Tuckerman said the Yass work was part of a $14.7 million investment in the Goulburn electorate since 2011, with water quality and supply upgrades carried out already at Murrumbateman and Goulburn with sewerage improvements at Gunning, Dalton, Taralga and Murrumbateman.
The next step on the road towards improving the Yass water supply will be a final business case for the second stage of the Yass Murrumbateman Water Treatment Quality Improvement Project. The NSW Government has provided $640,000 to help fund this business case which will look at two options – a new water treatment plant or refurbishment of the existing plant.
Work is scheduled to start soon on the business case. It will then be submitted to the NSW Government for review before a final decision is made on how improved water infrastructure is delivered to the Yass Valley, Mrs Tuckerman said.