1 April 2021

Severe water restrictions in place for Bermagui and Cobargo regions

| Albert McKnight
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Brogo River

Brogo River, seen near the BVSC pump station, in 2020. Photo: Supplied.

The Bermagui and Cobargo regions remain under severe water restrictions despite experiencing heavy rains in recent times.

On Tuesday, a Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) spokesperson confirmed the level 4 water restrictions for the Brogo-Bermagui water supply system were still current and that water was still being carted to Quaama and Cobargo.

“Restrictions are expected to ease in the next couple of days, as conditions improve,” the spokesperson said.

Level 4 water restrictions mean outdoor water use is restricted to essential health and safety purposes, so using water for things such as watering the garden and washing cars and boats is not permitted.

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Last week, BVSC said heavy rainfall across the Brogo River catchment had caused poor water quality at the pumping source and led to water carting from the Merimbula system until the quality improved.

“Runoff from the catchment has resulted in water at the Brogo River source that is too poor to treat with the temporary settling plant built following the Black Summer bushfires,” BVSC’s director of assets and operations Anthony McMahon said.

“To ensure high water quality is delivered to our Brogo-Bermagui water supply customers we have engaged local contractors to cart water from our Merimbula system.

“As a result, short-term Level 4 water restrictions are now in place for customers serviced by the Brogo-Bermagui water supply system to reduce water usage and minimise water carting by truck.”

Mr McMahon urged people using the Brogo-Bermagui supply to reduce their inside and outside water use to ensure there was enough for everyone.

“Please think about reducing time spent in the shower and how often you run your washing machine and dishwasher,” he said.

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“Without a significant reduction in demand there is a possibility we will need to resupply water from the Brogo River before it has reached desired quality levels.

“If this occurs, the water supplied to the system will likely be discoloured and may have a noticeable taste and smell resulting in the announcement of a boil water notice.”

The Brogo-Bermagui Water Supply System feeds Quaama, Cobargo, Bermagui, Beauty Point, Fairhaven, Wallaga Lake, Wallaga Lake Heights, Akolele and Wallaga Lake Koori Village.

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