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Walgett water update

Walgett water quality has improved significantly since the town switched to river water permanently last week – with sodium levels now under 80 milligrams per litre.

“Successfully delivering the switchover from bore water to river water in Walgett was one of my key priorities as the Minister for Water,” Ms Jackson said.

“The town has been on river water permanently for the past 7 days and the water treatment plant is working effectively to treat it to a high standard which is great news.

“It is imperative that people have access to safe drinking water and that the Walgett community know the status of their water supply. When incomplete information is distributed it is unsettling for locals.

“I have said several times, there is no quick fix when it comes to addressing water issues in remote areas. These things always take time. However, I want to thank our water experts for going the extra mile to support Walgett Council as they have worked to resolve these issues and perfect the river water treatment process.

“More importantly, I want to acknowledge the local community and residents and thank them for their patience and understanding while we worked to get the town back on river water. I will always be a strong advocate for the people of NSW to have access to safe, palatable drinking water as the bare minimum. The sodium levels are well below the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines’ limit of 180 milligrams per litre.

“What this means is the river water treatment process is spot on and that local residents are now getting clean drinking water that has very little salt content which has improved the quality and taste of the town water supply.

“While all water has some sodium in it, the levels in the river water are less than half the normal aesthetic limit which means it doesn’t need to be filtered by a reverse osmosis plant at this stage.

“Walgett Council had to switch back and forth between bore and river water during the initial switchover as they got up to scratch with the more complex river water treatment process, and to enable them to carry out minor upgrades to the plant.

“The reality is that bore water will always be in the mix. The bores were installed to provide Walgett with an alternative water source to lean on during droughts and other emergencies such as bushfires and floods, and when there are issues with the river water treatment process.

“But Council’s intention is to use the Namoi River as its permanent day-to-day town water supply and, so far, the process is working well now that minor upgrades have been made to the plant and staff have been trained in how to use the equipment.

“The reverse osmosis plant will also be overhauled so it can filter sand and sodium levels whenever they need to rely solely on bore water.”

Minister Jackson in Walgett.
Walgett water quality has improved.