Focus on fixing our town water

READERS will remember our article from earlier in the year on the local survey being held to gauge the community’s views on the quality of the Bombala town water supply.

Now the survey is complete, and it seems that 286 people at least are dissatisfied with the water that comes from our taps, with the most passionate among them referring to it as “putrid” and “revolting”.

The survey was started by Arthur and Dina Dracopoulos of the Cosmo Café in July this year, and was taken to the November meeting of the Bombala Council.

Dina explains that while there are still the same ongoing problems with our water’s varying taste, discolouration and smell, the meeting itself was productive.

“The biggest thing that we wanted to come from all of this was for Council to acknowledge that there is a problem with the water supply and to commit to doing something about rectifying it,” she said.

“I felt that my presentation to the Council was genuinely accepted, that the problem was recognised and progress will now be made.”

During the meeting it was confirmed that sand filters are currently used for the town water supply, which allows sediment to pass through into the tap water.

While chlorine ensures that any harmful bacteria is removed and the water is safe to drink, it does not remove the sediment, which Council acknowledges is at a reasonably high level.

Council committed to monitoring the water more closely and trying to make the quality more consistent by avoiding the chemical imbalance that can cause discolouration and other problems.

Dina was informed that the water is regularly tested and has been confirmed as fit for consumption, although Council indicated that high - but acceptable - levels of aluminium had also been detected.

The Dracopoulos’s have requested that these test results be made available to the community.

“Another aim of this whole process is getting Council to communicate more effectively with the community and to keep us informed on what is actually happening with the water,” Dina said.

Ultimately it seems that Bombala requires a brand new water plant to ensure top water quality, and Council has indicated that it will work towards this goal in the next ten years.

In the meantime the Dracopoulos family intends to keep pushing to ensure that Council follows through with improving the consistency of our water quality up until that time.

“We respect that Council has a big job ahead of it and that improving the water will be quite a process,” Dina said.

“We believe that the right person is now addressing the issues and ensuring that the correct procedures are in place to deliver better quality water, while also looking at further ways of improving it.

“Having said that, we will continue to push the matter, as no one should have to buy filters, or buy their water. We deserve to be able to drink the tap water that we pay tariffs for.”

While the Dracopoulos family have received plenty of thank yous from locals grateful that they have taken up this cause, they themselves thank the community for its support and its input into their original survey.

“We felt we had to continue with this process as we had gotten such a big response form the community, and it really made us feel committed to taking action,” Arthur said.

“We consider this a health issue as much as anything else, and we’re pleased to be helping work towards a favourable outcome.”

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