Work in progress to fix Bombala's water woes

The quality of Bombala’s tap water has come under heavy criticism by residents saying that it is undrinkable and causing skin irritations.

“The water is so bad that my dog won’t drink it, I have to take him to the river for a drink,” Jen Farrell at Bombala’s Robbo’s Gifts said.

For that reason, among others, Ms Farrell has started a petition online at calling for action from the regional council to provide clean water in Bombala.

The petition has more than 100 signatures in under two days since being posted. Click here for details

Ms Farrell’s petition asks why in the 21st Century residents are being subjected to dirty water coming from their taps?

“The town of Bombala has been complaining about the state of their drinking water for years.

“We have to wash our children in it, we wash our clothes in it and spend a fortune on bottled water so we don’t have to drink it,” the petition states.

The Buy, Swap, Sell Bombala Facebook page also has many comments made about the quality of Bombala’s water.

Snowy Monaro Regional Council has just recently approved a combined $2million worth of upgrades to the water and sewage treatment plants in Bombala and Delegate.

Council administrator Dean Lynch said the council wanted to get the water to drinkable quality and that it was “ridiculous” that it had taken so long.

The council allocated the funding to upgrade the treatment plants in Bombala and Delegate following an emergency last year where the Bombala water supply was below acceptable Australian standards.

Discoloured water from Bombala taps

Discoloured water from Bombala taps

“We were nearly issued with a government boil all water warning, which we averted by immediately getting staff down to the Collumbooka treatment plant where they replaced the intake valve with a new one,” Mr Lynch said.

“Water quality out of the treatment plant has dramatically improved, but is now coming into a piping system that hasn’t been adequately maintained and the reason that people are still getting discoloured water is because the pipes are so dirty.

“We are now working to rectify this problem with council staff working to clean the Bombala pipe system.

“We have staff working in Bombala using an ‘Ice-Pig’ to clean the pipes,” he said.

Ice pigging is the process of pumping semi-solid ice flake slush into water mains, and propelling it through the pipeline to scour the pipes.

Mr Lynch said that residents are going to have to take a deep breath because the process won’t happen overnight as council staff carry out the process of cleaning the pipes.

He said some water will remain discoloured for a while yet, but assures residents that the water is safe. Work is also being undertaken at the treatment plant to upgrade the electrical control system.