Friday, 27 August 2010
Tenders for the drilling of new bores as part of the extended groundwater investigations at Barraba will be advertised next week and Tamworth Regional Council expects that actual work could start as early as mid October.
Water Enterprises director Bruce Logan says Tamworth Regional Council is likely to select the successful tenderer for the works at its meeting on 28 September and would hope to get down to business soon after.
The latest groundwater investigations come just as the town’s supply dam Connors Creek has peaked at 100% capacity and is overflowing. It is the highest the dam has been since September 2007. The dam has increased by nearly 25% in over a week.
Despite Connors Creek Dam’s top level the town’s supply is currently being sourced from the Barraba Creek and Manilla River which have maintained flows over the past few weeks.
Drilling for possible new bores will involve up to 10 new sites on road reserves and Crown land at Barraba. All bores drilled will be at least 400 metres from any existing bores and 400 metres from the Manilla River. The final selection of the sites will be made after consultation with the succesful driller and consultant hydrogeologists.
Tamworth Regional Council lodged five separate applications for the licenses in July and is waiting to finalise a couple of those now but expects that to be completed within a couple of weeks. Drilling is expected to be performed progressively. Preliminary tests lasting about a week will be performed at each bore that yields water.
The good rainfall in and around Barraba has also allowed the two month recovery period for the bore trials of the James Street to end next week after pumping from the bores ended on 30 June 2010. Monitoring of the James Street bores and other adjacent bores shows that most have recovered to pre-trial standing levels or close to it.
The recovery rates of bores in the area is an integral part of assessing the sustainability of the James Street bores and with the completion of the recovery period the official assessment by the consultant SKM can begin now.
Mr Logan says Tamworth Regional Council can expect a final report on the James Street bore sustainability trial at the end of November. Hopefully this report will coincide with results from the additional groundwater investigations which will give a more detailed picture of the Barraba groundwater options before January.
Meanwhile a brief for the Split Rock Dam to Barraba Pipeline Feasibility study is being finalized. Under the terms of state government funding, the brief has to be approved by the NSW Office of Water before the study can commence. It is expected to be signed off after approval by the Country Town Water Supply Steering Committee next month. Tamworth Regional Council says it hopes to get approval for the study shortly after the meeting with preliminary indications that the work will take about six months to complete.