Local News

Scone and Murrurundi BOIL WATER ALERT

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Residents in Scone and Murrurundi, there is  BOIL WATER ALERT in place.

Upper Hunter Shire Council have said that the recent heavy rainfall in the Glenbawn Dam catchment has caused problems with effective water
treatment making drinking water in the Scone water supply system and the Murrurundi (Murrurundi is affected due to water carting being sourced from the Scone water supply system; water supplied to Aberdeen, Merriwa and Cassilis is unaffected) water supply system register a poor raw water quality measurement.

Council released a statement last night and is asking residents "not to be alarmed, this action to boil all drinking water is a proactive and preventative measure to manage the risk and ensure the safety of residents."

The advice from Council is below:

How has it happened?
Recent rainfall has caused algae to form in Glenbawn Dam. While levels are relatively low, it still constitutes an ‘amber’ status as per the NSW Algal Advisory Group Guidelines, and WaterNSW (the dam operators) respond to this status by switching to the lowest level water offtake – in order to supply water that has the least chance to contain algae.

However, switching raw water supply to the low-level offtake has resulted in a steady increase in turbidity in the water. Based on the latest water quality results from the Scone water supply system, the turbidity is now too high to adequately guarantee the safety of the water for human consumption. This does not mean the water is unsafe – only that the risk of it being unsafe is too high.

Based on NSW Health advice, Upper Hunter Shire Council have issued a boiled water alert.

What Actions Should Residents Take?
Water used for drinking or food preparation should be brought to a rolling boil to make it safe.

Kettles with automatic shut off switches can do this. Water should then be allowed to cool and stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigerated.

Bottled water or cool boiled water should be used for drinking, washing uncooked food (e.g. salad vegetables and fruit), making ice, cleaning teeth, gargling and pet’s drinking water.

Dishes should be washed in hot soapy water or in a dishwasher. Children should take bottled water or cool boiled water to school.

If you cannot boil the water, unscented household bleach (containing 4% – 5% available chlorine) may be used. Add 2 drops of bleach to 1 litre of water (or 4 drops if the water is cloudy), mix well, and allow to stand for 30 minutes before use.

Upper Hunter Shire Council is working to fix the problem and will notify residents as soon as the water quality risk has returned to normal.

The NSW Health website also includes special considerations for:

- Schools and childcare centres
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/Pages/schools.aspx
- Commercial establishments serving food or drinks
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/Pages/foodfacts.aspx
- Using water header tanks
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/Pages/watertanks.aspx
- Swimming pools and spas
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/Pages/pools.aspx

This advice should be followed until further notice.