Parkes Shire Council reminds rural users to observe recommended water usage

Council warning to rural users after water supply compromised

Parkes Shire Council is urging rural residents accessing the Shire's standpipes under the drought response measures, to observe the recommended usage to ensure this vital drought support measure can continue.

The appeal comes after water supply to the townships of Bogan Gate, Trundle and Tullamore were compromised when water was excessively drawn from the Bogan Gate Standpipe resulting in Council having to shut down the service to allow reserves to replenish.

Councillors voted to adopt a suite of drought relief initiatives in August 2018 which included immediate access to water free of charge from Council's standpipes for rural users who are not connected to the town's water supply.

Parkes Shire Mayor, Cr Ken Keith OAM said the free standpipe water measure was introduced to ensure that our drought-affected rural residents not connected to the town supply have access to the water they need for essential domestic and stock use.

"Unfortunately, in some instances we have seen some users take advantage of this arrangement by using the potable water to fill dams," he said.

"Council are reminding users that the free standpipe water may only be used to fill tanks and troughs, as well as for domestic use."

Council says it may be forced to limit or revoke this measure should excessive use continue.

Users eligible for free water can refer to the Standpipe Terms of Use on Council's website which defines the acceptable types of use and average weekly usage limits per access card holder.

At a recent council meeting where water usage was being discussed, General Manager Mr Kent Boyd said it is an issue for construction projects, not only for council, but Inland Rail as well.

"I suspect as they go north into the areas where it is even drier it will be a bigger problem," he said.

"We are doing what we can to help them because if you stop access to our standpipes the work stops.

"We are trying to help our own crews but it is a problem in terms of how you get enough water into these construction jobs to keep them going and the engineers are working on that as an ongoing issue."

Council says residents can be assured that non-eligible users, including commercial entities, are being appropriately charged for water at commercial rates of $4.70 per kl, and their usage is being monitored.

Residents connected to the town water supply are not eligible for the free standpipe water program.

Find out more about accessing water from standpipes on Council's website https://www.parkes.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/standpipes/

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