Water restrictions in Yass lifted after rain

Yass dam after the rains received over the past few days. Photo: Supplied
Yass dam after the rains received over the past few days. Photo: Supplied

Water restrictions in Yass township will soon be lifted after the downpour over the past few days has filled up the dam.

Rainfall totals have differed across the region, with reports ranging between 60mm and 100mm over the past three days.

"The dam is over-topping today and that is expected to continue for the next five to six days," Stan Robb, Council's director of infrastructure and assets, said.

"This means we can lift water restrictions in Yass, Bowning and Binalong and reduce Murrumbateman back down to Level One. We are, however, constantly monitoring water levels in the Yass Dam and our water usage across the Local Government Area.

"If we don't get continued rainfall over the next month, there is always a chance that water restrictions will need to be reintroduced."

There will be no restriction on the use of water in Yass, Binalong and Bowning from Tuesday, February 11.

Murrumbateman will go back down to level one water restrictions until the Yass to Murrumbateman pipeline project is complete.

Yass Valley Council introduced level one water restrictions at midnight on December 20, 2019, progressing to level two water restrictions at midnight on Sunday, January 19, 2020.

This was done to address the ongoing risk of water supply in the local government area posed by record heat extremes, continuing drought and a much faster rate of water evaporation.

Road grading to recommence

Road grading will recommence this week with grading to be undertaken on roads identified as a priority based on condition assessment.

The Yass Valley Council will re-introduce its usual maintenance program when there is greater certainty about water supply.

Water quality likely to be affected

The recent rains are likely to affect the quality of the Yass Valley drinking water.

Prolonged dry and very hot weather, followed by heavy rainfall, will almost certainly increase the manganese and iron concentrations in Yass Dam, which will affect the colour and palatability of our water supply. This may occur within the next 48 hours.

"The quality of our water is likely to be impacted by all the sediment flowing into the Yass Dam and we want to reassure residents that the water supply is safe to consume, despite potential discoloration, and everything will be done to rectify any issues, should they arise, as quickly as possible," Mr Robb said.

All efforts by Council will be made to conserve and redirect water if/when pipes need to be flushed during this time.

What residents can do to minimise discolouration

First run a tap located the closest to the water meter on your property boundary to see if the water is clear.

If the water at this tap is clear, it is likely that the pipes within the property are the cause of the discoloration. If the problem persists, you may need to contact a plumber.

If the water at the tap is not clear, it may be that the discoloured water is coming from the water supply network. Should this be the case, continue to run the tap for three to four minutes to see if the discolouration disappears. Collect this water in a bucket and use the water on your garden.

If the discolouration persists, please contact Council on 6226 1477 or Council@yass.nsw.gov.au Staff will visit your property at the earliest opportunity to flush near the water meter and/or nearby water mains and see if that rectifies the water discolouration issue.

We recommend that residents check water colour before washing laundry. Discoloured water can be used safely on gardens and lawns.

What residents can do to continue to conserve water

Using sprinklers (include pop-ups and micro sprays) or held-held hoses or drippers that do not cause pooling or run-off.

Washing your vehicle on grassed rather than paved surfaces, using a bucket or watering can or a hand held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle.

Filling and topping up private swimming pools with a hand held hose only and using a pool cover is encouraged.

Only hosing hard surfaces when cleaning is required as the result of an accident, fire, health hazard or other emergency.