Mungindi Level 4 water restrictions; special meeting to review Goondiwindi water restrictions

WITH recent heavy rainfall across the Shire and the Border River systems, Council has been evaluating the water restrictions in place for Mungindi.

Council confirmed Mungindi’s water restrictions will be returned to Level 4 Water Restrictions from Wednesday, February 19, 2020.

Level Five water restrictions have been in place for Mungindi since January 8, 2020.

Such restrictions were imposed under Council’s Water Supply Schemes Drought Management Plan based on the water consumption in Mungindi during the hotter months of the year, rainfall and having regard to formal advice received from WaterNSW that there will be no further planned water releases to supply water to Mungindi.

Further water releases were not envisaged until sufficient rainfall allowed the usual catchments to replenish their water supplies to allow for future water releases.

The reduction in water restrictions is based on:

Mungindi’s potable town water supply has been sourced 100 percent from the artesian bore and has been treated at the Mungindi water treatment plant using recent infrastructure upgrades.

The volumes of potable water being produced here have been sufficient to meet current water consumption demand at Mungindi on Level 5 water restrictions. With recent rainfall and less oppressive temperatures as we approach autumn, it is anticipated that the demand on water in Mungindi is stabilising.

The Mungindi weir pool is now at capacity. Prior to recent rainfalls, there was no alternative water source for Mungindi other than the artesian bore.

Whilst water is now available through the weir, Council is undertaking sampling to better understand the water quality from this source and how effectively it may be treated.

Council is awaiting advice from WaterNSW as to the likely flows from the Border Rivers system. Once an initial flush occurs from this source, it is anticipated that this will provide better quality water for Mungindi’s potable town water supply than that currently available at the weir. It is Council’s current intent to use these flows to supplement Mungindi’s potable town water supply through a combination of artesian water and river water to shore up capacity to supply Mungindi’s town water.

Over coming weeks and provided the flow is forthcoming, Council’s water team will be working through the operational requirements of adding river water back into Mungindi’s potable water supply. At all times, the paramount concern will be ensuring the supply of quality potable water to Mungindi residents.

Mayor Katrina Humphries noted the reduction to Level 4 water restrictions in Mungindi was a step in the right direction, stating “We are really pleased that recent rainfall and flows through the river system will allow us to reduce water restrictions in Mungindi.

“Of course, I would love to see Mungindi without water restrictions at all, but we need to ensure that operationally we can manage this and at all times, provide potable water to our Mungindi community,” Cr Humphries said.

“With water in the weir and more water likely on its way, Council now has options available to it to supplement the water supply in Mungindi. We just need to allow our water staff the time needed to ensure that water can be treated in the volumes needed.

“We will be continually updating the Mungindi community and hope to have a sliding scale of restriction removals,” she said                .

Further details of these water restrictions can be found on Council’s website within its Water Supply Schemes Drought Management Plan.

Level 4 Water Restrictions

The Water Supply Schemes Drought Management Plan adopted by Council outlines the process involved when advancing water restrictions and the applicable restrictions. For household water users in Mungindi:

Hand held hoses only to be used when watering lawns and gardens. Watering may only take place between 6:00am – 8:00am and 6:00pm – 8:00pm during summer. Buckets and recycled water may be used at any time;

Paved and concrete surfaces are not to be washed down;

Covered pools may only be topped up using hand held hoses during the hours allowed for general watering noted above;

Car washing can only occur at commercial car washes that recycle water;

Only water from a bucket can be used while undertaking home extensions or landscaping;

Water can only be carted for domestic purposes;

Washing of clothes is only permitted with full loads, adhering to the odds and even system;

Households with odd street numbers are permitted to use their washing machine on odd dates;

Households with even street numbers are permitted to use their washing machine on even dates;

Residents are encouraged to have short showers (between 3-5 minutes);

Pets are only to be washed using water from a bucket;

Residents are encouraged to reduce usage of evaporative air coolers;

All fountains are to be turned off and not to be topped up except for safety reasons.

For Commercial and Industrial water users Mungindi, the following restrictions will apply:

Irrigation (Efficient User) consumption should be reduced by 50%;

Irrigation (Non Efficient User) consumption should be reduced by 50%;

All fountains are to be turned off and not to be topped up except for safety reasons;

Public swimming pools are to be operated with maximum efficiency;

Water can only be carted for domestic purposes;

Businesses must make greater endeavours to minimise water usage;

Car washing can only occur at commercial car washes that recycle water;

Only commercial car washes that recycle water will be allowed to operate;

 Washing of commercial buildings and windows is banned.

Residents and local businesses are required to follow all water restrictions. 

Meanwhile, Goondiwindi Regional Council mayor Graeme Scheu has called a Special Meeting for Wednesday, February 19 to review water restriction levels across all towns in the Goondiwindi region.

Cr Scheu said a significant change in the region’s river flows over the weekend has prompted the need for water restrictions to be reviewed.

Cr Scheu assured residents that Council acknowledges the region is still in drought and said that the decision to review any water restrictions would be informed by Council’s Drought Management Plan.

“Following the disappointing rainfall that had originally missed the Macintyre catchment over the last few weeks, things changed greatly over the weekend,” Cr Scheu explained.

“The Macintyre River peaked at 4.4m over the weekend, which is by no means a massive flood, but is a good start.”

Cr Scheu said that an additional heavy downpour in the traprock and upper catchment area of the region has seen extra storage in both Glenlyon and Coolmunda Dam.

“The inflows have reached many of our water storage areas and also triggered high flow pumping in Queensland,” Cr Scheu said.

The Special meeting will be held in the Council Chambers at 4 McLean Street, Goondiwindi on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, commencing at 9am.

Media Release: February 18, 2020