TasWater has awarded a contract to build a 29km pipeline between Tasmanian towns Fingal and Avoca to help supply Avoca with fully treated drinking water.

The construction work will be carried out by a Tasmanian company, Water Industry Solutions, and is expected to begin by September 2016.

Avoca has mainly drawn its water from the South Esk River but following the detection of cadmium and lead in excess of acceptable levels, the town supply has been subject to a Do Not Consume notice.

TasWater CEO Michael Brewster said several alternatives were considered, including bore water, collecting rain water at individual properties or carting water by road to replenish the town’s reservoir.

“Following a full assessment of the options, a pipeline, which brings water from the new Fingal water treatment plant, was considered the most practical and sustainable long term solution.”

Mr Brewster said the new treatment plant had more than enough capacity to meet the needs of both towns.

The pipeline will be constructed mainly along existing road side easements, feeding fully treated water into the local Avoca Reservoir which will comply with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

The town’s existing chlorination system will be retained to boost chlorination levels in the water after arriving from Fingal.

The pipeline itself will be designed in a way that minimises the risk of damage, avoiding the risk of interrupting the supply between Fingal and Avoca.

“The Fingal-Avoca pipeline is an important part of TasWater’s ongoing commitment to the Tasmanian community. Around $100 million is being spent each year to upgrade our infrastructure and improving the quality of drinking water is a priority.”

The project is expected to be complete by the the start of 2017.

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