TasWater will be holding community consultations to encourage property owners in Bushy Park and Glenora to have their say about the future of their water supply options.
The consultations will discuss a proposal to connect Bushy Park and Glenora to a pipeline from Lake Fenton which is being built to improve the supply to nearby Gretna, overcoming long standing problems with the quality of drinking water in the town.
TasWater CEO, Michael Brewster, says the new pipeline’s proximity provides the ideal opportunity to now offer Bushy Park and Glenora the chance to be connected to the TasWater reticulation network.
So far several community information sessions hosted by TasWater have gained a good level of support from locals who have attended but many more residents need to assess what water sources they plan to access in the future if a TasWater supply is not extended to the Bushy Park and Glenora community.
The Derwent Valley Council has committed $500,000 to the project but is contingent on community support.
The council has also advised that beyond 2016, it will no longer pay for maintenance of the pumps which Hop Producers Australia (HPA) manages on behalf of the community to supply water to households in Bushy Park and Glenora. Likewise, HPA no longer wish to supply this water for domestic purposes as it is untreated and subject to runoff from agricultural catchments which greatly impacts water quality.
TasWater is prepared to introduce a drinking water supply to Bushy Park and Glenora if there is around 80 per cent community support. While committed to the project, its go ahead hinges on support from residents.
Given the demands placed upon TasWater resources to improve water and sewerage services across the state, it may be many years before the opportunity is revisited if the community chooses not to back the proposal this time round.
Property owners are reminded that support for the new water system does not mean they must connect. TasWater acknowledges that as the connection cost of $2083.50 (current estimate) may mean that some property owners are reluctant to commit, it will consider a payment plan.
“A new water scheme will bring many benefits to Bushy Park and Glenora including safe, clean drinking water which meets Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. TasWater will be responsible for providing water and maintaining infrastructure as well as providing a reliable supply of water for firefighting with the installation of fire hydrants,” TasWater’s CEO, Michael Brewster said.
TasWater’s next step in gauging community support is a phone survey due to take place in September. Over the next three years TasWater is planning to spend around $330 million dollars in upgrading water and sewerage services across Tasmania.