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Hunter Water has begun a project to supply water to residents living inside the Williamtown Investigation Area, following water contamination around the Williamtown Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base.

In early 2016, fire-fighting foam chemicals PFOS/PFOA were found in some surface water, groundwaters and in small numbers of fish in areas around the RAAF base.

Since the discovery, residents were advised not to use water sourced from private bores and many families in the Investigation Area have been relying on bottled water for drinking.

Hunter Water Interim CEO Jeremy Bath said the $3.5million project to supply town water to the 165 homes and businesses was a priority for the Williamtown residents.

“I hope having access to town water residents sourced from Hunter Water’s network will provide some much needed relief,” Mr Bath said.

“Hunter Water publishes monthly the results of independent laboratory testing of its water sources, demonstrating that its water is free of PFOS/ PFOA contamination.

“Hunter Water has fast tracked the 12km watermain project to provide town water to those people living inside the Investigation Area, having been told this is a project of significance to the NSW Government.”

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC said the NSW Government had stepped up to support Williamtown residents by funding the water connection.

“The NSW Government recognised the enormous impact the investigation and uncertainty have had on the community and therefore provided funding for Hunter Water to connect the residents, businesses and Salt Ash Public School to its system.

“Funding the $3.5million project to connect properties in the Investigation Area to town water follows strong advocacy by the Community Reference Group, including a meeting with Premier Mike Baird in December 2015,” Mr MacDonald said.

The project connecting residents in the Investigation Area to Hunter Water’s network is being delivered in a series of stages, with the first to be completed by June 2016 and the final by July 2017.

Jessica Dickers is an experienced journalist, editor and content creator who is currently the Editor of Utility’s sister publication, Infrastructure. With a strong writing background, Jessica has experience in journalism, editing, print production, content marketing, event program creation, PR and editorial management. Her favourite part of her role as editor is collaborating with the sector to put together the best industry-leading content for the audience.

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