AFTER three days of allowing local drought stricken farmers access to testing waters from the Gunnedah pool, Gunnedah Shire Council has begun draining the remaining water.
The Namoi Valley Independent can reveal of the two-megalitres of water available from the pool, only 100,000 litres was collected – only 5 per cent of the total water available.
Gunnedah Shire Council’s acting director of infrastructure services, Daniel Noble, said the decision to drain the testing water was part of the council’s plan.
"The decision to drain the testing water from the new 50-metre pool was made to ensure the project remained on track and would allow for the next stage of tiling to go ahead,” Mr Noble said.
The non-potable water was used to test the concrete of the new pool to establish if there were any leaks.
After the tests showed there were none, the council allowed locals to collect water to fill up tanks and dams.
Water trucks began rolling in on Monday to collect the testing water.
The council also used some of the water for the shire’s parks and gardens maintenance.
Pumping of the pool testing water into a nearby storm water drain began on Wednesday afternoon.
“Draining the testing water from the pool into the storm water drain was always part of the project's plan,” Mr Noble said.
"Many options in terms of what to do with the water were discussed and we kept the window of opportunity for the community to claim water open for as long as we could."
Mr Noble said he wasn’t sure how many locals had taken advantage of the free testing water.
“About 100,000 litres of testing water was taken by members of the public and council for parks and gardens,” he said.
“I’m not sure of the exact number of people who collected water but what was taken, that roughly makes up about five per cent of the testing water that was used.”
The acting director said the project was still on track despite the council having extended the water collection period by two days from Monday to Wednesday.
“Project contractors Hines Construction changed their schedule to allow for some of the water to be claimed but it has not delayed the completion date of the project,” he said.
“The next stage of the project will be the tiling of the new 50-metre pool. The project is still on target.”
One local who did take advantage of the free water was Steve Lord who collected several truck loads of water from the pool on Monday.
“We’re down to pretty much no water at all at the moment,” Mr Lord said.
“We have been buying it but now they are giving it away from the pool testing, I decided I would capitialise on that and try and fill some tanks and the dam at my place.”