CURLEWIS residents will have access to better drinking water within a year after waiting for almost a decade.
The construction of a new water pipeline for the village started with a sod-turning ceremony yesterday.
The $5.2 million, 15.8km pipeline will improve water quality and capacity to the village, which has been calling for an upgrade in water infrastructure for years.
The project is expected to take 42 weeks to complete.
Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey said the pipeline was a long time in the making.
“Our villages are very important to the economic development of the Gunnedah shire,” Cr Chaffey said.
“I know that this has been an issue for some time and it is nice to be able to deliver this vital piece of infrastructure to the residents of Curlewis.
“By improving the infrastructure services of Curlewis we are promoting growth of the town so it remains a stable part of the Gunnedah shire’s future.
“Another aspect of this project that is pleasing is that the contractors for this project, TCM Civil, will be looking to not only employ local workers from within the shire but will also look to use local sub-contractors whenever possible as well.”
Gunnedah Shire Council water services engineer Kevin Sheridan said the project would improve the village’s water supply in a number of ways.
“The water at Curlewis has been getting worse over the years,” Mr Sheridan said.
“There has been some acidic issues with the water supply – it’s been very hard and it’s above the Australian drinking water guidelines by a long way – and hopefully we will be able to improve that in terms of hardness and chloride and sodium levels as well.”
Mr Sheridan said as well as improved water quality, the construction of two 500-kilolitre concrete water storage reservoirs would ensure ample water supply for Curlewis residents.
“This project has been in the pipeline for about a decade now and that is due to a long exploration process undertaken by council, the consideration of which option would be best to follow and, finally, funding,” he said.
“It’s great to see it get off the ground.”
“As well as constructing the pipeline, the contractors will construct the reservoirs, which are going to improve water security for Curlewis.”