Gunnedah Shire Council is asking residents to get in touch with ideas for using the water that will be drained from the town's outdoor pool.
However, it has warned, time is of the essence and not all suggestions may be feasible.
About 1.5ML must be drained from the new 50m pool so a leak can be repaired in the movement joint.
Council general manager Eric Groth told the NVI that staff stopped adding chlorine to the water when they realised the pool was leaking, so it could be suitable for stock. They are doing further testing.
"We'll make sure the water gets to people who need it," he said.
Mr Groth said the repair must be done "as soon as possible" because a "sizeable amount of water is being lost from the pool daily".
"We'll be pumping it out as quickly as we can," he said.
Mr Groth stressed that the cost of repair and water losses would be covered under the contractor's defect liability period.
"Fixing the pool properly and not at the community's expense is the first priority, so if we need to delay [the early opening], we will," Mr Groth said.
"The last thing I want to see is the community wearing any further cost."
Mr Groth said the council first suspected a leak in early August and investigated whether the 25m or 50m pool was the cause.
He said increased water use wasn't an obvious cause because the pool had gone from six lanes to eight and used more water.
The 50m pool automatically tops up, so the device was turned off and the council soon realised the level was falling.
The last thing I want to see is the community wearing any further cost.Eric Groth, Gunnedah Shire Council
Staff called contractor Hines Constructions three weeks ago and Swimplex sent divers to investigate. Using coloured dye, they were able to trace it back to the movement joint, which runs across the middle of the pool.
"We don't know the full extent of how much the seal is damaged or how much of the joint is a problem," Mr Groth said.
The contractor has proposed a solution and the council is getting advice from a third party on a course of action.
Mr Groth said they were also seeking advice from architects about whether the structure would be affected when it was drained.
"We've got a bit of a burn platform in wanting to open the pool early," he said.
He said the pool had been checked off and approved by a third party and tested before the December 2018 reopening, and neither process had revealed a leak.