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The quality of Council's drinking water is regularly monitored and analysed against the values in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. This allows Council to monitor the physical, chemical and microbiological properties of our drinking water. Council's water consistently meets these guidelines and is safe to drink.
The main water supply (other than the village systems of Wooli and Minnie Water) in the Clarence Valley is sourced from the pristine Nymboida River, part of the Clarence River catchment area. The Nymboida River also gravity feeds water to Shanon Creek Dam when required.
If the Nymboida River cannot be used as source water due to low flow, less than 225 Megalitres (ML) a day or the turbidity is too high, such as after a wet weather event or flood, our water is sourced from the off stream storage of Shannon Creek Dam. Overall, Shannon Creek Dam is used to supply the Clarence Valley’s water about 5% of the time. The flow of the river, the daily consumption and the amount of storage remaining in the dam is available on the homepage of this website.
Under the Regional Water Supply Scheme, the Nymboida River and Shannon Creek Dam are both used to supply Coffs Habour with raw water for its storage dam. The same operating conditions apply, so if the river is not able to be used, water is transferred to Coffs Habour from Shannon Creek Dam. More information about the regional scheme can be found on the Coffs Habour Council website, link is here.
Water from the Nymboida River or Shannon Creek Dam is treated at the Rushforth Road Water Treatment Plant located just outside of South Grafton. The treatment process involves prechlorination, pH correction, chloramination disinfection and fluoridation. The water is then distributed throughout the Clarence Valley using a network of pipework and reservoirs.
Water for the Lower River areas (such as Maclean, Yamba, Iluka, Brooms Head etc.) is piped to a 21ML reservoir at Maclean. Due to the long distance the water travels, the chlorine residual is very low by the time it reaches this reservoir. For this reason the water is re-chlorinated at the 21ML reservoir to ensure a lasting residual, which protects the water from any sources of recontamination in the distribution system (further information on the addition of chlorine to water supplies is available below). The water is then distributed through a series of pipes and reservoirs around the Lower River.
The quality of Council's drinking water is monitored regularly (more than 20 drinking water samples each week) and analysed independently at a NSW Health laboratory against the values in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. This allows Council to monitor the physical, chemical and microbiological properties of our drinking water. Council's water consistently meets these guidelines and is safe to drink. In August 2014 Council adopted a Drinking Water Management System (DWMS) that outlines how Council ensures drinking water meets the Australian Drinking Water Guideline requirements. You can download a summary of Council’s Risk Assessment DWMS - Download a summary of Council’s risk assessment and DWMS.
If ever the water does not comply with the health limits set in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and the water is unsafe for drinking, Council will inform the community as soon as possible through a variety of communication channels (including this website).
Minnie Water and Wooli water is sourced from the pristine lakes of Lake Minnie Water and Lake Hiawatha. The water from both sources is pH adjusted and chlorinated prior to being stored in reservoirs and distributed to the villages.
Lake Minnie Water with Lake Hiawatha in the background.