Dubbo water reservoirs undergo special inspections

Inspections are underway at Dubbo’s water reservoirs following the boil water alert for parts of Dubbo earlier this month.

Birds were found to be the source of E. coli contamination in the Myall Street reticulation zone. Dubbo Regional Council’s director of technical services Stewart McLeod said the reservoir in question has been cleaned.

“Further bird proofing has been installed and Council are investigating installing additional cameras with the capability of picking up bird activity in the ceiling and access areas of the reservoir,” Mr McLeod said.

“Council has already engaged a specialist reservoir maintenance contracting company to inspect all reservoirs and undertake any urgent bird proofing repairs discovered during their inspections.

“Inspections have commenced and are ongoing.”

Former deputy mayor Ben Shields said the contamination was part of a larger problem.

A report by the former Dubbo City Council reveals a maintenance backlog at council’s reservoirs, Mr Shields said.

The Drinking Water Management System Annual Report reveals defects, including damage to roof panels, at some reservoirs went unchecked for at least five months between March 2015 and February 2016.

In September, 2015, defects were identified at nine of council’s reservoirs, with just one – “Bird Proofing damaged” at Myall Street Reservoir 2 – marked as repaired.

Seven of those reservoirs with defects remained on the list in February this year. Bird proofing at Myall Street Reservoir 2 was again damaged.

“This is quite serious...they know that they’ve got some problems when it comes to maintenance at these reservoirs,” Mr Shields said.

Mr McLeod confirmed many of the defects were yet to be fixed, but said “maintenance items are systematically programmed for future attention”.

“Urgent items are dealt with urgently. Less urgent items are deferred until they can be efficiently undertaken as part of contract,” he said.

Some works are part of a contract for Dubbo Reservoir Roof Rectification Work being project-managed by NSW Public Works, he said.