How many properties are included in this project?
There are 68 properties north of the Dungog Water Treatment Plant with direct connections to the Chichester Trunk Gravity Main. To date the team have met with more than 40 properties to assess their individual needs and determine the most appropriate drinking water solution.We are now preparing tailored plans for each property and will continue discussions to finalise solutions with individual customers over the coming months.
Who is eligible to take up the offer?
All customers with a CTGM raw water
connection are eligible for a potable water solution, including those who have
recently disconnected as a result of communications from Hunter Water.
Who will pay for the works?
Hunter Water has committed to fund
and deliver a drinking water solution for each property with a direct
connection to the CTGM north of the Dungog Water Treatment Plant.
What are the solutions on offer?
We investigated and selected two drinking water supply solutions based on engineering advice and community feedback.
We have outlined these options below:
On-property rainwater tank system (primary)
Rainwater tanks will provide the most suitable solutions for the majority of properties.
• Steel tanks will be provided by Hunter Water.
• Size will be tailored to suit customer needs.
• Customers will be responsible for ongoing maintenance, however costs should be minimal.
Point of Entry water treatment
A filter may be suitable where a tank is not feasible or on-site infrastructure makes filtering more viable, such as commercial or tourism operators.
• A treatment kit filters and disinfects the CTGM water before it is used by the customer.
• Effectiveness may vary, and may not be effective when the water is highly turbid.
• The customer will be responsible for maintaining complex equipment.
• The kits may have a relatively high maintenance burden and cost for customers into the future.The project team is working closely with each property owner to identify the most appropriate solution to meet their needs.
How will we deliver these solutions?
We have engaged Mullane Plumbing to manage the installation of the rainwater tanks with filtration and point-of-entry system, and complete all associated plumbing works.
Our team will oversee the works and continue to liaise directly with property owners to ensure a good outcome.
Who is responsible for maintaining the rainwater tank and filtration system?
Hunter Water customers are responsible for maintaining infrastructure on their property. This includes pipework, pumps and filtration systems. Infrastructure installed under the project will be owned by the property owner which is consistent with the obligations for other Hunter Water customers.
Will I still have access to the CTGM water?
Yes. Connections to the CTGM can be maintained for customers for non-potable purposes, such as irrigation, farming, toilets and washing machines.
Customers will need to enter into a new agreement governing the continued use of CTGM water for non-potable purposes.
Has the quality of the CTGM water changed?
The quality of the unfiltered water from the CTGM has not changed.
Rather, Hunter Water’s understanding of risks in the Chichester catchment has developed over time and in accordance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines show that the unfiltered water is not safe for human consumption due to agricultural activities in the catchment.
Will the price for the unfiltered CTGM water remain the same?
Customers receiving unfiltered water from the CTGM have received a discount since 2000 to reflect the water quality and reliability constraints of this service.
The discounted price is set by the Independent Pricing Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) every four years. The price is fixed during the period, which ends on 30 June 2020.
The next four year price period starts on 1 July 2020. Hunter Water has recently started planning for the next price review. Over the next 12 months and beyond, we will be asking customers for their input on issues relating to our prices, strategic direction and the services we deliver. IPART will review the unfiltered water pricing as part of this assessment.
Learn more about the price review at yourvoice.hunterwater.com.au/Price-Review-2019.
Is rainwater safe to drink?
Yes. NSW Health guidelines recognise that a maintained rainwater tank system is an appropriate drinking water source for residential rural properties, which is the case for many residents in the greater Hunter and throughout regional NSW.
As part of this project, Hunter Water is also installing filters on rainwater tanks.
Find out more about rainwater tanks at www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/Pages/rainwater.aspx.
Will backflow prevention be required?
Properties connecting to Hunter Water’s system require an appropriate backflow prevention mechanism to ensure that water or contaminants from the property cannot enter the wider supply system.
Backflow prevention and any needs for your property will be discussed at the site visit.
Learn more about backflow prevention at www.hunterwater.com.au/Building-and-Development/Plumbers/Backflow-Prevention.aspx
Why is Hunter Water offering a drinking water supply solution?
As you may be aware, customers north of the Dungog Water Treatment Plant with a direct connection to the CTGM receive unfiltered water that has not been treated to the standard required by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
In light of these health concerns, and in
recognition of the long term relationship we have had with our customers here,
we have committed to fund and deliver a drinking water solution for each property
before the end of 2018.