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Water in and around the home

Water Reuse

Rainwater Tanks

Rainwater tanks are a very effective way of saving water around the home but they need to be installed correctly and comply with development regulations. Tanks that can store a maximum of 10,000 litres of water don't normally need council approval but rainwater tanks are large, very heavy when full and can cause harm if they aren’t installed or maintained correctly.

Greywater

If you want to use the water from your rainwater tank in your toilet or washing machine, you must: apply to connect assess the site check your backflow requirements. You may need to install a property specific backflow device.

Greywater

Greywater is the wastewater generated from your washing machine, shower, bath and basins. If used safely, it can be used for watering lawns and gardens. There are three ways that you can use greywater in your own home:
Manual bucketing - collecting water from either the washing machine or the shower in a bucket for reuse outside on gardens or lawns. Exercise caution though as untreated water from a bath shower and washing machine may contain bacteria, detergents, cleaning agents and waste material which may not be suitable for garden use.

Greywater diversion devices (GDDs) - involves the installation of a device to redirect greywater to the garden or lawn via a sub-surface irrigation system. GDDs require thorough and constant monitoring by the owner/operator. Failure to do so, may result in the device failing, pollution and /or health risks.

Greywater treatment systems - enables you to use treated greywater for toilets, washing machines and on gardens and lawns. Council approval is required and you will need a plumber to install the system.

For unsewered premises (or where there is an on site sewage management facility), greywater must be treated prior to use and Council needs to approve the system, as outlined in the On-Site Sewage Management Policy.

Recycled Water

Recycled water is wastewater that's been used in homes and businesses and put it through a multi-step treatment process at the sewage treatment plant to remove impurities. It is deemed to be non-potable water and can be used without undue risk to the community.

Water recycling is becoming a critical element for managing our water resources. Moree Plains Shire Council uses recycled water at the golf course, sports ovals and at the cemetery. Maximising the use of recycled water (treated effluent) is a key action in Council's Integrated Water Cycle Management and Demand Management strategies.

Treated recycled water is able to be used for a number of purposes including:

  • Irrigating agricultural crops
  • parks, gardens
  • golf courses - by safely irrigating recycled water
  • sustainable development can be achieved while conserving our high quality water supplies.

Being able to access alternative safe water sources is particularly critical in times of drought. Furthermore, substances that can be pollutants when discharged to waterways (ie nitrogen and phosphorus) can be beneficially reused on:

  • Irrigation
  • industrial sites for dust control
  • industrial cooling purposes
  • Domestic non-potable use such as toilet flushing, laundries and gardens

Fluoridation

Moree Plains Shire Council introduced fluoride into the water supplies of Moree, Mungindi, Boggabilla and Pallamallawa in 2006.

The water already has a natural concentration of fluoride and Council adds fluorosilicic acid to meet the requirements of 1 milligram per litre (1 ppm). This is under the direction of the Department of Health (DoH) to protect against tooth decay.

Residents who do not wish to drink fluoridated water may consider drinking bottled water available through the supermarket. Our local plumbers can give advice on providing specialist filters or alternative water supplies.

Why is fluoridation used?

Water fluoridation has been found to be effective in preventing dental decay, even in the presence of other fluoride vehicles such as toothpaste with fluoride. The National Health and Medical Research Council has proven water fluoridation remains the most effective and socially equitable measure of achieving community-wide reduction in dental decay.

Is water fluoridation safe?

The National Health and Medical Research Council Water established that water fluoridation as a safe and effective public health procedure.

Potable (treated) and Non Potable Water (untreated)

Constant water quality testing and monitoring ensures the water supply network provides a high quality and reliable water source for households and businesses in Moree Plains. We do this by implementing the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG, 2011) framework and the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) risk based management system. These standards combined, assist in the prevention of biological, chemical, and physical hazards to our water supply. All water quality analytical work is performed by a NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities) registered laboratory. The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines govern Moree Plains Shire Council’s water quality operations and monitoring.

Council supplies both treated potable (drinking water) and untreated non-potable (not for drinking) water to residents throughout the Shire via water treatment plants.

Across the Shire, the treatment plants deliver approximately 3178 mega litres of drinking water each year and 34mega litres (approximately) of untreated water and 655 mega litres of recycled water.

Potable water (treated)

Drinking water is water that has been treated (or is naturally pristine) and is safe to use as drinking water and for cooking.

The potable water supply in Moree, Mungindi, Boggabilla and Pallamallawa have water treatment plants which provide the community with potable (drinking quality) water which is required to meet the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) 2011.

Moree’s water is from a treated bore supply.

The Boggabilla and Mungindi water supplies are pumped from the Macintrye and Barwon Rivers respectively. The plants have filtration systems to produce the highest quality drinking water. At times when the river levels drops or after a rain event, the amount of sediment and turbidity in the rivers create ‘dirty‘ water, which deteriorates the water quality (taste and odour), so we occassionally impose water restrictions.

Occasionally incidents affect drinking water quality. These may include changing source water conditions such as flooding, detection of Escherichia coli (e.Coli) bacteria and/or blooms of cyanobacteria (blue green algae).

The NSW Health response protocols provide guidance on managing physical, chemical and microbiological quality of drinking water and/or treatment failure. Water suppliers in consultation with their local Public Health Unit may issue a boil water alert or other warnings to protect the health of consumers. 

Non potable water (untreated)

Non-potable water is not fit for drinking, food preparation, cleaning teeth or activities such as bathing or showering but can be used in other areas of domestic life such as the laundry, flushing the toilet, gardens, stock and domestic animals. Non-drinking water has no protection against disease-causing organisms or heavy metals that may contaminate the water.

In the communities Boggabilla, Boomi, Garah, Weemelah and Gurley, the water supplied by Council is an untreated bore supply and should not be used for internal household and domestic use. The non-potable supply is only for fire fighting and yard watering in these villages. Property owners are responsible for providing their own drinking water supplies and this can be sourced from private bores, rain water tanks filled by either rain water or licensed water carters.

Non-drinking water can be used for:
•Laundry
•Garden use (subject to permanent water saving measures)
•Stock and domestic animals
•Toilet flushing
*Fire fighting


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