Bega Valley Shire Council and NSW Health are introducing a Boil Water Notice as a precautionary measure for the Brogo-Bermagui water supply system from 11pm tonight - Thursday, August 6.
After this time water will be supplied from the Brogo River to replenish reservoirs and will not meet the required standards.
This situation has occurred following the recent significant rainfall and in preparation for more rainfall over the weekend.
It applies to the townships and localities of Quaama, Cobargo, Bermagui, Beauty Point, Fairhaven, Wallaga Lake, Wallaga Lake Heights, Wallaga Lake Koori Village and Akolele, and the trunk main customers in these areas.
Thursday afternoon until 11pm the water is safe to drink and can be stored for later drinking use in appropriate water containers. From 11pm onwards until further notice the precautionary boil water notice will be in effect.
Council recommends all water for consumption, food preparation, the cleaning of teeth and ice making should be boiled before use. The water can then be allowed to cool and stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigerated.
Dishes should be washed in hot soapy water, or in a dishwasher, and children should take boiled or bottled water to school.
The Brogo-Bermagui water supply system is unfiltered, with the water disinfected with chlorine only. The Brogo River is the main source of water for the system.
A temporary water settling plant was constructed following the bushfires in the catchment and has been used successfully to treat the water following two rainfall events that have occurred in recent weeks. This has prevented council from being required to issue boil water notices until now.
However, the rainfall event in late July had a significant impact on river water quality which meant the temporary water settling plant was not able to consistently produce the volume of water required to meet demand and keep town reservoirs full.
BVSC director of assets and operations Anthony McMahon said while council understands the inconvenience that a boil water notice causes people, "our reservoirs have now reached a point that we must resupply water from the Brogo River without running it through the temporary settling plant in preparation for more rain this weekend".
"Water supply and quality has been maintained since the first rainfall event in mid-July through water sourced from Couria Creek, the temporary settling plant at Upper Brogo and existing water stored in town reservoirs," Mr McMahon said.
"We will be working with NSW Health to lift the boil water notice as soon as possible.
"Moving forward a water filtration plant is the solution for this type of event and we are in the process of designing a water filtration plant for construction in 2021."
It is important to stress that the water supplies in all other areas of the Shire are currently unaffected.
Residents and businesses in the impacted area will be advised when the boil water notice is lifted through council's website and Facebook page and the local media, and council encouraged those with concerns to go to the NSW Health website for more detailed information on boil water notices.
For further information on this situation contact Council's Environmental Health Coordinator, Myf Appleton, on (02) 6499 2222.