Over the weekend, Council received a number of enquiries from the community regarding a change in taste and odour associated with the drinking water from the town supply.
Parkes' drinking water is assured under a Drinking Water Management System, required under the NSW Public Health Act 2010, that requires continual monitoring of drinking water production at the Parkes Water Treatment Plant. From Friday 12 February 2021 through until Monday 15 February 2021, there was no exceedance on any of the real-time monitored indicators and all water samples taken in the reticulation passed bench-top testing.
The temporary change in taste experienced by the community is due to a higher proportion of dam water being used. Naturally occurring chemicals in dam water due to catchment runoff and microbial activity can give the water an earthy taste.
Parkes Shire Mayor Cr Ken Keith OAM said, "Council was using a higher proportion of dam water as a result of the abundant supply in Lake Endeavour at the moment - this is due to very low demand from users, as a result of the excess rainfall we have recently received.
"The Parkes Water Treatment Plant draws water from three sources – the Lachlan River, the bore fields, and Lake Endeavour Dam. The raw water is mixed, filtered, and disinfected and the potable water is sent to reservoirs waiting for you to turn on your tap. Council operators test the drinking water network daily to ensure the water supply meets the requirements of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and is safe to drink," said Cr Keith.
Council's Director of Infrastructure Andrew Francis said, "The aesthetic quality of the water, taste and odour, are not monitored as they are subjective, meaning that members of the community taste in different ways and at different concentrations, and cause no harm. We appreciate the community providing their feedback on the taste and odour, as it helps us to identify the source and potential compounds for testing.
"To improve the aesthetic nature of the water, Council Operations staff have reduced the flow to the Water Treatment Plant from the dam and have increased the flow from the bores to dilute the taste causing compounds," said Mr Francis.
Council also continues to strengthen our Shire's water security through a number of initiatives, and drawing on various water sources including dams, river, bores and recycled water.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for their efforts in conserving water, which has enabled us to effectively manage our water supply and security," added Cr Keith.
For further information about Council's water supply, visit www.parkes.nsw.gov.au.