River flows to determine whether pipeline will run

THE Macquarie Pipeline could be taken for its first spin by the end of the year as Orange City Council seeks to boost its water storage.

The pipeline has remained unused since it was opened in July 2015 due to a policy guiding its use, which is reviewed quarterly. 

However, a review in late September led to a decision to not only utilise the pipeline during the October to December quarter, but the stormwater harvesting system and the council’s two bores at Clifton Grove and Orange Showground. 

“A Bureau of Meteorology forecast for neutral conditions, in combination with a prediction of higher demands as seasonal temperatures increase, is expected to see all supplementary supplies switched on during the quarter,” the report said. 

The report said the showground bore began operating on October 20, while the Clifton Grove bore and the stormwater harvesting were expected to turn on this month. 

Mayor Reg Kidd said stormwater harvesting would be brought into play during storms.

“We’ve also got water in the holding pond that gets settled and treated,” he said.

But the pipeline’s use is far from assured. 

The report said the pipeline would be switched on toward the end of the quarter, but the Macquarie River has to be flowing faster than 108 megalitres a day to pump.

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The council will also advertise the use of the pipeline this week. 

“That’s part of the consent, we have to let people know,” Cr Kidd said. 

“Depending how much the dam goes down over the summer period, touch wood we won’t have to use it.”

Suma Park Dam’s storage was just below 72 per cent, while Orange’s total storage was at almost 76 per cent capacity as of November 10. 

As of late last month, residents were using 200 litres of water a day, still well below the level two water restriction target of 240 litres a day.

Under level two, residents are allowed to water their gardens from 6am-9am and 6pm-9pm every second day, using the odds and evens system.

Cars must be washed on the lawn between 9am and noon with a hose with a trigger nozzle.

Swimming pools and spas can be filled or topped up any day between 7am-9am and 6pm-8pm and filling water features is also allowed. 

Hosing down walls and paved areas is not allowed.