Rains provide welcome boost to Macquarie

WELCOME SIGHT: Water flows from the end of the Macquarie River pipeline into Suma Park Dam. Photo: SUPPLIED

WELCOME SIGHT: Water flows from the end of the Macquarie River pipeline into Suma Park Dam. Photo: SUPPLIED

STEADY rainfall on has driven the Macquarie River pipeline back into action after months of dry weather. 

The falls on Thursday night and into Friday pushed the river past the 119-megalitre threshold Orange City Council needed to start pumping.

It marked the first time the pipeline has operated since February. 

The council aimed to pump almost 12 megalitres and as of Friday afternoon, it was pumping 175 litres a second.

The stormwater harvesting scheme has contributed 6.5 megalitres a day for the past 10 days, with 168 megalitres in storage.

Natural surface runoff from the Summer Hill catchment into the dam reached about 1.8 megalitres a day, with 12 megalitres taken out of Suma Park Dam daily for domestic use.

The dam is currently at 47 per cent capacity, with total water storage at almost 54 per cent.

Inflows have kept storage stable for the past two weeks.

If we can reduce our water usage even further and we get a few good spring and summer rains we can avoid level three water restrictions.

Deputy mayor Sam Romano

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said storage would be much lower had the pipeline not been used in December and February.

“Council made the tough decisions in the past and fought hard to get the Macquarie Pipeline project off the ground and the storm water harvesting scheme constructed, and we’re now reaping that benefit,” he said.

However, deputy mayor Sam Romano said it was important everyone did their bit to save water. 

“It’s fantastic that our community is using less than 170 litres per person per day,” he said.

“If we can reduce our water usage even further and we get a few good spring and summer rains we can avoid level three water restrictions.”

Water-saving tips

  • Take shorter showers, this also saves on water heating. 
  • Collect water in a bucket while waiting for the shower to get hot.
  • Insulate hot water pipes to avoid wasting water while waiting for hot water to flow through.
  • Make sure your hot water system thermostat is not set too high. 
  • Fix dripping taps – they can waste up to 20,000 litres a year. 
  • Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth. 
  • Don’t rinse your razor under a running tap, fill the basin with warm water instead. 
  • Only use the dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load.

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