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Gloucester water to get $21 million upgrade

Water pressure troubles will soon be a thing of the past for residents of the New South Wales mid-north coast town of Gloucester, after MidCoast Council recently signed off on a $21 million upgrade to the water supply network.

The project will comprise the construction of a seven megalitre reservoir, as well as a second, small elevated reservoir, built on the council’s existing Cemetery Road site, which will then be connected to a water treatment plant via a pipeline.

A gravity main will also be constructed, linking the Cemetery Road site to a nearby industrial area, and several other mains throughout the network will be upgraded.

“We’re really excited to see this project get underway as it’s going to address a lot of historical issues with Gloucester’s water supply network,” said Rob Scott, MidCoast Council's Director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services.

“Not only can residents expect consistent water pressure once the upgrade is done, they can also look forward to an improvement in water quality, as the increased storage provided by the new reservoirs means our operators don’t have to draw from the river during periods of wet weather and high turbidity.

“The experience we had with recent flooding highlights how important this upgrade is.”

The location and elevation of Gloucester’s current water supply means adequate water pressure can only be achieved with pressure booster pumping stations, which deliver pressure fluctuations and fail entirely during blackouts. The improved network will no longer rely on the pressure booster pumping stations.

The upgrade is expected to take around 12 months to complete. Work is expected to begin in June.

A larger project, focused on improving Gloucester’s water security, is still on the council’s long-term agenda, but the project is likely to take much longer, and require more planning and community input.

“We’re committed to improving Gloucester’s water security, but it’s an expensive project that’s going to require a lot of planning and community consultation,” said Scott.

“Right now we’re still in those early planning stages.”