2020 Jan/Feb: Geurie (NSW) Boil Water Alert Turbidity, Manganese, Colour

Dubbo Regional Council surveys residents on water quality, satisfaction


Sep 16 2020

Dubbo Regional Council should be doing more to encourage water conservation, according to almost two-thirds of the respondants of a recent survey.

In July and August, council surveyed more than 700 people in the local government area to ask about their satisfaction with their water and sewerage service.

The level of satisfaction with response times to water supply problems grew from 56 per cent who were satisfied in 2017 to 80 per cent in 2020.

The satisfaction with the workmanship also increased from 78 per cent to 88 per cent.

But 63 per cent of respondants said council should do more to encourage water conservation.

Concerns were also raised about water quality in Mumbil, especially around the hardness of the water, that is the level of minerals in the water.

Geurie residents also reported problems with their water supply, mainly the quality and colour of water.

Council attributed the complaints to the dirty water and turbidity issues experienced in the town as a result of the drought and poor river quality following a period of heavy rainfall.

The water filtration plan has since been since been upgraded.

Dubbo deputy mayor Stephen Lawrence said the survey gave a “pretty interesting” insight into the community.

“It was interesting to me particularly that of those who answered, 63 per cent believe council should do more in respect of water conservation,” Cr Lawrence said.

“I thought that was an interesting response to get in July and August 2020 when we imposed water restrictions last year at a very high level and that was something that cause a lot of consternation and opinion in the community…”

But the deputy mayor said the response of the survey was comforting because it showed council had its finger on the pulse of the community

Geurie Alert Lifted 25 February 2020

The precautionary Boil Water Alert for Geurie has been lifted today.

Dubbo Regional Council director infrastructure Julian Geddes said water treated at the Geurie plant was now consistently meeting Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

“We have lifted the precautionary Boiled Water Alert effective immediately. Residents are no longer required to boil water in Geurie,” he said.

“We thank the residents of Geurie for their co-operation and patience over the past four weeks. It has helped us during a challenging and unusual time in returning the town’s water to acceptable standards.”

Geurie had been on a Boil Water Alert since 30 January after rain and dust storms produced unusually high levels of turbidity in the Macquarie River and flows into the treatment plant.

Boiled water alert: Wellington, Geurie still affected says Dubbo Regional Council

Feb 14 2020


Water quality in Geurie and Wellington is improving but it’s still not good enough to drink, says Dubbo Regional Council.

On Friday, council’s director infrastructure Julian Geddes confirmed the boil water alert would remain in place because the river was high in manganese and turbidity.

Mr Geddes said there had been improvement, but not to the level where the water was consistently meeting the drinking water guidelines.

“We do appreciate it is inconvenient for people to have to boil water but once again, our primary focus is people’s health. It’s a precautionary boiled water alert,” he said.

“It is dragging on longer than anyone would like and we want to make sure people don’t become complacent, and continue to boil their water for drinking brushing their teeth, preparing fresh veggies, babies bottles, things like that.”

It’s safe to shower and wash clothes in the water.

Western NSW Local Health District health protection manager Priscilla Stanley said there was a risk of gastro symptoms if the water was consumed. However, she said to date, no one from Geurie or Wellington had been sick.

For now, the Dubbo water remains safe to consume.

“Dubbo water treatment plant is operating within those drinking water guidelines, we’re quite happy with how it’s performing at the moment, but it’s taking water from the same source so it also has to work quite hard to meet those guidelines,” Mr Geddes said.

“We do also have the option in Dubbo of drawing from clean bore water sources as well. That does help the circumstances as well.”

The high turbidity and manganese have been caused by heavy downfalls in the river. In the long term, however, the rain will help repair the river and prevent the current issues.

“As the country recovers and we get more grass and groundcover it will stop all that sediment from washing into the river in the future. The country is looking like it’s recovering really well, there’s a lot of green grass poking up around the place and it’s looking really good,” Mr Geddes said.

“But some of those downfalls we’ve had in the past week have been quite heavy in isolated patches which has created a lot of that sediment.”

Mr Geddes said he was grateful to the residents of Geurie and Wellington for their patience.