Guyra to Malpas Dam pipeline progressing quicker than expected, Armidale Regional Council says

(Photo - Armidale Regional Council)
(Photo - Armidale Regional Council)

Crews laying the Guyra to Malpas Dam pipeline are progressing quicker than expected, an Armidale Regional Council spokesman said.

They have already finished 5.5 km of the 15 km pipeline - more than a third - in less than a month, and the project is on schedule to finish near the end of August.

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The $13 million pipeline is intended to provide water security for the Guyra township and commercial operators during particularly dry periods. The NSW government has contributed more than $12 million, and council $475,000.

Some Guyra residents thought that the pipeline would take two years to complete, and are concerned about a shorter completion date.

The project was originally scheduled to take around a year, including the design and construction phases. Design of the pipeline and accompanying structures began around the start of September.

(Photo - Armidale Regional Council)

(Photo - Armidale Regional Council)

Work began in the 2018/19 financial year, and finishes in the 2019/20 financial year. This may have led to a perception of a two-year period for the project, the Council spokesman said.

Some locals were also worried about the pipeline's effect on the Gara river downstream, where Malpas Dam sources its water from. One woman said there was no flow in the river, due to decreasing levels of water in Malpas Dam.

Releases to the Gara River would continue as per Macleay River Water Sharing Plan requirements, Council said. Water cannot be taken from the Gara River or the Gara Dam after it ceases to flow.

The work also includes construction of a new pump station at Malpas Dam and a powdered activated carbon unit at Council's Guyra depot to treat water in the pipeline. A new water filtration facility (which some locals expected) has never been part of the project.