Boost to Orange’s water security welcomed

By November 26, 2019News, Water

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd has welcomed today’s announcement by the NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey of $5 million for two water security projects.

The funding announced today will go towards two projects :

  • $2.5 million for an expansion of Orange’s stormwater harvesting scheme which will boost the city’s secure yield of water
  • $2.5 million for the construction of a new 5 km pipeline from the Spring Creek dam to the Orange Water Treatment Plant.

Orange mayor said the two projects will make a major contribution to Orange’s future.

“I’m delighted the NSW Government has delivered the funds to let these two projects be built”, Cr Reg Kidd said. “They both have huge potential.”

“Orange’s stormwater harvesting system is already making a big difference to getting Orange through this drought. The brilliance of this system is that in the middle of a drought, it’s delivering water.

FUNDING : NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey meets Mayor Reg Kidd in Orange to discuss the two new projects.

“In September, we had below average rainfall, and because of the drought, that rain soaked into parched paddocks and there was no normal run-off. But with our stormwater harvesting we could collect run-off from streets and car-parks, and from those two rain events we were able to harvest eight days of water.

“We have two suburban creeks in Orange that are part of the stormwater harvesting, but currently only one of them, Ploughmans Creek, has a series of constructed wetlands. It’s the wetlands that smooth out sudden flows and let us harvest water for longer.

“This funding will let us build new wetlands on Blackman Swamp Creek at a site in north Orange alongside the bypass. That will increase the amount of water our stormwater harvesting can contribute each year. It will increase our secure yield of water.”

“The wetlands have a crucial role in taking the water that comes from suburban areas during a storm, and cleaning it up by letting it move slowly through a shallow wetland with lots of plants and lots of sunlight,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “Wetlands like this have been built in residential areas in Ploughmans Valley, Somerset and the Brooklands areas.”

“After Blackmans Swamp Creek leaves town and is boosted by flows from the east Orange stormwater channels, the water would reach the wetland where it could be accessed and pumped to the storage ponds. “Currently there’s only a small weir that allows for pumping only after heavy storms. The new wetland will even out the peaks as well as deliver cleaner water,” Cr Reg Kidd said.

Orange City Council’s Infrastructure Committee chair Cr Jeff Whitton said the proposal to build a new pipeline from Spring Creek dam to Orange’s Water Treatment Plant in Icely Road will deliver significant water savings.

“Currently when water is released from Spring Creek into Suma Park dam, the water flows along an open creek,” Cr Jeff Whitton said. “Whenever we release water from Spring Creek, as we did in September, we try to do it at a time when we can minimise the water losses that happen through evaporation and groundwater losses.”

“By building a pipeline, any water losses will be considerably less. It also gives us the flexibility, that if we have to, we can pump directly to the water treatment plant, by-passing Suma Park dam.”


STORAGE : The proposed new pipeline would connect with Spring Creek dam.

  • Orange City Council has already begun preliminary design work on the pipeline project.
  • The project would involve the upgrade of an existing pump station at Spring Creek dam.
  • Pending government approvals, it’s expected the project could go to tender in the first half of next year.
  • The proposed 375 mm diameter pipeline could transfer up to 9 megalitres ML per day from Spring Creek Dam direct to Icely Road Water Treatment Plant
  • Compared to transferring water by Gosling Creek, transferring water by pipeline would result in water savings of 3 – 4%

New wetlands:

  • It’s expected the new wetland area would store around 14 megalitres of water
  • Preliminary work on the design of the project and requirements for an environmental review have begun.
  • It’s estimated the new wetland would double the secure yield from Blackmans Swamp Creek, bringing the total for the Blackmans Scheme from 850 ML/year to 1,700 ML/year.

Leave a Reply