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Manual pumps maintain water to elevated Armidale homes

Temporary changes to pumping systems will help maintain water supplies to a section of Armidale experiencing a loss of water pressure, after a lightning strike severely damaged pumping equipment at Council’s northern water reservoir on Wednesday.

Council is running pumps manually during the day to at least partially restore water pressure to homes in the affected area during high and moderate-use periods, while permanent repairs are being undertaken.

“It will take several days for some necessary equipment to arrive but we remain optimistic the system will be fully restored and operational by late next week,” Council’s General Manager – Businesses, Scot MacDonald, said.

“In the meantime, the manual use of back-up pumps will enable us to maintain water supplies to homes in the most elevated sections of Armidale during periods of higher use, between 6am and 10pm.

“It is not feasible to operate these manual pumps outside these hours but typical usage during the low-demand periods should mean affected households will still have some water supply – although it is likely to be at a very low pressure.”

Mr MacDonald said even while the manual pumps are running, households could experience some reduction in water pressure at times.

“We encouraging residents to minimise their water use while the repairs are being carried out and, where practical, to time their water use outside the highest peak periods - which are typically around breakfast and dinner time,” he said.

“Households in this region have become very efficient in minimising water use during the ongoing drought. For the next week, there will be further impetus for households in the affected zone to minimise their use until the pumping equipment is restored.

The pump equipment damage has affected homes in the northern Armidale, Foothills Estate and Link Road areas (identified by light blue area on the map). Pumps are needed to direct town water to these areas because of their elevation, while the water reticulation systems to other sections of Armidale are gravity fed.


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