While many other country towns are facing critical water shortages, Narrabri is fortunate to have an abundance of water under its homes and streets.

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And a major upgrade of the town’s water security and delivery system is well advanced.

Narrabri Shire councillors inspected progress on part of the project, construction of two new water storage tanks, on Friday.

The Narrabri Water Supply Augmentation Project is a partnership between the NSW State Government and the Narrabri Shire Council.

The $14.16 million project, now 76 per cent financially completed, includes the construction of water supply mains, along with security of supply and capacity improvement works, the upgrade of pump stations and reservoirs.

New pipes have been laid across town and construction of the two new water storage tanks, each with a capacity of 5.5 megalitres, is well advanced next to Narrabri Saleyards.

“These tanks will hold up to five days of the town’s demand,” said the council’s director, Infrastructure Delivery, Darren Raek.

“The new tanks also signal the start of a major water pipe replacement program that will be integral to Narrabri’s future development.

“The tanks are the centralised storage point for all Narrabri water,” said Mr Raek.

“Water will be collected from the Elizabeth Street, Tibbereena and Killarney Street bores via dedicated pipelines.

“The two large storages will allow some of the naturally occurring iron and manganese sediment to be settled from the water prior to being pumped back into the reticulation system.

“Further settling will occur in each of the elevated towers at Mooloobar, Hinds, Selina and Doyle Street.

“Inlet and outlet pipe modifications are now done at Mooloobar and Hinds Street reservoirs.

“The Selina Street reservoir is currently receiving major modifications to the pipework.

“Doyle Street reservoir works are expected to start on December 7 and are anticipated to be completed before Christmas,” said Mr Raek.

This work and new tanks will improve the turnover of water within the tank which is expected to improve the water quality and reduce the risk of low chlorine levels.

“This is a big improvement on our town water supply,” said Mr Raek.

“It will make a big difference.

“There are still a few months to go. It should be commissioned about April next year.

“After April we would undertake a flushing and potentially an air scouring of the reticulation system to clean the pipes and then beyond that people should see an improvement in their water.

“This is not a filtration system,” he added.

“This is a security of supply and a pressure and flow improvement rather than a water quality project.”

Narrabri is fortunate in its access to undergound water.

“The water for Narrabri comes from the Great Artesian Basin and is currently not under any pressures from the drought,” said Mr Raek.

“We have very good water security.”

“This security of supply gives Narrabri a strategic advantage in terms of its ability to service the water supply needs of a growing community and to offer businesses confidence in the availability of water.”

In June, testing revealed the new Killarney Street bore was capable of sustaining a yield of 80 litres per second at 25 metres of head.

The Killarney Street bore, the bore in front of The Crossing Theatre and the Elizabeth Street bore will all feed into the new tanks.