Dozens of local suburbs are being urged to conserve water in the coming days due to the ongoing extreme weather.
Heavy rain and floods have swept high volumes of leaves, dirt, and other debris into the raw water catchment, making the usual demand for drinking water more difficult to meet. This has posed significant challenges for the Orchard Hills water filtration plant.
“As such, we are asking residents in this catchment area to reduce their water usage while our filtration systems are working harder than usual to filter and clean the raw water to make it safe. Drinking water is safe – a short term reduction in demand helps the plant catch up as it filters out more silt and debris churned up by the rainfall,” Sydney Water said in a statement.
The ‘conserve water alert’ applies to homes and businesses in Caddens, Cambridge Gardens, Cambridge Park, Castlereagh, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Cranebrook, Dunheved, Emu Heights, Emu Plains, Erskine Park, Glenmore Park, Jamisontown, Jordan Springs, Kingswood, Kingswood Park, Lemongrove, Leonay, Llandilo, Londonderry, North St Marys, Oxley Park, Penrith, Regentville, Ropes Crossing, South Penrith, Orchard Hills, St Clair, St Marys, Werrington County and Werrington Downs.
Sydney Water’s General Manager Customer Delivery, Bernie Sheridan, said the conserve water alert has been issued in an effort to conserve our safe drinking supply while the filtration system is impacted by heavy rain and flooding.
“We understand Warragamba Dam is full and spilling at record rates, so it seems strange to ask our customers to voluntarily conserve water, but this helps us ensure a consistent supply,” Mr Sheridan said.
“I really need to stress that the drinking water is clean, it is simply that the system’s ability to produce drinking water is slower than normal.
“All of our teams are working overtime due to very large levels of silt and debris entering our system which ultimately slows down our ability to clean our water supply and provide clean drinking water to our customers.”
Sydney Water is urging customers to reduce non-essential water use such as hosing off driveways and hard services post flooding and reduce essential water use by taking shorter showers or using the half flush on your toilet.
“What we need to do is give our plants a chance to recover and catch up now so that when people want to start cleaning up there will still be an adequate supply of drinking water,” Mr Sheridan said.