The council said that Mitchell Water was awarded the contract over other tenderers following an “extensive expression of interest and early tenderer involvement process” over the past year.
Bega Valley Shire Mayor Tony Allen said that the pipeline will be approximately 20 km long with a diameter of 450 mm and an initial pumping capacity of five megalitres per day, and that it would run mainly along the Princes Highway and through Wolumla.
“With the award of this contract, construction can commence on improving the water supply security of the existing Tantawangalo-Kiah system that supplies water to the urban areas in the south of the shire including Candelo, Wolumla, Merimbula, Tura Beach, Pambula, Pambula Beach and Eden,” Mr Allen said.
Bega Valley Shire Council Manager of Water and Sewerage Services Jim Collins told PPO News that the project would involve a three-stage pump station with the ability to increase the initial five to six megalitre per day capacity to up to 20 megalitres per day.
“As our region’s population grows, there is capability for putting additional pumps in,” Mr Collins said. “The pipeline itself has the capacity for 20 megalitres per day.”
Construction, which is expected to begin in the next eight weeks, will also include balance tanks and a pump station at the South Bega reservoirs. It will involve the replacement of chlorine and fluoride facilities at the South Bega reservoirs to service the Bega-Tathra System, as well as the conversion of the existing Wolumla reservoir to a balance tank.
“Once the work is commissioned we will be able to pump water from the Bega River during high flow times – water that would otherwise flow out to sea,” Mr Allen said. “This pipeline will enable us to drought-proof the southern half of the Shire without any impact on water supply in the northern half – everyone is a winner.”
The project is funded by the Bega Valley Shire Council, with a $A10 million contribution provided through the Australian Government’s Water for the Future Initiative as part of the Water Smart Australia Program. The council said that it is also currently seeking contributions from the New South Wales Government.