The site of the burst water main on Rushforth Road, South Grafton, yesterday morning.
The site of the burst water main on Rushforth Road, South Grafton, yesterday morning.

Main bursts: 2 million litres lost

ABOUT two million litres of water soaked the edges of Rushforth Road, South Grafton, yesterday after one of Grafton’s two 600mm-thick water mains burst at 10.30am.

The break in supply affected much of Grafton and South Grafton yesterday with Clarence Valley Council fielding calls from Grafton Base Hospital, Shoppingworld and the South Grafton abattoir about a break in supply.

Council’s operations engineer Frank Vaarwerk said council workers took about an hour to isolate the break and redirect the water supply from the town’s second water main.

“Some places experienced a loss of pressure, and others had no water at all,” he said.

Mr Vaarwerk said a ‘joining collar’ on the system, buried about 60cm underground, had broken for no apparant reason.

“It’s not clear exactly what happened,” he said. “I don’t think it was age, that section is only about 20 years old ... it’s just one of those things that happen.

“We were able to get onto it fairly quickly, we had staff at work ... it’s not like it happened at 3am on a Sunday morning.”

Mr Vaarwerk said the water had come from the 30-megalitre capacity Rushforth Road reservoir which was filled from the Nymboida River.

He said the reservoir was ‘almost always full’ and the break was not a threat to overall water supply.

Residents could expect some cloudy and possibly dirty water today as the Rushforth Road main comes back into line, Mr Vaarwerk said.

“This should clear up within 24 hours of the repair,” he said.

Mr Vaarwerk said the Shannon Creek Dam, which was completed last year, was still not in use as it had not reached a usable capacity.



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