Bundarra residents have been boiling their water for more than three weeks now, after Uralla Shire Council marked the supply as unsafe on January 18.
Facing extreme heat conditions, the task of boiling water before drinking, washing, cooking or giving to pets is very inconvenient.
That’s why the team at 2NZ and GemFM in Inverell have launched a ‘Bottles for Bundarra’ drive to help the neighbouring village.
Despite the council’s ongoing effort, in coordination with government agencies and water supply specialists, the required level of residual chlorine has not yet been sustained.
In a statement, put out by Uralla Shire Council of Tuesday, turbidity, a lack of clarity, in the water supply was also an issue.
“Staff are working with treatment specialists to determine whether the cause of the elevated turbidity is due to higher levels of iron and manganese in the raw water supply from Taylors Pond,” the statement read.
2NZ breakfast host James 'Monte' Irvine jumped to action after watching a television report about the issue on Wednesday evening.
“Bundarra is such a lovely community. I’ve had a little bit to do with them since moving here; I was involved in the goat races and the show. I thought ‘I’d like to do something to help them out’,” he said.
Monte contacted the Bundarra Lions Club to see whether the community would be receptive to the station’s assistance. As a result, the club agreed to distribute the water around Bundarra and even donate some water themselves.
The Bottles for Bundarra announcement was made live on air in Inverell on Thursday morning and within an hour, the team had their first lot of donations.
“With the heat the way it is, trying to stay hydrated, and having to boil water before using it is such a hassle where as, if it is bottled it makes things a lot easier. The other concern is animals,” he said.
The team will be accepting bottled water donations, of any size, from now until the water boil alert is lifted for Bundarra.
Monte said, after speaking with Uralla’s mayor, experts were working on the issue, however the problem was there had to be three consecutive days of clear readings before the boil alert could be lifted.
“This may run for a week, it could run longer but we will be helping until it’s fixed. Our plan is to get the bottled water to Bundarra as soon as possible. Any donation, whether is 600ml or 5ltrs, will help,” he said.
Monte said he was well aware the station had asked so much of the Inverell community within the past eight months following their successful ‘Fight for Farmers’ and ‘Book and Toy’ drives.
“The response to both has been amazing and I’m just asking again for people to show the wonderful community spirit that is Inverell and surrounding districts to help our neighbours in Bundarra.”
As previously advise by Uralla Shire Council, water used for drinking or food preparation must be brought to a rolling boil to make it safe in Bundarra, and should be used for drinking, washing uncooked food (e.g. salad vegetables and fruit), making ice, cleaning teeth, gargling and pet’s drinking water.