Water Corporation restores water supplies to Wickepin, Dumbleyung, Tincurrin areas

By Brooke Littlewood
February 28 2022 - 10:00pm
Water Corporation crews worked long days in challenging and hot conditions to replace 170 metres of pipe, welding over 120 joints and reinstating two kilometres of pipework back onto bolster blocks in the Wheatbelt.

WHEATBELT farmers were left without non-potable water almost two weeks after infrastructure was significantly damaged in the recent bushfires.

About 25 kilometres of the main water supply pipeline - linking Wickepin and Dumbleyung - was hit by the blaze earlier this month.

Advertisement

Ad

The pipeline supplies nearby farmland customers and the towns of Dumbleyung, Kukerin, Tincurrin, Dongolocking, Collanilling and Wickepin.

A Water Corporation spokesperson said 40 farmland customers in the affected area were left without their non-potable scheme water until supply was restored last Friday.

The spokesperson said the pipeline was repaired earlier than the restoration date, however it needed to be pressure tested for leaks and disinfected.

It also took three days for storage tanks at Dongolocking and Collanilling to refill completely before the supply was fully restored to customers in the shires of Wickepin and Dumbleyung.

In the interim, those customers were able to cart non-potable water for livestock from tanks located at the Kukerin Showgrounds.

"Water Corporation crews have worked long days in challenging and hot conditions to replace 170 metres of pipe, welding over 120 joints and reinstating two kilometres of pipework back onto bolster blocks," the spokesperson said.

"The fire broke joints and warped and distorted the pipeline, dislodging it from its bolster blocks.

"It is a sizeable steel pipeline, so it gives an idea of the severity of the fire and the temperatures the pipeline sustained."

In addition, nine contractors also worked 14 hour days, driving 17 road trains and semi-trailers to deliver water to storage tanks.

This ensured water supply was maintained to most Water Corporation customers.

About 25 kilometres of the main water supply pipeline linking Wickepin and Dumbleyung was damaged by the blaze earlier this month.

The spokesperson said there was no difficulty in sourcing materials and labour for repairs, as supplies and materials were kept in reserve.

However, some of the pipeline was trucked from Perth and local crews were supported by Water Corporation teams in the Goldfields.

Water and wastewater services in Corrigin and Bruce Rock shires were maintained, despite considerable disruption caused by power outages.

"The Department of Fire Emergency Services praised Water Corporation's support to incident controllers based in Bruce Rock as incredibly valuable," the spokesperson said.

"However, some fire damaged water meters would likely affect the supply to a property - the internals of the meter can sometimes melt, blocking the supply.

"Water Corporation fix or replace any fire damaged water meters for free."

Advertisement

Ad

As a contingency, bottled water was available at Elders general store in Tincurrin, FoodWorks in Dumbleyung and Kukerin General Store.

Residential (town-based customers) only experienced temporary water supply interruptions and intermittent low pressure while repairs were undertaken.

Extensive carting efforts to Dongolocking and Collanilling tanks ensured water supply to those customers was maintained during that period.

Despite this, customers were asked to limit water use to essential purposes including drinking, cooking and personal hygiene.

"Our thoughts are with those impacted by the fires," the Water Corporation spokesperson said.

"We extend our sincere appreciation to DFES, the volunteer and career firefighters, and all those who have worked tirelessly to protect lives and property, including our own infrastructure.

Advertisement

Ad

"We are here to support the affected communities at this difficult time."

Any Water Corporation customer requiring assistance can phone Water Corporation's 24/7 operations centre on 13 13 75.

Want weekly news highlights delivered to your inbox? Sign up to the Farm Weekly newsletter.

Get the latest Western Australia news in your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.

We care about the protection of your data. Read our Privacy Policy.