Mayor defends decision to cut 'disgusting' water supply
ANGUISHED residents of a town that will have its water supply cut before the end of the year have been told it was the most economically viable solution to foul-smelling water.
Townspeople of Karara received a phone call from Southern Downs Regional Council staff on Wednesday afternoon telling them the council had decided to cut off the supply of non-potable water from Canal Creek.
The news comes as a blow to residents who are already "desperate" in drought.
But Southern Downs mayor Tracy Dobie said cutting the supply was the best solution among "quite a lot of options" discussed at a council meeting on Wednesday.
"One of the options that was looked at was a potable water solution but didn't go with it because it comes down to the cost," she said.
"The amount of water drawn down through (Karara's) system is very, very small and it is very hard to justify the construction of a full-scale water treatment plant.
"The cost of that would have been an impact to the residents as well."
Councillors made the decision to provide residents with a 22,700 litre rain water tank, with an initial, one-off fill of potable water.
She said other towns in the region, such as Maryvale, also did not have a direct supply of potable water.
But Karara citizens said a floating foot valve would have been a better option for improving the town's water supply.
"The system they have got now is 30 years old - they haven't look at trying to upgrade it," Karara woman Tracey Long said.
"Ms Long denied residents were consulted by the council about the possibility of cutting off the water supply.
"We just would have liked to know they were going to discuss this," she said.
"They haven't give us a date or time or nothing."
A spokeswoman from the council said the water supply would be cut by the end of the year.
The council resolved to remove the water access charge for Karara residents for the coming financial year.
The Karara water system will be donated to the Rural Fire Brigade or decommission the system if the donation is not accepted.