Stage one of the Yass Water Treatment Plant upgrade is set to begin this month, which includes the installation of a bubble plume aeration system due to be completed in June 2022.

Originally stage one was due to commence in October last year and conclude in January 2022 but the delivery of necessary materials was delayed by COVID-19.

Last year the Council accepted a grant of $2.543 million from the NSW Government’s Housing Acceleration Fund (HAF) to complete the first stage of the up- grade.

The discoloured and foul-smelling water in Yass has been an issue that has plagued the town for years with residents resorting to buying bottled water in bulk for drinking and cooking or installing rainwater tanks on their property.

While the water is safe to consume it is affected by water hardness, dissolved solids, high organic matter, iron and manganese; causing the varying taste and colour. Manganese alone can reportedly leave stains on bathroom fixtures and laundry.

James Dugdell, Yass Valley Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Assets said stage one will enable Council to manage the treatment process more closely by controlling the rate at which water is processed through the treatment plant.

“This will reduce the number of days residents experience water discolouration and/or water with a noticeable odour, particularly during periods of low rain,” James said.

The design and business case for stages two and three are being prepared.

James said stage two is a new water treatment plant that will ensure Yass Valley residents consistently receive high-quality drinking water.

The new plant will be capable of treating the raw water quality issues at Yass Dam.

Whereas stage three will refurbish the existing treatment plant for use when the new plant is undergoing long-term maintenance or experiencing excessive de- mand.

Funding for the majority of the project worth over $30 million is yet to be allocated by Council, the State or Federal Government.