WaterNSW and Lithgow City Council are currently investigating reports of discoloured water within the Fish River Water Supply scheme.
WaterNSW is in charge of the Fish River Water Supply scheme and said they believed the discolourations could possibly be related to the recent break in the Fish River pipeline near Sodwalls.
"Residents who detect any discolouration, or other issues, with their town water supply should run the tap for a few minutes to see if the water runs clear," a WaterNSW spokesperson said.
If not, they should contact Lithgow City Council on 02 6354 9999 or WaterNSW on 1300 662 077.
This is WaterNSW's Problem
Council's director of water and waste water, Daniel Buckens said they were expecting some complaints of dirty water after the break in the Fish River line.
"There has been quite a bit of work to go through the system and flush it and ensure it's been reasonably clean," he said.
But starting on Friday, Council received a spike in complaints, leading them to contact WaterNSW who is in charge of the Fish River Line.
"There is a larger problem of water quality from their end, which is affecting the towns of Wallerawang, Portland, Cullen Bullen, Rydal, Lidsdale and Glen Davis," he said.
Unfortunately Council is not quite sure of the complete extent of the issue and have yet to find out the cause.
Mayor Ray Thompson held up a jar of dirty water to show councillors exactly what the residents of Wallerawang was dealing with.
"I thought it was a jar of jam," councillor Maree Statham exclaimed.
Mr Buckens said the jar of dirty water was reflective of the quality of water residents have been receiving.
"Normally we advise to run your front taps until the water becomes clear but that is not going to work in this situation, we have flushed the system all day and it didn't come clear and it's not expected to clear in the next couple of days," he said.
Currently Mr Buckens couldn't provide a timeline for when it would be fixed.
"We are trying to rectify it as quickly as possible, it will be an inconvenience as this wasn't expected to occur so we are working closely with WaterNSW on the issue," he said.
No backup water system?
Councillor Joe Smith, brought up the topic of whether there was a backup supply of water for residents that get stuck with dirty water in these smaller towns.
Mr Buckens stated that normally, if Fish River has an outage, then Lithgow's water supply can supplement and vice versa.
"What occurred and the reason for the large outage is there is a section of pipeline that failed cross from the Wallerawang Bowling Club and they've had some difficulty being able to repair it," he said.
According to Mr Buckens, WaterNSW have a project in line to replace the full section of pipe up and over the rail bridge.
"What that does is limit our ability to supply from Lithgow to the villages, so that is part of the reason why we can't address this water quality problem straight away and why we had to tank water from Lithgow to supply those villages," he said.
The time frame for the maintenance of the pipe break to allow for Lithgow water to help out the towns, is not ideal.
"The time frame we have been provided is, that it will not commence until December, which is a significant risk to Lithgow Council and WaterNSW if this was to occur again, which is likely," he said.
WaterNSW and Lithgow City Council are working together to test the water, and will have more information shortly.
Updates will be provided via Facebook and the WaterNSW website - www.waternsw.com.au