The Parkes Shire will remain on Level 1 water conservation measures, and residents are encouraged to maintain good water saving practices.
While the brick pit is a welcome source of additional water for many during dry times, Parkes Shire Council reminds residents that the water is only suitable for limited purposes. The water is untreated and not suitable for human consumption.
The former brickworks site on Powter Street was repurposed as a stormwater storage basin several years ago and water is freely available to residents to supplement their own supplies.
Parkes Shire Council’s Director of Infrastructure, Andrew Francis, said Council had been monitoring the brick pit water quality.
Recent analysis shows the water is moderately saline, making it unsuitable for a wide range of uses.
“Our most recent electrical conductivity tests show that the water has 0.219% salinity, which is enough to put it outside the tolerable range for a lot of uses.” Andrew said.
“The water is suitable for sheep, and can be used on lawns with caution as long as the area is irrigated with other sources of water between applications.” He said though that while it was currently suitable for horses, pigs and beef cattle, it was reaching the maximum salinity limit for those livestock.
“It is not suitable for drinking, and is also unsuitable for poultry, dairy cattle, and ornamental gardens.”
Drinking water would ideally have salinity of 0.012%, with the upper limit being no more than 0.16% salinity. In contrast, the salinity of ocean water is 3.5%.
“Residents should use the brick pit water with caution and avoid watering solely with it if they’re unsure.” Andrew said.
Further information on stock and crop salinity tolerance can be found on the Department of Primary Industry website at dpi.nsw.gov.au
For tips on how to save water around your home, visit parkes.nsw.gov.au