Dear Beagle Editor, In light of Allan Brown's letter drawing our attention to the predicted hike in water prices as a result of a "need" to inject considerable funds in bringing to standard poorly maintained water infrastructure I take the opportunity to inform the newly elected councillors and to remind Eurobodalla ratepayers that we have our own "water infrastructure time bomb" looming in the not too distant future that, if what follows is correct, will see a spike in water rates to cover the premature renewal of a substandard, yet key component of our water supply system.
Remember the Moruya to Batemans Bay (Deep Creek) pipeline story?
I alleged that council had substituted the Public Works specified (drinking water grade) plastic/ fibreglass pipeline for a Chinese made steel Gas/oil grade pipeline (that is not drinking water grade or approved)
The evidence was overwhelming and eventually Minister Constance publicly stated he would get it properly investigated. But yet again that did not actually happen.
Instead articles were simply published in the Bay Post (by council and public works jointly) with all sorts of denials and assurances that the steel pipeline (council admitted was substituted) was: - not this Chinese Gas/Oil pipe, - and that it complied to all requirements, - and was assessed and approved by WSAA for water quality, and met warranty conditions.
All this was false, with their own documents showing it was false. However the Bay Post/ Narooma News Fairfax newspapers would not allow me to respond, or show the documents (even in online posts) But I can now show you here on the Beagle.
You may recall that council and public works admitted that the pipeline was imported Chinese steel pipe, but they just refused (even under freedom of information) to identify what type of steel pipe it was. Saying it had no identifier?
Not that they needed to do that anyway, because the imported pipe is repeatedly identified in the WSAA document as API 5L (Gas/ Oil pipe)
(below the imported pipe (which was rejected by WSAA) is compared to the Australian one on the left, which was approved. (Note that the imported API 5L has no approval under AS/NZS 4020)
Council publicly claimed the pipeline (and system used) was ‘assessed and approved’ by WSAA (Water Services Association of Australia) but WSAA did not ‘assess’ or ‘approve’ it. In fact their appraisal document specifically states that they were not assessing or approving any imported pipes and it was rejected by WSAA.
I also spoke to WSAA directly by phone, and they were vehement that they had not ’assessed or approved’ the imported pipes council used. Just a ‘system’ using Australian made pipes for Orrcon.
Council later admitted to me that their pipeline was not assessed or approved by WSAA (contrary to their public claims) and admitted they did not even use the Orrcon ‘system’ which was approved.
This is contrary to a council spokesman in the Bay Post advising “The pipeline system was accredited by WSAA on February 6, which allowed Orrcon to submit and meet the conditions of Council’s tender.” https://www.batemansbaypost.com.au/story/2995895/council-releases-pipe-paperwork/