Community / 24th June 2020
Baradine bore capped
Baradine’s original artesian bore hole has been decommissioned and sealed to protect the integrity of the town water supply.
“The difficulty with this particular bore has been its greater depth compared with the old Coolah and Coonabarabran bores, which have also been recently capped,” said Leeanne Ryan, Warrumbungle Shire Council director of environment and development services.
“Twelve years ago, there was casing failure and the pump kept burning out. Since then, a new bore has been drilled and casing installed and there havenot been any problems.”
Specialists say bore integrity failure can cause adverse changes in groundwater levels, flow rates and flow directions and can also lead to changes in groundwater quality.
A pressure pump was used to fill the old Baradine bore with a Bentonite mix, a special grouting clay.
Ms Ryan said the 70-year-old bore hole had to be sealed to ensure town water security.
“Keeping current town bore reliability is imperative and the only way to do this was to cap the original bore hole so that the aquifer cannot becontaminated in any way. Because there are multiple aquifers, specialised equipment was required to seal it off,” Ms Ryan said.
Australia’s Great Artesian Basin has provided a stable and reliable source of water for farms and communities across four states since it was discovered more than 100 years ago.
The first artesian bore to be sunk in Baradine was put down by the then Coonabarabran Shire Council and reported in the 2 July, 1915 issue of the Dubbo Liberal as: ‘a good supply of water struck at a depth of 170 feet. The bore is situated at a spot indicated by Cr Copeland, after traversing the vicinity with a divining rod. It is the intention of the Council to erect a windmill on the bore’.
However, the date of arrival of a permanent water supply varied throughout the Warrumbungle Shire, occurring over the decades leading up to the mid-twentieth century.
The development of town water supplies relied upon the supply of electricity to pump the water from the source. Subsequently, the towns in the southern parts of the Shire did not get a permanent water supply until after the Second World War and the arrival of a town water supply in both Baradine and Binnaway was a long time coming.
Public meetings were held and recommendations made to permit the provision of water to Shire towns. In 1938 Coonabarabran Shire Council agreed to take steps towards installing a water supply for Baradine.
The Mudgee Guardian of 16 January, 1939 reported: ‘Water Supply Baradine: The shire council considers that the present pumping arrangements will not meet the demands of a growing population. Wells, it is contended, will meet the situation at Binnaway. At Baradine it may be necessary to put down a deep bore'.
Work on sinking the Baradine bore was started later that year, but it was held up because of WWII. Eventually, the new water supply system was completed and on 29 April, 1949 was officially turned on.
‘Baradine Friday: People cheered the Minister for Works and Local Government Mr J. J. Cahill this afternoon when he turned on the town’s new £30,000water supply system. Coonabarabran Shire Council gave Mr. Cahill a gold watch to mark the occasion. He complimented the Council on its town planning scheme and he also announced that the Government was granting more than £1,000 for improvements to Coonabarabran and Baradine’. (National Advocate Bathurst 30 April, 1949).