Kaywanna Bore Water Board

Reports › Report to Ratepayers - 20 May 2019

Kaywanna Bore Water Board Chairman’s Annual Report

The scheme has been operating since 1996 and continues to work well. Over more than the past ten years, an overview of all maintenance is recorded in my annual reports (available from our website). There is also a more detailed bore diary book. A dedicated team of volunteers, at no labour or travel costs, has provided an exceptional community service by attending to most maintenance requirements for many years.

On 29th January 2019, the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Dr Anthony Lynham, announced the appointment of our new Board. There had been five directors. The new board has six members. John Beare and John Thorn did not seek re-election. The new board members are Geoff Woods, John Allen, Bill Davison, Joanne Bigg, Kayla Davison and Alice Woods. No election was necessary. The term is normally three years but has sometimes been longer. The Kaywanna Bore Water Board is now compliant with the Government’s strict gender equity policy.

I extend my thanks to John Beare and John Thorn for their long service on the board. For Mr. Thorn, I believe this well exceeds twenty years and he has continued to volunteer since departing the board. To the new directors, welcome and thank you for offering your time.

In May 2018, the main bore dialer was removed and a replacement ordered. The new one is a bit more sophisticated and was not finally installed until 21st November. There was a considerable delay and finding someone to install it. Laser Electrical finally completed this. It has been working well and there is now a landline phone handset at the bore as well.

In August, Will Maunder cleaned the bottom (not walls) of both tanks at the main bore and each of the supply tanks at the booster stations.

Later in August, a 90 mm main was damaged by a bulldozer on the northern boundary of ‘Waverley’. I understand that Messrs. Wilkie, Thorn, W. Davison and K. Davison assisted with repairs. Mr. Wilkie was invoiced for the required joiners.

Two days later, August 25th, the main bore stopped due to low water. Mr. Wilkie attended but was unable to restart the submersible pump. I found the mercury float level switch in the supply tank was faulty and managed to resume supply.

On 30th August, Messrs. G. Clark, D. Woods, K. Davison, W. Davison, Gordon Hynch and I swapped the submersible pump. This pump has done 15 years of service. The replacement had done 7 years to the best of my knowledge.

The next evening, P. Whittle was short of supply. I found the mercury control switches had again failed to restart the submersible and rectified the problem by tumbling the floats.

On 2nd September, the mercury float switch system in the receiving tank was replaced. It was also discovered that the supply from the submersible was only about 3 litres/second. When the polarity (rotation) was changed about 9 pm, the submersible pumped more than 9 l/s. The problems had been a combination of the control switch and the pump polarity. This resolved issues at the main bore.

On 22nd October, supply from the Boogara booster was insufficient with one pump becoming hot. J. Allen and J Thorn replaced the pump. This did not resolve the problem. The next day, they cut the screen end off the supply tank outlet to prevent any further algae blockages. They also replaced the check valves near the pump inlets and replaced the steel 50 mm supply pipe with 50 mm poly. Supply was restored. The gate valve on the delivery side was removed.

On 3rd November, the supply at Kalala booster stopped. I cleaned the supply pipe screen by pumping water back through it. The pumps required air to be bled out of the system. Supply was restored. There are several of these minor issues during the year.

On 17th January, John Allen, J. Thorn and I investigated poor supply to MK1 (Manooka) which has been intermittent for some time. The pressure reducing valve (PRV SHT01 3743 metres from the booster station) on the southern boundary of Arden Downs was removed. This made no difference. Many other parts of the supply line were investigated and an air valve excavated and the line bled. However, the next day there was supply at MK1 for a few hours and then it stopped again. There was air in the line.

On the third day, I discovered that the pressure tank in the booster shed had been turned off (since 22nd October). Several hours after this was turned on, supply was restored until further problems on 17th April.

On 16th February, a beast fell through the top of a concrete pit on ‘Canbrae’ adjacent to the ‘Eaglebar’ sign post. This dislodged the 90 mm line next to a previously removed PRV. J. Allen, G. Clark and W. Davison managed to fit a 50 mm poly pipe (in place of 90 mm) and restore supply. A concrete lid was borrowed from ‘Redfield’ and will have to be replaced.

On 17th April, the Manooka supply problem returned. The next day, J. Thorn and I installed a 50 mm ball valve on the delivery line outside the Boogara pump shed so testing could be done. The pumps were reaching set pressure with the delivery line closed. We isolated the manifolds and checked the static pressure of the pressure tank. It was almost zero. We inflated it to 140 kpa. It is also possible that one of the check valves was stuck open. After a long day, supply was very good.

On the evening of 11th May the main bore dialer contacted D. Woods – low water. By the time David arrived, everything was normal. The problem may have been a 50 minute power problem as indicated on the bore alarm log.

Over the year, the bore has delivered about 2.91 litres/second (92 megalitres). This is similar to the previous year (2.96 l/s). This is taken from the meter near the borehole. If the four distribution meters (collectively) are considered, this figure would be 4.36 l/s. There is obviously a huge discrepancy here but I have been relying on the bore meter. The system is designed to operate to a maximum of 7l/s. It is rare to see more than two of the four distribution pumps operating at any given time so it appears we operate well under design capability.

The solar generator has produced about 18,647 kilowatts of which 4,203 kw has been exported to the grid (22.5%). Electricity consumed through the supply meters is about 31,333 kw (main bore only). Therefore, about 14,444 kw of electricity consumption is being provided and used from the solar array. Put another way, 31.5% of the electricity used at the main bore site is directly provided by the solar system. Without it, mains electricity consumption would be more like 45,780 kw per annum.

The distribution pumps have averaged about 3750 hours of operation each for the year.

This past year has seen more supply problems than usual, mostly to MK1. I do not believe it is an indication that the scheme is becoming aged and unreliable. A few issues were accidents and a few had a contributing human element. We now have written ‘troubleshooters’ available at the sites to assist any volunteers. There is no reason to believe the scheme will not continue to be very good.

The financial position remains sound. We will need to buy a submersible pump, a booster pump and some 90 mm ploy soon to have on hand.

I extend my thanks to board members and volunteers for their continued contribution to the management and operations of the scheme.

Geoff Woods

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Kaywanna Bore Water Board
C/- Findex 24 Mclean Street GOONDIWINDI 4390