Arsenic Uralla: toxic water supply hurts businesses in food and beverage industry | The Northern Daily Leader


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ARSENIC in Uralla’s town water has hit businesses hard and the purse strings even harder. Uralla Shire Council will meet at an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the impact toxic water has had on business owners in the food and beverage industry. The motion was moved by councillor Tara Toomey, who asked the general manager to contact each business owner to understand what the cost of transitioning to a new water source is. “The aim of this motion is to ensure that Uralla Shire businesses are not left out-of-pocket by the burden of transitioning at such short notice at peak trading time,” Cr Toomey said in the report. “The advice from council left no choice for businesses who wished to keep trading, but to make changes within their businesses at short notice and, I am aware, at some considerable cost.” The town’s water supply was poisoned in December last year when levels of arsenic in the water rose about acceptable levels. With a population of about 2700, residents could be drinking up to 10,000 bottles of water each day. It’s expected to take 100 days to clean-up the crisis. Business owners have had to replumb their coffee machines to bottled water at a cost in excess of $400. Hoteliers have to provide bottled water to guests for drinking and brushing teeth, but the news the town water is toxic has had an impact on the number of people willing to stay. Toby Weekes has owned the Bushranger Motor Inn for 14 months and said guests are reasonable when the situation is explained but combined with ongoing drought it has been tough. “Our business has dropped off by percentages a lot, they think because there’s arsenic in the water they think we have no water,” he said. Read also: “The council have provided bottled water, they realise the problem and are fixing it as much as they can.” The aim of the vote at Tuesday night’s meeting is to decide whether to survey businesses in Uralla about costs incurred and prepare a report for the March council meeting. Want more local news? Subscribe to the Leader to read it here first

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