BUNDALONG residents fear a proposed pipeline to the town will only supply holidaymakers, leaving permanent residents with toxic bore water.
By 2012, North East Water is planning to build a $4.7 million dual pipeline from Yarrawonga to the small riverside community, which can increase 10-fold during summer holiday months.
But the pipeline is planned to be hooked up to “high-density living-zoned” residences along the waterfront first — namely holiday houses with mostly Melbourne-based owners.
A second roll-out, on an unspecified time frame, could follow to “low-density living” zones, where the majority of the permanent residents live.
A group of 12 permanent residents, called the Bundalong Action Group, is calling for a guarantee that the whole town will be hooked up in one go.
“We all pump water out of the same hole that our septics are going into and 15 years ago, Bundalong’s water quality was good,” group vice-president Tim O’Dwyer said yesterday.
“Since then the town has boomed — there’s 50 bores and 50 septic tanks.
“The water has deteriorated rapidly and is extremely corrosive. We don’t drink the water at all and if you boil it the elements in the kettle seize up.”
On Monday, North East Water managing director Craig Heiner said the proposal was a two-stage project with an option to “extend into the low-density areas, based on landowner support (about a $3000 infrastructure fee).”
But when contacted yesterday, Mr Heiner said the water authority was confident it could achieve a single roll-out for the whole town based on that landowner support.
The final business plan for the pipeline will be voted on by the North East Water board on June 22.