Delivering Water to Your Home
Once river water has been treated to all health and safety standards and is ready for human consumption, how does it get from the other side of the Great Dividing Range to the city of Coffs Harbour? Can you imagine if you had to have bottles of water for all your showers, clothes washing, cooking and gardening delivered to your house? Luckily, you don't have to because Coffs Harbour Water provides a complex distribution network of pumps, reservoirs and pipes to get water quickly from the Water Treatment Plant to your house.
Coffs Harbour City Council water distribution network
Using the Natural Force of Gravity
The Coffs Harbour Water Supply is a gravity-fed system, which means that CHW uses the natural force of gravity to distribute water throughout the water supply area, requiring very little pumping. Water always moves towards the lowest point, so we are very lucky here in Coffs Harbour to live on a low coastal plain with high mountains behind us. This topography enables CHW to build water reservoirs on top of the high mountains and allow nature to do the work of moving the water down the hill from the reservoir to your house. The higher up the hill towards the reservoir your property is, the lower your water pressure will be. If your property is at the very bottom of the hill, you will have the very highest water pressure.
In fact, Coffs Harbour Water uses Red Hill Reservoir to slow down the drinking water coming from the Karangi DAFF Treatment Plant into Coffs Harbour, as the water pressure created by water coming straight from the top of Red Hill into town could be too much and might even blow some water distribution mains out of the ground! You can see the Red Hill Reservoir next time you drive west of Coffs Harbour on Coramba Road - it's the big round, silver corrugated iron roof on the left hand side of Red Hill before you pass the quarry.
There are towns and cities which are not as lucky as Coffs Harbour and are surrounded by flat land, so they have to build their water reservoirs up on top of man-made towers to achieve the gravity-fed water supply we are so lucky to have here naturally. Perhaps you have seen one of these tall water tower structures on a trip inland?
Coramba and Nana Glen are also classified as gravity-fed water supply systems.
Did you know that taking advantage of gravity to supply residents with water is not a new concept? Gravity has been used since ancient times to power water supply networks. The Romans used Aqueducts as early as 7BC and other cultures in present-day India and the Middle East even before that - some around 5,000 years ago!