Gelorup residents are ‘high and dry’ as many suspect the Bunbury Outer Ring Road is impacting water bores

Craig DuncanBunbury Herald
The highly controversial Bunbury Outer Ring Road began construction in August 2022.
Camera IconThe highly controversial Bunbury Outer Ring Road began construction in August 2022. Credit: Craig Duncan/South Western Times

Construction of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road is being blamed by some Gelorup residents for undrinkable water, falling pressure and broken bores.

Capel shire said it has had multiple residents experiencing issues with their water bores over the past three weeks, however, several residents say their issues began in late 2022 with the construction of the BORR.

Ferdi and Wendy Repsold have lived in Gelorup for six years and said they spent $25,000 installing a new bore months before construction began.

“Our new bore was up and running for a couple of months, and then (Main Roads) started dropping new bores, and our water turned really bad,” Mr Repsold said.

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“We had no water.”

Mr Repsold said he made the decision to drop a second 50m-deep bore on his property, which gave him excellent water for about 10 days.

“When the man came to commission the system the water started coming out dark and crap,” he said.

Mr and Mrs Repsold said they have been forced to have water delivered to their home for the past 12 months.

“I’m not blaming the BORR, I just think the situation we’ve got is not normal,” he said.

“Four-and-a-half years we have had constantly good water and now we’re literally high and dry.”

A Department of Water and Environmental Regulation spokesperson said the issues in Gelorup are likely caused by a changing climate.

“With a drying climate and winter rainfall ending early it is likely this issue will become more common in the future,” the spokesperson said.

“Issues such as these are particularly common with older and shallower bores.”

A Main Roads spokesperson said the BORR project has approval from DWER to extract 333,000KL of groundwater per year from several bores across the project’s alignment.

In 2023, Main Roads extracted 248,211KL of ground water from three separate bores within the southern section of the project

“Main Roads is aware of one landowner complaint relating to water bore issues in Gelorup raised at the start of construction last year, this was investigated with DWER and was found to not have been related to water extraction on the project,” a spokesperson said.

The Shire of Capel said it has made urgent contact with DWER to better understand the situation and that any residents affected should make direct contact with DWER.

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