Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Continuity of operations

Updated 15 December 2021

Rous County Council operational staff are still out in the community providing water supply, flood mitigation and weed biosecurity services. During the COVID-19 pandemic we have taken additional steps to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for our staff as they continue to provide these essential services.

As the bulk water provider for Byron, Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley councils, our priority is to operate our dams and deliver reliable and safe drinking water to our customers.

Flood mitigation continues with construction projects and replacement and routine maintenance of various flood mitigation infrastructure.

Weed biosecurity remains focused on administering the Biosecurity Act 2015 in relation to weeds, undertaking a range of regulatory functions, including inspections.

What has been Rous's response to COVID-19?

In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, we have made a range of changes to how we operate as needed to help keep our people and their families safer. We are committed to doing our part to contribute to protecting our community.

Some of the types of changes we have put in place when required includes: segregation of teams and duties; physical distancing (where segregation is not possible); site entry and movement controls for visitors, contractors and deliveries. These steps were taken to protect our staff, particularly those who are critical to our day-to-day operations.

We will continue to monitor government advice to ensure we have the latest information available to inform our decision making. This includes updating our response plans as required, continuing to share health and hygiene information with our people, and strongly encouraging them to follow the advice of health authorities.

If Council employees are quarantined at home, will water supply be maintained?

Yes, water supply is an essential service and we are well prepared to manage any impact of COVID-19. Our water treatment plants are secure, have a high level of automation and for short periods, they require few staff to operate. To manage this risk, we are ensuring we have multiple staff members who are able to operate our water treatment plants available at all times.

Council has multiple staff available to operate and maintain our water supply distribution networks. The team has continued to be available to respond to water breaks and other maintenance issues as normal.

These changes do not interrupt the ongoing operation of our water treatment plants where your water is treated before it gets to you. Our treatment plants include robust processes to ensure that treated drinking water is of a very high quality and complies with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

I am a supplier / contractor – is there anything specific I need to know?

If you are a supplier or contractor, we expect you to take similar measures to protect yourself and your staff. You and/or your people seeking access to a Rous site will not be permitted access if:

  • the person seeking access is unwell;
  • the person seeking access to a site has travelled overseas in the past 14 days or believe they have come into contact with a person who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

We reserve the right to seek a separate assurance that you have appropriate control measures in place for you/your people.

All suppliers and contractors should expect to be asked questions about these matters.

Once on site, we expect our suppliers and contractors to follow our protocols and adhere to our standards for hygiene while on site. This includes reporting to Council any confirmed cases of COVID-19 among your people who have visited or worked at a Council site.

More information

If you are a member of the community, please email us: council@rous.nsw.gov.au.

If you have a specific question in relation to suppliers and contractor restrictions, please refer these to your usual Council point of contact.