Tomaree Sports Complex irrigation: Bore pump replacement takes almost a month for Port Stephens Council sports centre

HOW long does it take to replace a pump? 

It’s a question that Port Stephens councillor John Nell is seeking an answer to after the timeframe to fix irrigation at Tomaree Sports Complex blew out to almost a month. 

A bore pump at the popular sports centre failed in late January, leaving playing surfaces at Dick Burwell and Don Waring ovals to dry out and degrade ahead of the Peter Wilson touch football tournament earlier this month. 

According to a report to Tuesday’s Port Stephens Council meeting, staff were told the pump failed on January 19 after 17 years of use. They retrieved and tested it on January 23, and ordered the replacement “within the day” after it failed tests. 

The new pump required three days to build and then had to be shipped from Adelaide, the report states, but parts required for the build from overseas blew out the timeframe to February 16. 

The council report said recent heat had “exaggerated the level of impact upon the playing surfaces”. 

“Council staff have been investigating alternate options to lessen the level of impact,” a report to councillors said. “These stop-gap measures will remain in place until the replacement pump arrives. 

“The failed bore pump incident is unfortunate however it is considered an unexpected asset failure.”

East Ward councillor John Nell, who asked for a report into the matter, said the shortfall was problematic in a summer when the area had received “half a bucket” of rain. 

He said the lack of a replacement was a problem and he would be seeking a deeper examination of the issue.

“We don’t have a spare pump, really,” Cr Nell said.

“The council is all about risk management but this is a risk that’s not well managed.”

Port Stephens Council will meet on Tuesday night.