CQUniversity Masters student Lorna Wells, Livingstone Shire Council Officer Glenn McIntyre, Councillor Adam Belot, CQUniversity Associate Professor Larelle Fabbro and Water Quality Officer Michael Dalton pictured at Kelly's Dam.
CQUniversity Masters student Lorna Wells, Livingstone Shire Council Officer Glenn McIntyre, Councillor Adam Belot, CQUniversity Associate Professor Larelle Fabbro and Water Quality Officer Michael Dalton pictured at Kelly's Dam. Contributed

CQ town's excellent drinking water nurtures a rare algae

CQ researchers were blown away when they recently stumbled across a rare algae, found only in very good water supplies.

CQUniversity masters student Lorna Wells discovered the rare green alga Staurastrum in Kelly's Dam, located North of Yeppoon, which acts as the raw water storage for the Capricorn Coast's water supply.

Ms Wells said Kelly's Dam was a 1.3 gigalitre reservoir was supplied with water from Water Park Creek at Byfield, before being treated at the Woodbury Water Treatment Plant then pumped to homes and businesses from Yeppoon to Keppel Sands.

"Not only does this alga look spectacular, it indicates very good water quality in even the raw water,” Ms Wells says.

"Forms of Staurastrum are common in the waters of Kakadu and in the lakes in Tasmania.”

Ms Wells's project was informed by the knowledge she gained studying Environmental Science and being involved as a volunteer with catchment groups in South-East Queensland.

The research project was used to supplement the Livingstone Shire Council's existing regular water monitoring program by extending the current range of monitoring sites and focusing on a water body that fed directly into the Woodbury Water Treatment Plant.

"The collaboration of this joint water study has other benefits such as providing an opportunity for CQUni scientists and LSC officers to learn new sampling skills from each other,” she said.

CQUniversity Associate Professor Larelle Fabbro, who is co-supervising the research with Dr Judith Wake and Dr Leo Duivenvoorden, said Yeppoon's water supply had won various awards for the quality and taste of the tap water and they were actively involved in keeping it that way.

Livingstone Shire Councillor Adam Belot said this was something the whole community could be very proud of.

"These fantastic findings provide further confirmation that the Livingstone Shire drinking water is up there with the best in the country,” Cr Belot said.



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