Recycled water at critical levels in CQ communities
HIGH usage by end users, compounded by unseasonal dry weather conditions and lowered levels in effluent storage dams, has placed unprecedented pressure on available recycled water supplies in Isaac communities.
Mayor Anne Baker said recycled water users across the region were being urged to moderate their usage to reduce stress on the network.
"Regional rainfall for January was a quarter of that experienced for the same period last year, so we can certainly appreciate that demand for recycled water has risen in response to the dry conditions,” Cr Baker said.
"However, it has reached a point where daily demand for recycled water is simply outstripping the available supply from our effluent storage dams in all towns.
"This is putting the infrastructure which supports the network under stress. The Moranbah network was offline for a week recently after excessive silt and air was sucked into the pump system.
"We would normally have a greater supply buffer in our effluent storage dams to manage peaks in demand, however, levels were lowered due to planned remediation works prior to the wet season at these facilities.
"This has further complicated the situation, with continuing daily demand preventing us from restoring the buffer.”
Cr Baker said the pressure being placed on the network would require council to shut down infrastructure and supply as necessary to prevent damage to council's assets.
"We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and we will keep end users and wider community updated on the status of recycled water supply in our towns,” she said.
"In the first instance we are asking for users to simply moderate their use to reduce the frequency of potential outages to supply.”
Cr Baker said staff from council's water and wastewater team would be working with recycled water end users to establish service agreements.
"This will enable fair access to available supply during high demand periods while protecting the integrity of the network,” she said.
Cr Baker said the recycled water network which serviced Isaac region communities was a true success story for environmental sustainability.
"Council's environmental authority means that every single drop of recycled water from our treatment facilities goes into effluent storage dams for reuse in our communities,” she said.
"It is not discharged by any other means, which is a great outcome, but there are still limits to its capacity.”