The blue line indicates which properties are connected to main water supplies at Gracemere.
The blue line indicates which properties are connected to main water supplies at Gracemere. Michelle Gately

Region-wide review after Gracemere water supply request

A PROPOSAL to connect dozens of Gracemere houses to the water main has prompted a region-wide review.

According to a report prepared for Rockhampton Regional Council's airport, water and waste committee meeting on Tuesday, there has been "significant community interest” in expanding the water network in southern Gracemere.

In particular, about 20 residents around Elizabeth St and Cherryfield Rd have expressed interest in gaining access to the reticulation network after experiencing supply issues in dry months.

"Historically residents in this area have relied on a combination of rainwater and groundwater to meet their water supply needs,” the report read.

"In recent years, the gradual increase in subdivision and residential development in this area has decreased the amount of available groundwater which has placed additional pressure on the available rainwater supplies.”

Given the distance between each property and the nearest water main, connection would only be possible using a special water supply agreement.

Owners would have to arrange for the installation of several hundred metres of pipe at their own expense, but the report warned it was likely the water flow and pressure would potentially create more problems than it solved.

Instead, it was proposed that a staged extension of the reticulation system be considered by councillors.

This would be an unusual step for the council, with extensions of the water system generally driven by new developments.

"Subject to the completion of detailed design, the proposed first stage will be to extend the existing Elizabeth Street 150mm water main to the southern end of this street and initiate the start of water mains down each of Glover, Clifton, Gregory and Windsor Street,” the report read.

"Subsequent stages after the first year would then see the construction of water mains along more of the above-mentioned streets, with the eventual inclusion of a link along the Cherryfield Rd to connect the new stage back to the existing reticulation system along the northern end of Cherryfield Rd.”

The first stage is estimated to cost $300,000 and it could be accommodated in the 2018-19 budget.

Officers recommended the plan be supported by councillors, however committee chair Cr Neil Fisher said there was a split in the chamber.

He said while everyone was in favour of the project, mayor Margaret Strelow recommended a report be prepared examining other areas in the region where the issue may arise. The issue will be debated again at the council meeting next week.

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