Twenty mines release water
TWENTY mines are releasing water into the Fitzroy River catchment, the Department of Environment and Resource Management said on Thursday.
In its weekly community update on the water quality in the Fitzroy Basin, the department said between Thursday, March 15, and Wednesday, 20 mines had made 25 separate release events into the catchment.
The department is currently assessing six potential compliance matters at the following mines:
Peak Downs, between January 28 and February 1, for exceeding its electrical conductivity limit;
Ensham, on January 30, where lab results returned a result exceeding the total suspended solids limit;
Clermont, February 1-11, for an unauthorised release while there was minimum river flow;
German Creek, February 14-24, for an unauthorised release because of a leaking pipe;
Gregory Crinum, February 28, for a 20-minute unauthorised release during a valve maintenance;
Goonyella Riverside, March 18, for a two-hour release outside of its conditions.
Meanwhile the salinity level in the Fitzroy River at The Gap was 269 uS/cm - well down on the highs above 800 uS/cm before the wet season. Salinity levels can be measured by the conductivity of the water.
Historical records reveal strong seasonal changes in salinity levels within the Fitzroy River in years of higher than average summer rainfall.
Records show salinity levels have been as low as 73 uS/cm at Eden Bann, in the lower Fitzroy, during March 1974.