Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Toowoomba water treatment upgrade to secure supply

Work to upgrade the Mt Kynoch Water Treatment Plant will help to secure and improve the reliability of the water supply for Toowoomba and surrounding areas, Toowoomba Regional Council said this week.

Water and Waste Committee Chair, Councillor Rebecca Vonhoff said Council was investing $28 million to complete the stage 4 upgrade which would implement modern water treatment processes and provide treated water security for the Region, in line with population growth forecasts.

“The water treatment plant (WTP) was built in 1975. Since then, we’ve had significant population growth and we need to make sure this critical piece of infrastructure can do the job of providing clean, safe drinking water,” said Cr Vonhoff.

“The plant as it is now has a conventional filtration capacity of 49ML/day. The upgrade will add a further 16ML/day and include ultraviolet disinfection as an additional treatment barrier.

“A new duplicate 240-metre section of raw water main will be part of the project which also includes a new valve house and delivery main.”

Works will also include replacing mechanical and electrical equipment, improved chemical management and new chemical dosing systems, and remediation to increase the longevity of the existing concrete tanks.

Cr Vonhoff said Fulton Hogan Utilities Pty Ltd was awarded the contract in November 2021 after completing a successful early contractor involvement phase.

“Construction works have started and weather permitting, all upgrade works to be completed by early 2024,” she said.

Water and Waste Committee Portfolio Leader, Councillor Nancy Sommerfield said the toilet block would need to be removed as part of the preparation works, which include the installation of the new duplicate raw water main, and the park and playground closed to allow the works to be carried out.

“Council has signage in place directing visitors to the nearest public amenities at Reg Veacock Park in nearby Harlaxton,” Cr Sommerfield said.

“During construction, residents in the WTP’s vicinity may notice an increase of traffic to site and occasional movement of heavy machinery. The cut-ins and upgrade of new and existing equipment will be managed to ensure no impact or disruption of potable water supply to the community.

“This will require plant shutdowns, but these shutdowns will be planned and network supplies will be closely managed throughout the project to ensure a constant supply of water to customers.”

Cr Sommerfield said that due to short-term changes in raw water selection as a result of the recent inflows into the dams, residents may experience brief changes in water colour, taste and odour.

“Water quality is continually monitored to ensure it meets stringent water quality guidelines and this will not change during the upgrades,” she said.

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