Tank ups town water storage
FOLLOWING a year in which levels at the Stanthorpe Water Treatment Plant dropped below 30% in 2014 for the first time in 10 years, Southern Downs Regional Council is installing a new water tank at the Mt Marlay facility in an effort to shore up town water supplies.
The new 1.2-megalitre ML concrete tank will replace the 700,000-litre steel tank that was decommissioned five years ago.
Southern Downs Regional Council The council's supervisor of water treatment, Rod Wylie, said more back-up supply was needed.
Mr Wylie has been with SDRC Southern Downs Regional Council for 21 years, spending five of them in his current position.
For all those five years, Mr Wylie has been pushing for a new tank.
"At times the existing 2.2ML tank that we do have can get quite low, particularly when we have maintenance issues," he said. "If there's a leak, we really only have a four-hour window to fix things but now we have a back-up supply.
The successful tenderers, Kay Associates, Pty Ltd started construction in mid-January.
The estimated completion date is mid-May.
Council put the project out to tender on November six, last year and received 15 offers.
Kay Associates Pty Ltd was granted tender for the project at a total price of $728,000 (excluding GST) including the construction of the water tank ($550,000), and the golf link pipe extensions ($170,000).
Southern Downs Regional Council SDRC director of Engineering Peter See said council decided a significant increase in the amount of stored treated water at Stanthorpe was necessary.
"This will help reduce risks associated with plant breakdowns or water main bursts within the water supply system for the Granite Belt," Mr See said.
"The benefit for the Stanthorpe district is there will be less risk and more reliability. The new tanks will be for treated town water.
"This project has been in the pipeline for about two years.
"Storm King Dam is nearly full; however, in October last year, the dam fell to 50% which triggered high level water restrictions."
Rains in January replaced the supply and Stanthorpe is now on permanent water restrictions.
Stanthorpe has lived with these water restrictions since the drought management plan was adopted in October 2009.
Mr Wylie believes Storm King Dam has the capacity to supply two tanks but that in the end he'll still be looking skyward for rain.
"It all depends on the season. Doesn't matter how many tanks you have if there's no water source to fill them," he said.
"We've never run out of water before but we have come awfully close."
The foundations have been laid and the pipe-work installed.