Re­cy­cled wa­ter on de­mand

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

CAIRNS Re­gional Coun­cil is yet to sign up a com­mer­cial cus­tomer for its $5 mil­lion re­cy­cled wa­ter project.

Only the coun­cil-con­trolled Moss­man ceme­tery has been con­firmed as a user of the re­cy­cled wa­ter when it be­comes avail­able next year, with other coun­cil as­sets likely to be added.

Coun­cil’s Wa­ter and Waste man­ager Bruce Gar­diner said treated waste­water has tra­di­tion­ally been dumped into the ocean and can po­ten­tially have a harm­ful ef­fect on marine wa­ter qual­ity and ecosys­tems.

“Treat­ing the waste­water to a higher qual­ity will not only re­duce en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts, it will also mean the wa­ter can be used for a range of non- drink­ing and non-contact uses and help con­serve our drink­ing wa­ter sup­plies,” Mr Gar­diner said.

Re­cy­cled wa­ter is treated waste­water sourced from a waste­water treat­ment plant that has al­ready been used in homes and busi­nesses for show­ers, toi­lets, laun­dry, kitchen and in­dus­trial uses.

“This re­cy­cled wa­ter is treated to dif­fer­ent qual­i­ties de­pend­ing on its in­tended use,” Mr Gar­diner said.

“The re­cy­cled wa­ter sup­plied from the Moss­man Waste­water Treat­ment Plant will be treated to the level of Class A qual­ity in ac­cor­dance with state wa­ter qual­ity guide­lines.”

The use of re­cy­cled wa­ter re­duces the de­mand on the com- mu­nity’s drink­ing wa­ter sup­plies and re­duces the amount of treated waste­water dis­charged to the ocean and rivers.

“Es­tab­lish­ing new wa­ter sup­plies such as build­ing new dams or ex­tract­ing more wa­ter from rivers, such as the Rex River where the Moss­man and Port Dou­glas sup­ply comes from, can have sig­nif­i­cant en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial im­pacts, so by re­cy­cling we can also help to de­lay the need for new drink­ing wa­ter sup­plies,” Mr Gar­diner said. “Re­cy­cled wa­ter is safe and does not pose a health risk if used prop­erly and rig­or­ous mon­i­tor­ing, test­ing and qual­ity as­sur­ance sys­tems are in place to en­sure the re­cy­cled wa­ter meets strict en­vi­ron­men­tal and health guide­lines.”

Class A re­cy­cled wa­ter can be used for a range of uses from in­dus­trial and agri­cul­tural, land­scape ir­ri­ga­tion and ir­ri­ga­tion of food crops but the Class A re­cy­cled wa­ter sup­plied by the Moss­man treat­ment plant will only be used for out­door ir­ri­ga­tion.

Ir­ri­ga­tion will only take place dur­ing re­stricted hours mainly at night time or early morn­ings. All ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems will be un­der­ground with ei­ther pop up sprin­klers or a sub-sur­face drip­per sys­tem, and there will be no re­cy­cled wa­ter ac­cess points such as ex­ter­nal taps.

There will be signs placed in ob­vi­ous lo­ca­tions in ar­eas us­ing re­cy­cled wa­ter no­ti­fy­ing the pub­lic that the wa­ter is not for drink­ing.

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