SDRC UN­VEILS WA­TER PLANS

Lo­gis­tics, costs of trans­port to Stan­thorpe re­vealed

Warwick Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - BIANCA HROVAT [email protected]­wick­dai­lynews.com.au

STAN­THORPE roads are set to be in­un­dated with hun­dreds of trucks each week, ac­cord­ing to wa­ter cart­ing plans re­leased by the South­ern Downs Re­gional Coun­cil.

Ev­ery day be­tween 40 and 50 trucks will load around 1.6 me­gal­itres of wa­ter from Con­nolly Dam in War­wick and trans­port it via Eukey Rd to two 1ML steel wa­ter tanks at Storm King Dam Rd in Stan­thorpe.

A new 1.5km, poly pipe­line is cur­rently be­ing con­structed from the tanks to the Mount Mar­lay treatment plant, where the wa­ter will be grav­i­tyfed.

The tanks and the pipe­line are due to be com­plete by the end of Novem­ber, but if the con­struc­tion of tanks is de­layed, wa­ter may be trucked di­rectly to the pipe­line.

The ma­jor op­er­a­tion is es­ti­mated to cost more than $2.5 mil­lion within the first month of its op­er­a­tion, as the con­struc­tion of the pipe­line and wa­ter tanks will cost $1.7 mil­lion and the cart­ing it­self will cost around $800,000 each month.

These costs may rise de­pend­ing on the com­mu­nity’s wa­ter use and how much rock the con­struc­tion com­pany en­coun­ters.

Ac­cord­ing to Mayor Tracy Do­bie, coun­cil has con­trib­uted to the con­struc­tion costs but an­tic­i­pates the State Govern­ment will step up when it comes to pay­ing the cart­ing bill.

“The Pre­miere has made the com­mit­ment that emer­gency fund­ing will be pro­vided,” Cr Do­bie said.

“It’s just a matter of how much.”

More than 24 freight com­pa­nies have been com­mis­sioned to be­gin work some­time be­tween De­cem­ber and Jan­uary.

SDRC wa­ter man­ager Seren McKen­zie said the start date would de­pend on the wa­ter use of Stan­thorpe res­i­dents.

“We’re watch­ing the level of Storm King Dam and the wa­ter qual­ity,” Ms McKen­zie ex­plained.

“We want to get as much out of it as we can but the qual­ity is a big fac­tor.”

Once the wa­ter in Con­nolly Dam is re­served for Stan­thorpe, War­wick will rely on the re­mains of Leslie Dam for its sup­ply.

Ac­cord­ing to Cr Do­bie, there is enough wa­ter in Leslie Dam to sup­ply War­wick res­i­dents un­til the end of 2020.

“Bear in mind that there is a sig­nif­i­cant amount of wa­ter in Leslie Dam be­low the out­let pipe,” she said.

Coun­cil staff plan to in­stall a float­ing pump to ex­tract the wa­ter once it dips be­low pipe lev­els.

There is also talk of a sec­ond stand­pipe to be in­stalled at Mor­gan Park, ac­cord­ing to coun­cil CEO David Keenan.

Mr Keenan said dual fill­ing sta­tions may be needed to al­low for the num­ber of trucks ac­cess­ing the sup­ply.

The mayor con­firmed the coun­cil was work­ing to­gether with the State Govern­ment to find an al­ter­na­tive wa­ter source once Leslie Dam “ex­pires.”

“It’s an un­prece­dented drought sit­u­a­tion so we have to plan be­yond 2020,” Cr Do­bie said.

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