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The City of Townsville Council has released its 2021/22 Budget, allocating $177 million to water infrastructure, $141.3 million to wastewater assets, and $13 million to stage three of the southern suburbs rising main project.

Mayor, Jenny Hill, said Council was committed to ensuring Townsville continues to have a safe, reliable, secure and healthy water supply now and into the future.

“With a growing population and aging infrastructure, Council has committed to making a generational investment into the water infrastructure our city needs,” Ms Hill said.

“The 2021/22 Budget provides funding to continue the implementation of our integrated water strategy, which includes the renewal of the pipeline between Ross River Dam and the Douglas Water Treatment Plant and enhancements to the treatment plant itself.

“The renewal of the pipe between the dam and the treatment plant is a $20 million investment, while the installation of two new clarifiers at the Douglas Water Treatment Plant will cost $27 million, of which $4 million was expended in 2020/21.

“A new PAC dosing system will also be installed at the Douglas facility at a cost of $8.5 million. The system will absorb dissolved organic matter and algal toxins from the raw water and improve taste and odour.”

Townsville Water and Waste Committee Chairperson, Russ Cook, said the Budget also included a considerable investment in the ongoing renewal of underground water infrastructure.

“Our underground water infrastructure moves clean and healthy water to homes and businesses, so it’s essential we continue to invest in new and upgraded pipes and water mains,” Mr Cook said.

“The 2021/22 Budget includes a $5.1 million contribution from Council towards the cost of building a new low-level water reservoir and inlet/outlet pipe at Elliot Springs.

“There is also $9.1 million to replace sections of the water main along Charters Towers Road and $5 million to replace the pipeline from the Douglas Water Treatment Plant under the Ross River, supplying water to properties on the northern side of the river.

“$5.5 million will go toward the replacement of various small water pipes across the city, the replacement of the Stagpole Street water main at a cost of $2.5 million, and $1.5 million to replace water meters that are approaching the end of their operational life.”

Council continues to work with the Queensland Government and the Department of Defence on the duplication of the pipeline between the Ross River Dam and Douglas Water Treatment Plant.

Council has fast-tracked the design and land access arrangements to enable the duplication of the pipeline between the dam and treatment plant as soon as possible.

Tenders for the construction of the duplicate pipeline are expected to be released in late-2021.

Council is currently developing the concept into a full detailed design package, including a more accurate cost estimate. The cost of the duplication is currently estimated to be around $45 million.

Wastewater assets

The Council will invest $141.3 million in new and upgraded wastewater assets and maintenance across the city, ensuring the wastewater network can continue to service the city as it grows.

Ms Hill said the Budget included $28.2 million to continue construction of the city’s recycled water reuse scheme.

“The recycled water reuse scheme is part of Council’s three-point water security solution and will see recycled water used to irrigate parks and gardens, instead of using drinkable water,” Ms Hill said.

“It is a forward-thinking investment which meets both our water security and green economy agendas.

“The 2021/22 Budget includes $22.2 million to build the effluent treatment facility adjacent to the Cleveland Bay Purification Plant as well as close to $6 million to continue installing pipes to carry the water once treated.

“Pipelines will be installed to Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Lavarack Barracks and industrial users.”

Mr Cook said, “The Budget includes close to $7 million for extensions and upgrades to wastewater pump stations across the city and $2.7 million for the relining for sewer gravity mains.

“There’s also $1.1 million for renewals at the Mount St John Treatment Plant and $800,000 for sewer property connection renewals.

“These are critical investments in our network which will ensure we have the infrastructure in-place to service the community now and well into the future, especially as our city continues to go.”

Wulguru wastewater network

The Budget also includes $13 million for Wulguru wastewater network upgrades, which is stage three of the southern suburbs rising main project.

“Council has been working for a number of years to increase the capacity of our wastewater system in our southern suburbs,” Ms Hill said.

“Stage two of the southern suburbs rising main project was completed in December 2020 and since then, Council officers have been working in preparation for the third and final stage.”

Included in the funding allocation is $5 million to build a new wastewater pump station in Wulguru, $4.5 million to construct a new gravity main and $3.5 million for a new pressure main.

Mr Cook said the southern suburbs rising main project would ensure the wastewater system in the area would continue to cater for continued population growth.

“By the time stage three of this project is complete, close to $54 million will have been invested, enhancing our wastewater network in our southern suburbs,” Mr Cook said.

“This is an impressive investment and demonstrates Council’s commitment to ensuring our wastewater network can continue to meet the needs of the community.”

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