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Clifon’s new reverse osmosis (RO) water treatment plant and Great Artesian Basin (GAB) bore are progressing rapidly, with the design and construction underway, and equipment purchased including building water storage tanks and connection pipes. 

The Clifton GAB bore and the RO treatment plant were scheduled to be operational by October 2021 but timeframes have had to be revised due to supply chain disruptions and delivery delays, with a 100-hour bore pump test finished in June. 

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) Water and Waste Committee Chair, Rebecca Vonhoff, said the bore and treatment plant are now expected to be up and running by the end of February 2022.

“A full electrical upgrade is needed at the site to be able to install the plant and other new infrastructure as part of the project,” Ms Vonhoff said.

“Council is currently waiting on the delivery of an essential electrical component to be able to complete this vital switchboard upgrade and unfortunately, the project team was only informed of this delay in the past two weeks.”

Council committed $800,000 in the 2021 financial year to progress a containerised water treatment plant to mix and treat water from Clifton’s GAB and shallower bores.

A 100-hour pump test of the GAB bore was completed as part of securing a reliable water source for the town with results showing that with minimal treatment the GAB water will be potable.

The new infrastructure is currently scheduled to be delivered to site early December 2021 but full commissioning and connection to the reticulation network cannot occur until the electrical upgrade is complete.

The electrical upgrade and switchboard design are likely to be completed in the coming weeks and installed on-site late December.

Ms Vonhoff said the GAB bore will supply water to Clifton as soon as it’s put into service.

“Once operational, the GAB bore and treatment plant will be a valuable, long-term investment in delivering a quality water supply to Clifton residents,” Ms Vonhoff said. 

The GAB bore supply will be augmented with water from the town’s existing shallow aquifer bores. Council will monitor the GAB bore closely in the initial months after to ensure its effective operation. 

The operation of the GAB bore will end months of Council carting drinking water to Clifton.

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