Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) will begin construction on its $2.8 million, four-kilometre trunk main connecting Hodgson Vale to the Toowoomba Bulk Water Supply.

The project, to be constructed by local contractor Newlands Civil Construction, has a target completion of May 2019.

TRC Chair of Water and Waste, Nancy Sommerfield, said council has worked with the contractor to determine options for early connection, with initial supply of water expected to occur by the end of January 2019.

“The trunk water main is required due to the reducing yield and poor water quality of the current non-fluoridated bore water supply,” Ms Sommerfield said.

“Design of the trunk water main from the Toowoomba Bulk Water Supply to a new reservoir and connection to the existing Hodgson Vale water supply infrastructure is in progress.”

Ms Sommerfield said that council is serious about water security in the region.

“Since September, council has been carting water to the Hodgson Vale reservoir to take pressure off the local bore system,” she said.

“This is the driest year for our region since 1901, and there has been significant pressure on our aquifers in the southern part of the region.

“Council had scheduled the connection as a major project for this financial year; however, recent drought conditions have highlighted that Hodgson Vale’s supply is vulnerable.

“With the Millennium drought in our recent memory, connecting Hodgson Vale to the Toowoomba Bulk Water Supply, which is sourced from our three dams and bores, improves water security to this important growth area.

“Our dams currently sit at 42.9 per cent capacity, and with the Wivenhoe water source, the region continues to enjoy sound water security.

“The Hodgson Vale water connection project will link the Toowoomba Bulk Water Supply network to the area encompassing Hodgson Vale, Mount Rascal, Top Camp and Preston.

“Water will be principally sourced from the Mt Kynoch Water Treatment Plant, which contains added fluoride.

“Under the Water Fluoridation Act 2008, council is required to make a formal decision to add fluoride to the Hodgson Vale area water supply, advise Queensland Health and publish a fluoridation notice at least 30 days before changing those water supplies.”

The Council Water and Waste Committee has recommended that:

  1. Council resolve to connect the Hodgson Vale area to the fluoridated potable water supply sourced from the Mt Kynoch Treatment Plant
  2. In accordance with Sections 13 (3) and (4) of the Water Fluoridation Act 2008, the Chief Executive Officer of Council will advise the Chief Executive of Queensland Health and a fluoridation notice will be published, prior to changes to the Hodgson Vale area water supply scheme

“The 30-day notification period is part of the process required by council when an area receives water that is fluoridated for the first time,” Ms Sommerfield said.

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