The Toowoomba Regional Council’s annual budget includes provision of $75 million for water and wastewater infrastructure, including the installation of variable speed drives at pump stations
According to Water & Waste Committee Chair Cr John Gouldson, “Minimising the impact of rising electricity and other costs has been the main challenge facing Council’s $75 million water and wastewater operations. However, Council is on a determined path of improving the environmental and financial sustainability of its water and waste undertakings.
“Council’s budgeted increase in electricity across water and wastewater is almost $800,000 or 18% above last financial year. As one of our most expensive inputs, electricity costs around $5 million per annum due to the fact we live on a mountain range where water is pumped significant distances and heights.
“We are investigating options to reduce electricity use, including the installation of variable speed drives at pump stations and changes in operating protocols.
“This financial year will see our first access payment to the Wivenhoe pipeline at a cost of $4.8 million. While this is a significant cost, it is a necessary price to pay for water security.
“Remediation of a number of landfill sites will begin this year with works to rehabilitate the closed Geham waste facility to ensure compliance with State environmental regulations. This year, we are installing a gas collection system at the Bedford Street landfill and will investigate the potential to generate power from the collected gas for use at Council’s Wetalla Water Reclamation Facility.
“Over $43 million will fund new water and wastewater capital projects while $25.8 million will be spent on water operations and maintenance and $8.6 million on wastewater operations and maintenance.
Crows Nest and Hampton residents will see improved water quality with construction of a new treatment plant at Pechey to replace both Crows Nest and Hampton water treatment plants at a cost of $4.26 million.
“Around $21.5 million has been allocated to wastewater infrastructure projects with progress on the $18.2 million Kingsthorpe and Gowrie Junction sewerage schemes and $1.15 million earmarked for installation of sewers to the unsewered areas of Westbrook.”