Queensland commits $47M for new water treatment facility in Burdekin

Image Credit: Queensland Government

The Queensland Government has pledged substantial support for water security in the Burdekin region, with a comprehensive $46.88 million funding package. This package is intended to assist the Burdekin Shire Council in the execution of Stage 1 of a cutting-edge Water Treatment Plant in Ayr.

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water Glenn Butcher emphasised that the government is dedicated to assisting the Burdekin Shire Council in providing a consistent supply of safe and dependable drinking water to the local community, both presently and in the long term.

“Everyone knows the Burdekin is built on liquid gold, and this investment sets the community and council on a path for safe, clean and healthy water for decades to come,” the minister noted.

In particular, the funding initiative encompasses provisions for refurbishing South Ayr bores, aiming to complement the existing drinking water supply.

This financial commitment is a vital component of an ongoing management plan, a response to the detection of PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) in the local groundwater, the government said in a media statement.

The first stage of the new water treatment plant comprises pre-treatment processes for iron and manganese, dual media filtration (coal on sand), disinfection mechanisms, solids handling, and facilities for chemical storage and dosing.

Construction of this state-of-the-art water treatment plant is slated to commence later this year, with the goal of becoming operational and supplying drinking water to the community by 2026.

Furthermore, the funding package encompasses ongoing technical support, as well as groundwater monitoring and modelling for the Ayr aquifer.

According to the government, the presence of PFAS in the local groundwater was initially detected in 2018, prompting the Burdekin Shire Council to take immediate action by establishing new bores to secure the town’s water supply.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor, Lyn McLaughlin, expressed her contentment and extended a warm welcome to the State Government’s announcement of financial backing for the implementation of Stage 1 of a fresh water treatment facility.

“I would like to thank the State Government for their support and collaboration to provide essential infrastructure to the Burdekin Community which will also improve water security. I look forward to seeing the benefits of this project for our region,” Mayor McLaughlin noted.

Recognising the importance of providing safe and reliable drinking water, the government had previously allocated $12 million in funding to the Burdekin Shire Council for water supply infrastructure upgrades.

These upgrades, completed in 2022, included the construction of a 10-megalitre South Ayr Reservoir, installation of new bores and associated pumps, chlorination, ultraviolet (UV) disinfection equipment, connecting water mains, and the design of the South Ayr Water Treatment Plant.