29 June, 2023
Water upgrades strengthen network
DESPITE significant progress being made to upgrade Mareeba Shire Council’s water network, the organisation is continuing to deal with an even higher number of water main breaks this year.
Council has attended to 33 water main breaks so far this year, compared to 24 at the same time last year. The total for 2022 was 48 breaks.
Council continues to heavily invest in its water reticulation network, with two tenders awarded last week to upgrade the Mareeba water treatment plant.
Council awarded a $5.4 million contract to FGF Developments to upgrade the Mareeba Water Plant Booster Pump Station, with the Federal Government contributing $1.6 million through its Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program.
A report to council stated the importance of the upgrade, saying it was critical to improve the firefighting capacity in the Mareeba township area as there were “significant and ongoing pressure issues” on the western side of the town.
The upgrade was also important to enable council to meet the minimum required water pressure standard due to increased residential developments particularly on the eastern side and to the southern side of Mareeba.
The project will upgrade the clear water pump station at the Mareeba township Kowa Street water treatment plant. It is expected to be completed by April 2024.
State Water Minister Glenn Butcher said it was great to see the crucial project moving forward and it would ensure long-term liveability in the community.
“Mareeba Shire Council is tracking well with these major works and it’s fantastic that they’ve reached another important milestone,” he said.
“Water and sewerage infrastructure are vital to good jobs, better services and the ongoing live-ability of our wonderful Queensland communities.”
Another contract for just over $1 million was awarded to A & B Civil Contracting to upgrade the Raw Water Pump Station to lift the priority infrastructure out of the flood zone and to provide improved operational functionality when delivering water to the clarifiers and through the filtration process.
“Like most rural and regional areas, much of Mareeba Shire’s urban water supply infrastructure was installed in the 1950s and 1960s, and council has been actively pursuing grant funds to ensure the ageing water infrastructure components can be replaced,” Mayor Angela Toppin said.
“This project is an example of council’s proactive water strategy to ensure secure and reliable water infrastructure for the Mareeba Shire now and into the future.”
Meanwhile, council has revealed how much water is used by property owners in its town areas, with Mareeba recording an average daily water consumption per property of 1639 litres, while Chillagoe was the highest with 2172 litres a day.
Kuranda (837 litres a day) and Mt Molloy (814 litres) boast the lowest water consumption.