Innovation may be key to Paluma water supply solution

Date published: 13 December 2016

A solution to the provision of a reliable, secure water supply for the Paluma township may be found through industry innovation.

A meeting of full council today resolved to seek expressions of interest for the supply of safe drinking water to the rainforest township after construction of a water treatment plant was costed at $1.3million.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the proposal sought to strike a balance between providing a reliable supply of drinking water for the town’s 72 lots and the cost to the broader community.

“Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and the upcoming introduction of Health Based Targets set by Queensland Health has changed the goalposts in terms of testing and standards on safe drinking water,” Cr Hill said.

“This is about exploring options for the people of Paluma by seeking solutions from industry that are both effective in ensuring safe drinking water and cost effective.”

Water and Waste Committee chairman Cr Paul Jacob said the motion was an important step towards a long-term solution.

“Paluma is one of our most loved townships and a long-term solution that will provide a guaranteed supply of quality, clear water is vital,” Cr Jacob said.

“Providing a higher level of treated water for the township will benefit not just the local residents and people with weekenders, but also the day-trippers and the school education camps.”

Water for the Paluma township is drawn from a weir on a small creek and is put through a partial treatment using chlorine, which alone will not eliminate risk of protozoa.

The Paluma township has been on a boil water notice since October, following the detection of contaminates in the raw water supply.

At a meeting in the township earlier this month, Cr Hill also committed to cleaning the weir and checking septic systems adjoining the weir catchment.