Aerator to help keep Ross River Dam healthy

Date published: 5 August 2020

A $1.5 million project to install an aerator at Ross River Dam, the largest source of potable water in the Townsville region, has started.

Townsville Water and Waste Committee chairperson Russ Cook said the installation of an aerator would be undertaken by Newlands Constructions and would take 10 weeks to complete.

“It helps to think of the water in the dam as similar to layers of an onion – during the warmer months the surface temperature of the water is higher than the lower levels and this causes the water underneath to become more dense and settle in layers,” Cr Cook said.

“An aerator will push air into the bottom of the dam and mix the water around and ensure oxygen reaches the lower levels which will minimise any musty or earthy tastes and smells of the water.

“This is about improving the customer experience for residents and ensuring that the water coming from the Ross River Dam tastes and smells good year-round.”

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the aerator project was being funded through the Queensland Government’s COVID Works for Queensland program.

“Townsville City Council has received more than $13.5 million through the COVID Works for Queensland program, which is estimated to support more than 80 jobs,” Mr Harper said.

“The coronavirus pandemic has hit our local economy hard and the funding we are providing through the Works for Queensland program is providing economic stimulus for the community and helping to support jobs for locals.”

Mr Harper said the funding being provided through the COVID Works for Queensland program was in addition to the close to $70 million in funding Council has received across the three earlier rounds of Works for Queensland, which has helped support 1582 jobs across our city.

Mayor Jenny Hill said the project was part of a suite of projects that are hoped will stimulate the economy during the COVID-19 recovery.

“This shovel-ready project will involve laying 600 metres of pipe along the bottom of the dam that will push air into the water, preventing the build-up and formation of algae,” Cr Hill said.

“The works will take 10 weeks to complete and during this time there will be closures to part of the dam such as the spillway stairs, the viewing platform and the access road.

“I’d like to thank residents for their patience and cooperation while these works are carried out.”