New building to strike right chemistry for scientists

Date published: 4 June 2020

A new $5 million laboratory at the Douglas Water Treatment Plant will provide more space for scientists to improve current services and expand into new areas that assist the city.

Council’s Water and Waste Committee Chairman Russ Cook said the new lab will benefit Council, businesses and environmental specialists.

“The Douglas Water Treatment Plant laboratory is the most capable local government lab north of Brisbane in terms of the services it offers,” Cr Cook said.

“The facility looks after Council’s water analysis but it also conducts tests for the state government, other councils, consultants and the mining industry.

“The lab has grown over the past 15 years and scientists need more room to expand its capabilities.”

Local councillor Suzy Batkovic said the facility will expand Council’s capacity.

“Council’s scientific staff have done some great work but the current lab has restricted them to water, wastewater and environmental testing,” Cr Batkovic said.

“The new lab will improve safety and it also allows researchers to expand into areas such as hygiene, other microbiological tests and emerging environmental contaminants – such as pharmaceuticals, and personal care products like hair care products, oral care, and sun screen lotions.

“The lab has also gained accreditation to analyse per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

“PFAS is a by-product of things we use every day including food packaging and clothes and it is a growing concern across the world. Analysis of PFAS in our wastewater and the environment is very important for our region.

“We have very talented staff working at the Douglas Water Treatment Plant Laboratory and this building will give them a safer workplace and a chance to broaden their horizons.”