Council awards $27.5m project for new water clarifiers

Date published: 26 May 2021

Townsville City Council will invest $27.5 million to construct two new water clarifiers at the Douglas Water Treatment Plant, enhancing the facility’s capacity to produce clean, healthy drinking water for the city.

The project is the latest move by Council to swiftly address the unexpected interruptions to water delivery experienced in late 2020 and earlier this year.

Earlier this week, Council announced the completion of an enhanced secondary water intake for the Douglas Water Treatment Plant, while work duplicating the pipeline between the dam and treatment plant has been fast-tracked.

BMD Constructions has been awarded the contract to construct the new clarifiers, which is expected to support around 40 jobs. Work is expected to start this week and be completed by the end of August 2022.

Townsville Water and Waste Committee chairperson Russ Cook said the new clarifiers would minimise the risk of the city experiencing temporary discolouration of its drinking water supply caused by increased turbidity during the wet season.

“Like many water authorities across Australia, Townsville Water has to deal with increased turbidity in our raw water supply during the wet season,” Cr Cook said.

“Following the issues experienced with discoloured water earlier this year, Council set about finding ways to minimise the risk of a similar event happening again.

“As part of our integrated water strategy, we will install two new clarifiers at the Douglas Water Treatment Plant.

“Clarifiers are part of the filtration process the water raw from the dam goes through before being treated to the highest possible standard and piped to homes and business across the city.

“This project will double the number of clarifiers at the Douglas Water Treatment Plant and increase the capacity to treat water during the wet season by an additional 90 mega litres per day.”

Cr Cook said the installation of the new clarifiers was also an investment in the future.

“Townsville’s population is expected to reach 200,000 people this coming year and with all the positive developments on the horizon, the city is going to keep growing,” he said.

“This investment at Douglas Water Treatment Plant will ensure we can continue to meet the demand for clean, healthy drinking water in Townsville as it grows.”

In cooperation with the Department of Defence, Council has fast-tracked the design and land access arrangements to enable the duplication of the pipeline between the dam and treatment plant as soon as possible.

Tenders for the construction of the duplicate pipeline are expected to be released later in the year.

The cost of the duplication is expected to be around $45 million at the concept level. Council is developing the concept into a full detailed design package including a more accurate cost estimate.