Drinking water pumped in as Mount Crosby plant off line
A QUARTER of Ipswich's drinking water will be pumped from the Gold Coast while the Mount Crosby water treatment plant is off line for up to three months.
The Gold Coast Desalination Plant will run at increased capacity during that time as upgrade works are undertaken at the Mount Crosby facility.
The plant will provide up to 133 million litres per day into the SEQ Water Grid - or up to 25% of Brisbane and Ipswich's daily drinking water supply - while the Mt Crosby East Bank Water Treatment Plant is off line undergoing the first phase of a major upgrade.
The Water Grid also will be used to move water from the Sunshine Coast into Brisbane to help supplement supply during the upgrade works.
Seqwater Acting Chief Executive Officer Dan Spiller said the Mt Crosby plants were critical, supplying up to 50% of the region's drinking water each day.
"The Mt Crosby East Bank and West Bank water treatment plants are the primary source of drinking water for the greater Brisbane and Ipswich areas and are increasingly being used to supply water to the Sunshine Coast. The plants have the largest production capacity of any across the region," Mr Spiller said.
"The availability of climate-resilient assets like the desalination plant and the Water Grid helps us continue to deliver a safe and reliable drinking water supply while important upgrade works are performed."
Project work for the Mt Crosby plants include replacing valves, installing a new stand-by generator, design investigations for a planned filter upgrade, replacing critical infrastructure and inspecting the condition of assets.
Mr Spiller said the desalination plant was vital to the region's drought response and would be operated at full capacity when the region's dam levels drop to 60% capacity.
It also has been used in times of extreme weather events such as floods or cyclones where there may be water supply constraints or water quality issues.
During the past three years the desalination plant has been used on a number of occasions as the sole supply for 170,000 residents on the southern end of the Gold Coast while local treatment plants were offline for upgrades and maintenance.
Based on population growth and demand, the plant may be required to supplement peak demand on the Gold Coast during the summer as early as 2020.
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said the project highlighted the importance of the desalination plant beyond emergencies and drought response.
"Having the desalination plant and the Water Grid available provides significant security of supply during times when we need to take major water treatment plants offline," Dr Lynham