Bremer River sewage warning

PARTIALLY-TREATED sewage is flowing into the Bremer River from the treatment plant at Bundamba and could keep flowing for 10 weeks.

Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) said it may take up to 10 weeks to restore full operations at three sewage treatment plants including Bundamba after flood damage to the sewerage network.

QUU chief operating officer Robin Lewis said all measures were being taken to restore the sewerage network as quickly as possible.

Mr Lewis said that while QUU was able to maintain water and wastewater services across the Brisbane and Ipswich areas during the flood, sewerage infrastructure had suffered “significant and widespread damage and destruction”.

“More than 110 sewage pumping stations were initially impacted in Brisbane and Ipswich. All are now operational, with only 10 running on temporary fixes, such as diesel pumps and tankering,” he said.

“Nine of 28 treatment plants were impacted and six severely damaged. Now only three remain on primary treatment. It was important for us to respond immediately, as flood water receded, to minimise the amount of sewage entering waterways.”

Treatment plants at Oxley, Bundamba and Karana Downs are operating at primary treatment, which only screens raw sewage to reduce environmental impact.

“Our crews are working around the clock and secondary treatment is rapidly being restored, but unfortunately this will take time to establish,” Mr Lewis said.

“This involves restarting the biological process that further treats sewage and reduces nutrient levels, such as nitrogen and phosphorous.

“This process alone takes three to four weeks. In the meantime, we ask residents to be patient with these recovery efforts.”

“QUU strongly advises all residents and visitors to stay out of waterways, as the water may contain debris, chemical waste and sewage,” he said.

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