Tweed council gets water quality under control

Bray Park Water Treatment Facility.
Bray Park Water Treatment Facility. Scott Davis

UPDATE 2.20pm: VOLUNTARY water restrictions are still in place as Tweed Shire Council gets the salty water situation at Bray Park Weir under control.

Council's water and wastewater manager Anthony Burnham has confirmed Tweed's water supply, which was contaminated by salt water during a high tide on Monday night, is now getting back to normal.

"Every hour we can produce 15 megalitres of good water so we will be in a position shortly to recharge the shire's reservoirs without the risk of pushing more salt into the system,” Mr Burnham said.

"We need 20 megalitres a day to meet demand.

"Gold Coast City Council also has very generously allowed us to open the connection between Coolangatta and Tweed Heads and we are receiving 31 litres a second of quality water from them, equating to about 2.7 megalitres a day.

"We should be in a position to close that connection by mid-morning tomorrow.”

Council will continue to release 90 megalitres a day from Clarrie Hall Dam for the next few days to continue to top up the good supplies in the top strata of the weir pool as the dredge works to draw the heavier salty water from depths of about 8.5 metres and discharge it downstream.

"The dissolved solids concentration at the bottom depths has been measured at 3700mg/litre so we are very appreciative of the huge effort of our staff and the assistance of external agencies, contractors and the Gold Coast City Council who have worked to control this situation,” Mr Burnham said.

EARLIER: TWEED Shire Council has been working overnight at Bray Park Treatment Plant to reduce the salt concentration found in the water supply but are warning residents water is still not good enough to drink.

Following onday night's high tide, which saw salt water overflow into the catchment area, council started using a small surface pump to push the 'good' water from Clarrie Hall Dam to flush out the salty water at Bray Park.

But restrictions are still in place as council is yet to have sufficient clean water in a number of reservoirs, which will continue to be recharged today until levels are back to normal.

Council's water and wastewater manager Anthony Burnham said he urged residents to minimise their water usage.

"If we can minimise the amount of water consumed and maintain a higher production level of 'fair' quality water, the situation will gradually improve from here on,” Mr Burnham said.

"But, if the demand for water is not contained, we will have to draw more salty water into the system to guarantee supply.”

Council confirmed the Australian Drinking Guidelines have advised that the current salt levels are safe to drink but residents are encouraged to use bottled water if they don't like the taste.

The water at Uki and Tyalgum is not affected and no restrictions apply in those villages.

Topics:  bray park weir safe drinking water tweed shire council water

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