CQUni pitching in to help with Capricorn Coast water supply study

Published:09 January 2017

TOP: CQUniversity research officers Geeta Gautam Kafle and Alison Craig collecting samples at Kelly’s Offstream Storage as part of a joint study with Livingstone Shire Council. BELOW: Dr Leo Duivenvoorden also involved with the fieldwork.

Livingstone Shire Council is set to get the clearest picture yet of the Capricorn Coast Water Supply, as council partners with CQUniversity for a water quality study at Kelly’s Offstream Storage.

The 1.3 gigalitre reservoir is supplied from Water Park Creek in Byfield. From there it’s treated at the Woodbury Water Treatment Plant and then pumped to homes and businesses from Yeppoon to Keppel Sands. 

Deputy Mayor Graham Scott said the wide-ranging study would look at a number of factors to assist council in managing this key water asset.

“We are constantly undergoing new research and water testing because we understand that the more we know about our water system, the easier it is to manage that water system.

“At the end of this project we will have a comprehensive analysis of our water supply to complement the weekly testing carried out by council staff which will give us a greater understanding of our supply,” Cr Scott said.

Water Councillor Adam Belot said CQUniversity and Council staff have been at the reservoir recently, checking the water column at various depths using highly specialised probes which can be lowered right to the bottom of the reservoir – about 16 metres.

“The study is looking at the water column to check things like water quality, how much iron and manganese are in there and if there’s any presence of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae),” Cr Belot said

CQUniversity is enthusiastic about partnering on the Capricorn Coast water quality study, drawing on its significant investment in infrastructure and staff expertise.

“Our new chemical and water testing infrastructure now available at CQUniversity means that water does not need to go for testing in Brisbane, where the turnover can be over a week for critical information,” says Associate Professor Larelle Fabbro.

Associate Professor Fabbro says the water quality testing will be carried out at CQUniversity’s Central Queensland Innovation and Research Precinct (CQIRP) at Parkhurst – the former CSIRO facility - which has been renovated at a cost of almost $3 million.

“The CQUni staff involved in the Capricorn Coast project have also had considerable experience in the testing of water quality in the Central Queensland region, with the senior members of the group also having experience with water reservoirs in South East Asia.”