Richmond Shire Council took out the 2014 Orica Australia Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test at the IPWEA Queensland Conference in Caloundra on Thursday, 9 October with the water from its pilot plant selected as the best by conference delegates through some 440 individual “tastes.”
For years Richmond residents had requested that Council improve the quality of water it supplies, complaining of the odour and the staining from the iron and manganese.
Council secured funding of $3.6 million from the State Government to assist in development and installation of a first class water treatment plant for the residents of Richmond. After seeking advice from numerous water experts, Council settled on Aeramix to design and implement the plant.
Richmond Shire Council CEO, Peter Bennett, said the plant, commissioned in December 2014, was the perfect Christmas present for the town.
Council also conducted a major overhaul of its water mains with $1 million spent this calendar year. These two projects will ensure that the residents of Richmond will have the best water in Queensland. This award showcases the hard work the Richmond Shire Council has gone through to get the best result possible.”
Richmond continued its winning streak, taking on and beating New South Wales winner, Orange City Council at the "Water of Origin Taste Test" held at the Queensland Water Industry Operations Conference and Exhibition in Toowoomba on 17 - 18 June 2015. Read more about Richmond's win here.
As usual in the state finals, the results were very close and Richmond narrowly beat Rockhampton to take the honours, with Bundaberg a close third.
Thirty two members participated in regional finals over the course of the year, with the following six regional winners fighting it out at the grand final:
South East Queensland:
Bundaberg Regional Council’s Lovers Walk groundwater is drawn from the Elliott Formation consisting of a sand and gravel aquifer between 20 and 40 metres below ground level. The groundwater drawn from Lovers Walk is a very soft water free from impurities. The untreated groundwater is very “aggressive” water due to the high carbon dioxide content, low pH and alkalinity. The treatment process consists of the groundwater being pumped to an aeration spraybed, where excess carbon dioxide is removed. The aerated water then filters through a bed of limestone for pH correction and neutralisation prior to being gravity-fed to a collection chamber and then chlorinated on its way to a storage reservoir, and pumped to the reticulation system.
South West Queensland:
Toowoomba Regional Council’s Mt Kynoch Water Treatment Plant takes water from Toowoomba’s three dams and uses conventional treatment - flocculation, settling, filtration, chlorination and fluoridation - before it is distributed to the community.
The Fitzroy River is the primary water source for Rockhampton and Gracemere residents with treatment taking place at the Glenmore Water Treatment Plant using conventional treatment processes including flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and chlorination before distribution.
Water from Richmond Shire Council’s pilot water treatment plant won the Western Queensland regional final, with the new plant commissioned in December 2014. Raw water is drawn from two bores and is high in sulphide, manganese and iron. The final process includes aeration, initial chlorination, coagulation, filtration and final chlorination.
Mackay Regional Council’s Nebo Road Water Treatment Plant collects water at the Dumbleton Weir which is on the Pioneer River. The Water Treatment Plant process involves coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, and filtration. The water is also disinfected with chlorine.
Far North Queensland:
Cairns Regional Council’s Mirriwinni water treatment plant sources raw water from a tropical creek via a state-of-the-art filtration system. From Pugh’s Creek intake, the water passes through a pre-filter screen, then through an additional two sets of bag filters that essentially remove the Cryptosporidium and Giardia before passing through a UV disinfection system.