Douglas Shire bring on the water works /Newsport

Douglas Shire bring on the water works

Friday March 21 2014

Works on an early alert system for water intake into the Mossman treatment plant will start next week and are set to be completed by late May.

The system will mean less strain on the plant's ultrafiltration process, particularly during extreme weather events. 

Douglas Shire Council General Manager, Paul Hoye said the alert system would make water easier to treat at the site.   

"By doing that we'll stop a lot of increased maintenance, get a lot longer life out of our filters and be able to better manage water and our disinfectants," Mr Hoye said. 

"Because the higher the turbidity is, the more stuff you need to treat your water."

The plant's water is sourced from Rex Creek, near Mossman Gorge and then travels five kilometres via gravity feed down pipes to a 2.1 mega-litre reservoir. 

The plant's chemical free ultrafiltration system removes pathogens before running the water through a UV disinfection system. 

Water Quality Team Leader, Henry Maro said a dosing pump injected one milligram of chlorine per litre of water into the supply before it is distributed. 

"What chlorine does is it stays in the system right to the consumer's tap to ensure there isn't any recontamination and the water is safe to drink," he said.

Mr Hoye said the system was part of the new council's commitment to re-investing in existing infrastructure throughout the region.

"That's the reason we've got a reasonably high maintenance budget. It's really just to keep things in order," he said.

Plans to re-establish a second reservoir, known as the 'Mossman reservoir' at the plant have also been mooted for later in the year.  

The Mossman reservoir which - when operational - can hold up to 1.5 megalitres of water, was taken offline by Cairns Regional Council in 2009. 

"When we start to look at our budget for the next financial year, we'll probably be looking at that," Mr Hoye said. 

"We didn't do it in this first six-month budget because we wanted to do some capital works stuff that we thought we could get done without breaking the bank, so to speak.

"Having a smaller, dedicated reservoir for Mossman, it's really about water security. That way if things go wrong you can switch between the two." 

Re-establishing the second reservoir at the Mossman treatment plant is expected to cost around $200,000. 

Port Douglas uses between five and 12 megalitres of water per day. In comparison Mossman uses around two megalitres per day.