David Lewis (pictured) said the GRC could be forced to spend $1 million on relining the lagoons for Goomeri's water supply.
David Lewis (pictured) said the GRC could be forced to spend $1 million on relining the lagoons for Goomeri's water supply.

Council faces expensive fix for Goomeri water woes

GYMPIE Regional Council could be forced to spend more than $1 million to fix the Goomeri water supply.

Council CFO and director of corporate services Dave Lewis, and strategic planning, water business unit manager Sayed Khan presented a draft of the Goomeri water supply rehabilitation short term strategy to the council at its workshop this week.

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The South Burnett town’s surface water supply is sourced from Kinbombi Weir, and stored in two off-stream lagoons, but only the primary lagoon (lagoon one) is being used.

Several bores were put down after Goomeri’s water ran out last year, but the bore water was intended to supplement the surface water in times of unavailability.

“We did run out of water last year, we had to truck water in, so since then we’ve put a number of bores in place,” Mr Lewis said.

“We’ve got the two lagoons in the vicinity and we’re looking at how we might refurbish those lagoons to give us a number of years’ worth of supply.”

Goomeri was forced to truck water in from Murgon last year. File Photo.
Goomeri was forced to truck water in from Murgon last year. File Photo.

A report on the situation presented to the council said lagoon one and two had overdue maintenance issues; lagoon one leaks when the water exceeds 5m, which needs to be addressed to maximise water harvesting in the wet season.

“If dam one fills over 5m there is some leakage, at the moment it’s around 4.2, 4.1, it’s going down slowly,” he said.

“But, we’re approaching the summer season and as the prediction says they’re expecting good rain.”

Mr Lewis said it was an opportune time to undertake maintenance on lagoon two as well.

He said with two operating lagoons the town would have a three to four year water supply, compared to the one year supply currently in lagoon one.

“They’re designed to operate together too. If you start to churn the water you reduce your incidents of blue-green algae,” he said.

Mr Lewis said they needed to investigate the pipe work, and work out whether the lagoons needed to be fully relined, which he estimated could cost up to $1 million.

“We’re not sure, that’s just a figure that’s come up,” he said.

“We need to do some investigations to see whether we need to patch or whether we need to reline.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s the better quality water, it’s what the town deserves, and we’ve got a plant there that’s been built to handle that water,” Deputy Mayor Hilary Smerdon said.

The short term strategy to rehabilitate the town’s water involved a number of other initiatives including rehabilitating bores and the existing treatment plan to allow for the treatment of blended surface and bore water.

The short term strategy was rolled out last year and is scheduled to be completed in 2023.