Mar 03, 2016

Water works flow in Western Downs region

Water works flow in Western Downs region

Major works are continuing to roll out in a $28.5 million water and wastewater upgrade for Chinchilla.

FB Contracting is due to start work in April on 8km of water pipelines connecting a new raw water pumping station to a new potable water treatment plant and linking into the water supply network at Colamba St.

Western Downs Regional Council infrastructure services general manager Graham Cook said that component of the Chinchilla project was expected to cost about $2.7 million and be completed by September.

Engineering group Monadelphous was recently named as the successful tenderer to build the potable water treatment plant, with construction set to begin in July 2016 and run to August 2017.

That Stage 1, $10.5 million package includes constructing the raw water pumping station on the Condamine River, a new water treatment plant and a 3.5 million-litre reservoir.

Mr Cook urged local businesses looking to subcontract to contact the contractors directly at their head office.

Aquatec Maxcon is completing the town’s new wastewater treatment plant, which is due to be officially opened on March 7.

Mr Cook said $11.4 million had been earmarked for that work, but it was expected to come in about $1 million under budget.

Combined, the Chinchilla projects represent the largest capital works project the council has embarked on.

Carried out under an Accelerated Utilities Capital Works Program, they are intended to give Chinchilla residents a modern top-of-the-line treatment plan, and 3.5-megalitre potable water reservoir.

The program stemmed from an assessment of the region’s sewerage and water network after the amalgamation of the Dalby, Murilla, Tara, Chinchilla and Wambo shires and part of Taroom Shire to form the Western Downs Regional Council area.

“At the time the influx of resource sector business to the region required that we had to upgrade a lot of our facilities because we didn’t have the capacity to handle the extra load and much of the existing plant was reaching the end of its life,” Mr Cook said.

“Council looked at the whole network, did assessments and put a 10-year program in place.

“The first five years of that required about $125 million and the next five years about $25 million, which is about the amount we would have normally spent.”

The Chinchilla water treatment plant was the last on the list of major projects to be completed, he said.

“And it looks like we’ve delivered that work (the first five years of the Accelerated Utilities Capital Works Program) about $25 million under budget,” Mr Cook said.

While the demands of the resource sector wax and wane, Mr Cook said the council had tailor-made projects to suit population trends.

“What we’ve done is made the project so we can easily retrofit to increase capacity should things ramp up,” he said.