Agnes Creek dredging has couple concerned over water health
AN AGNES Water couple's claim that water was being bored out from an Agnes Water creek was met by a rebuttal from Gladstone Regional Council.
The couple, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed desalination plant Trility was boring water from Agnes Creek at the Agnes Water main beach.
The couple claimed Trility was very close to destroying the hydrology of the creek and Gladstone Regional Council "was not listening to anyone".
"This whole area is a massive water catchment to the Great Barrier Reef, everyone knows that," the couple said.
The couple said a sewage treatment pump at Agnes Creek posed as a pollution threat to nearby waterways.
"During storms, there is a great potential for those sewage pumps to wash off and flow into that main beach creek," they said.
"That's why last year, Agnes Water main beach stunk.
"If council is not willing to do anything about this stuff then the community is quite happy to do something but we don't have the funding."
The couple said Reedy Creek Reserve was also bored by Trility.
Trility was contracted by Gladstone Regional Council to design, build, operate and maintain two water treatment plants, lagoon sewage treatment system, seawater desalination plant and a wastewater treatment plant in a 10-year $36m contract.
The integrated water project services both townships of Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy, providing alternative security of supply, including the reduction of reliance on local bores for drinking water.
Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett said Trility had never extracted water from Agnes Creek.
Cr Burnett said both Trility and Gladstone Regional Council conducted stringent operational and verification monitoring programs as required under the Water Supply (Safety & Reliability) Act 2008 and Water Supply (Safety & Reliability) Regulation 2010, Public Health Act 2005 and Public Health Regulation 2018.
"(These acts) are governed by the water quality criteria contained in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011 (updated May 2019)," Cr Burnett said.
Cr Burnett said Trility had two water sources for the treatment and production of drinking water; a groundwater source and seawater.
"Based on operational requirements, we have not been drawing from the groundwater sources since August 2018," he said.
Cr Burnett said Gladstone Regional Council conducted a routine inspection of Agnes Creek on September 23 and did not observe any signs of litter or pollution within the creek.
"The Melaleuca wetlands in the upper portions of the creek are currently dry due to the low rainfall in the region, however these wetlands are seasonal and will fill with water again during the wet season," he said.
"The creek which has naturally brackish water at the lower portions of the creek appeared relatively healthy with abundant fish life."
Cr Burnett said warm weather decreased water levels and low rainfall could lead to the development of natural algal blooms in water bodies throughout the region during spring.
"Spring is also the time of the year when Trichodesmium algae appears off the Queensland Coast and may be transported onto beaches and into coastal rivers and creeks under the right conditions," he said.
"A Trichodesmium bloom is a natural event and may develop an unpleasant 'fishy' smell as it decomposes."
Trility was approached for comment.