Council set to tackle water issue at Boyne Tannum

GLADSTONE Regional Council has promised to solve the watering problem that has left Boyne-Tannum fields with dying grass.

A council decision this week means football clubs and the golf club that have been battling over-dry fields won't be forced to pay for water long term.

The council will redesign its effluent irrigation system to get the water flowing again.

It has been almost four months since council shut off the supply of recycled water after it was found to be contaminated.

Samples sent to a commercial lab by The Observer showed E. coli levels more than twice the legal limit in ponds that had been used to supply irrigation water.

CEO Stuart Randle admitted the original design of the system "wasn't well thought out", with effluent water being stored in open lagoons.

Now council staff is working on designs to find a cheap solution to the issue that had parents up in arms over the declining state of the grounds.

Mr Randle said the lagoons would be removed from the system to minimise the risk of contamination, and potentially replaced with water tanks.

A system of pumps connected directly to the sprinkler system is also being considered.

A final decision is expected next week.

Monitoring of the effluent water coming out of the treatment plant will also be "beefed up" and the entire process reviewed.

"We are going to put some protocols in place to handle failures like this in the future, if and when it happens again," Mr Randle said.

The council previously said it hadn't been able to establish the source of the contamination, and according to Mr Randle that hasn't changed.

He said there were two possibilities - effluent water coming from the plant did not meet standards, or the contamination was happening in the lagoons.

"It's a combination of issues. On occasions there have been failures treating effluent at the plant, where it wasn't being treated to a high enough standard.

"It depends on whether it has been a busy day at the plant, whether there has been a mechanical or electrical failure that interrupts the process.

"There is no easy answer, it's complicated..."

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