Mar 17, 2019

Drought sparks plans to run Wivenhoe pipeline

Drought sparks plans to run Wivenhoe pipeline

Toowoomba Regional Council is preparing to turn on its water pipeline from Wivenhoe Dam.

The 38km pipeline was built after a 2009/10 taskforce decision on the region’s long-term water supply security.

Ten years later, with the region experiencing one of the worst droughts on record, water and waste committee chair Nancy Sommerfield said the council was preparing to turn on the pipeline.

“Council’s policy determines that the pipeline can be used when Cressbrook Dam falls below 40 per cent capacity to ensure optimal electricity use for litres pumped and we have now reached that trigger point,” she said.

“In preparation, testing and maintenance has been performed as part of the recommissioning process. Minor repairs have been required, which is not unusual for an asset that is almost nine years old.

“As a part of these works, a pipe coupling seal required replacement, with normal operation expected by the end of March should we choose to turn the pipeline on from April.

“Prior to the switch on, numerous factors such as rainfall, electricity prices and other operating costs will be monitored to determine the initial pumping operational duty cycle.”

The pipeline gave the council access to up to 10,000 ML a year for users connected to the Toowoomba bulk supply, Cr Sommerfield said.

The pipeline, originally built by an alliance led by LinkWater, is 762mm in diameter. Two pumps are required to lift the water 240m to Cressbrook Dam. There is an additional lift required to move the water from Cressbrook Dam to the Mt Kynoch Water Treatment Plant.

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