The Gold Coast’s Desalination Plant will again be used to supplement the city’s drinking water supply from next Monday.
Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark Bailey said the desalination plant would be used while the Molendinar Water Treatment Plant (WTP), which is the coast’s largest treatment plan, is upgraded.
More than 20 suburbs will be supplied with desalinated drinking water for about a week including Gilston, Broadbeach, Nerang, Yatala, Coomera, Bundall and Mermaid Beach.
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It is only the third time the desalination plant has been used to supply drinking water to the city outside of extreme weather events.
It first began supplying water in February 2009 and can pump out around 125 million litres of water a day – the equivalent to about 50 Olympic sized swimming pools.
In September last year more than 170,000 residents in the southern Gold Coast region of the coast were supplied drinking water from the plant while the WTP at Mudgeeraba was refurbished.
Mr Bailey said the project highlighted the importance of the desalination plant beyond emergencies and drought and is an essential part of the South East Queensland Water Grid.
“This is about being smart about how we use our water assets in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible,” he said.
“The desalination plant is the best option available to ensure the ongoing supply of a safe and reliable water supply while we upgrade our Molendinar plant.”
Seqwater Acting Chief Executive Officer Jim Pruss said the desalination plant would produce about 88 million litres of drinking water per day for the duration of the project.
The water will be blended with water from the Mudgeeraba and Mt Crosby Water Treatment plants.
Mr Pruss said upgrade works, which will improve the way raw water enters the plant, are expected to be complete by Monday, August 22.
“The Gold Coast plant played a significant role during the January 2011 flood event and the Australia Day 2013 extreme weather event, supplying up to 20 percent of the region’s drinking water supply,” Mr Pruss said.
“Based on population growth and demand, the plant may be required to supplement peak demand on the Gold Coast during the summer as early as 2019-2020.”