UPDATE @ August 29 2017: It will still be a number of days before tap water is back to ‘normal’ on the Tweed.
Council has confirmed in a statement, the water is “good to drink but should not be used on salt-sensitive plants or in freshwater fish tanks”.
It comes after tides up to 380mm higher than predicted pushed salt water into Bray Park Weir on August 21, triggering Council to enforce immediate water restrictions as a precaution.
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“Council has now got two dredges working to pump salty water from the lower depths of the Bray Park Weir,” the latest statement explains.
Together they are pumping about 380 litres a second out from depths up to 12 metres and discharging it over the weir wall and downstream.
Levels in the mains pipes are still slightly above normal, so people could still taste the salt for a few more days.
However, water being treated at the plant and due for release in the coming days is at near-normal levels (of 250gm/litre).
“We are continuing to get good quality water into the Bray Park Water Treatment Plant but it will still be several days before the salty water has been removed through household taps with normal water consumption,” Manager Water and Wastewater Anthony Burnham said.
The Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed that it was a ‘number of climatic factors’ that resulted in the overtopping of the weir wall last week.
There was a run of high tides up to 420mm higher than predicted, sea waters were saltier than normal, ocean temperatures were higher than normal and a ‘trapped’ wave travelled north up the coastline to the Tweed.
EARLIER @ August 25 2017: RESIDENTS across the Tweed are being assured that the salty water situation at Bray Park Weir is now under control.
Tweed Council says they are receiving help from the Gold Coast in order to try and meet demand, which is 20 megalitres a day.
“Gold Coast City Council also has very generously allowed us to open the connection between Coolangatta and Tweed Heads and we are receiving 31 litres a second of quality water from them, equating to about 2.7 megalitres a day.
“Council will continue to release 90 megalitres a day from Clarrie Hall Dam for the next few days to continue to top up the good supplies in the top strata of the weir pool as the dredge works to draw the heavier salty water from depths of about 8.5 metres and discharge it downstream.”