Residents in Cornwall and Gladstone in Tasmania have had long-standing boil water alerts lifted after TasWater installed and commissioned new water treatment plants.

TasWater CEO, Mike Brewster, is excited for the residents of Cornwall and Gladstone who are now able to safely drink water straight from the tap.

“More than 150 properties in these towns are now receiving water which meets Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and Tasmanian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines,” Mr Brewster said.

“These two regional towns are the first cabs off the rank this year to have long-standing public health alerts lifted as part of the 24glasses Regional Towns Water Supply Program and it’s a great outcome for our customers.”

TasWater and contractor TRILITY completed construction of new state-of-the-art modular water treatment plants in a facility in Launceston before transporting and installing them onsite.

The water supply for Cornwall, a community with a proud history of mining located on the southern slopes of the Nicholas Range on the state’s east coast, is sourced from an unnamed creek around 600m north west of the new plant site.

Prior to the installation of the new water treatment plant at the top of the town, the water traditionally was an untreated supply with biological contamination. This resulted in the implementation of a boil water alert which has been in place for many years.

In Tasmania’s north east, Gladstone’s water scheme was established in 1954 and sources raw water from the Ringarooma River. The drinking water was traditionally pumped directly from the river to five tanks and remained untreated when supplied to the 78 properties in the township.

The water quality was subject to the condition of the river and the town was placed on a boil water alert because of biological contamination. The new water treatment plant on Gladstone Road removes biological and other contaminants from the water before feeding to a new 250 kilolitre reservoir.

More than 4km of pipeline make up the reticulation networks for each of Cornwall and Gladstone’s systems, much of which underwent flushing and high pressure cleaning in anticipation of receiving safe, treated drinking water.

Extensive testing was undertaken by TasWater and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to ensure the safety and quality of the treated water supplies for both townships so the DHHS can now formally lift the health alerts.

“We prioritised the supply of safe treated drinking water to our customers when we committed to lifting all public health alerts in regional towns across Tasmania by the end of August this year.” Mr Brewster said.

“With today’s announcement, 15 public health alerts have so far been lifted since August 2016 with the remaining 13 soon to follow. This project is just one part of TasWater’s affordable, fully funded plan to upgrade Tasmania’s water and sewerage infrastructure.”  

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