Seqwater has installed ten new observation bores and other environmental monitoring equipment to enhance its capability to protect Bribie Island’s water supply.
Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said Seqwater’s environmental monitoring program ensured the sustainability of the island’s aquifer, as well as protected the unique environmental character of the island.
“The bores allow us to monitor changes in the aquifer through identified trigger levels and water quality characteristics, which reduce the risk of saltwater intrusion from the ocean to the aquifer. We can then protect the valuable groundwater dependent ecosystems,” Mr Dennis said.
“The monitoring program prompts us to turn off production bores and reduce flow to allow the aquifer to recharge.
“These measures protect the aquifer and the local ecology that depends on the groundwater resource.”
Mr Dennis said Seqwater had worked with the Federal Department of the Environment, local Queensland Park and Wildlife Service officers, the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sports and Racing, the Banksia Beach Community Reference Group and Traditional Owners to install the new monitoring equipment with minimal impact to environmentally and culturally sensitive areas.
“A specialist drilling rig was used to install the bores in various locations in road reserves and on national park land around the northern bore field on Bribie Island,” he said.
“A helicopter airlifted the drilling rig into the environmentally sensitive Ramsar Wetland area to make sure the installation occurred with the least impact.
“Two vegetation transects were also installed to monitor any changes in the vegetation as a result of water extraction.”
Mr Dennis said Seqwater now delivered an even more comprehensive environmental monitoring program on Bribie Island.
Bribie’s drinking water has been sourced from the mainland since the end of April after Seqwater’s extensive monitoring showed the trigger to change the island’s supply source had been reached.
Bribie’s aquifer is only recharged by direct rainfall on the island and, with low rainfall this year, Seqwater is giving the aquifer at least six months to recharge.
The Banksia Beach Water Treatment Plant has temporarily ceased production and the island is now being supplied with water via a connection to the Northern Pipeline Interconnector (NPI), the bulk main that runs from Brisbane to Noosa.
The NPI is currently flowing south, so most of the water being supplied to Bribie Island is produced at the Landers Shute Water Treatment Plant, near Maleny. When the NPI is flowing north, most of the water supplied to Bribie Island will be produced at the North Pine Water Treatment Plant at Petrie.