About the new upgrade project
Who will benefit from the Petrie Water Supply Upgrade?
The Petrie Water Supply Upgrade will allow about 100,000 residents in the Moreton Bay region to be connected to the South East Queensland Water Grid for the first time. People living in Dakabin, Griffin, Kallangur, Lawnton, Mango Hill, Murrumba Downs, North Lakes, Petrie and Strathpine will be supplied with drinking water primarily sourced from Seqwater’s North Pine Water Treatment Plant rather than the current source supplied from the Petrie Water Treatment Plant.
Why is the upgrade necessary?
Under normal operating conditions, the Petrie Water Treatment Plant is the primary source of bulk water to about 100,000 customers in the Petrie Water Supply Zone including North Lakes, Kallangur and Strathpine. A condition assessment of the plant, which was built in the 1950s, determined it would need a substantial upgrade to continue to supply a safe, secure and reliable drinking water supply to customers.
After considering a number of potential bulk water supply arrangements, it was determined decommissioning the plant and connecting the Petrie zone to the SEQ Water Grid was the most efficient and cost-effective solution.
What is the SEQ Water Grid?
The SEQ Water Grid is an interconnected network of dams, treatment plants, reservoirs and pipelines. It allows Seqwater to move water around the region and in both directions, from the Sunshine Coast to greater Brisbane, to Redlands and south to the Gold Coast.
Will the upgrade affect water security in the region?
Seqwater is developing a plan for providing safe, secure and cost-effective drinking water for South East Queensland over the next 30 years. This long-term plan includes options to provide enough water to sustain household and business needs for growing areas, including the Moreton Bay region. Connecting the Petrie Water Supply Zone to the SEQ Water Grid is part of this plan and it will improve the safety and reliability of water supply to local residents.
What are the steps in the upgrade?
The upgrade involves four separate construction projects:
- A pipeline to connect the Boundary Road Reservoir with the Northern Pipeline Interconnector.
- A new pumping station and associated network configurations near the old Petrie Water Treatment Plant, as well as pipework reconfigurations and decommissioning of the Kallangur Pumping Station.
- A new water quality management facility at the Boundary Road Reservoir.
- Decommissioning of the Petrie Water Treatment Plant.
Construction began in September 2016. The Petrie Water Treatment Plant will be decommissioned once the Petrie zone has successfully moved to its new water supply arrangements.
Will the upgrade connect previously unconnected properties to the water supply?
No. The new pipeline has been engineered as a high pressure trunk supply main to connect the Northern Pipeline Interconnector with the Boundary Road Reservoir and is not designed to supply nearby properties with water from the network.
About the new water source
How will the water source change?
The Petrie Water Supply Zone is currently supplied water from Lake Kurwongbah, which is treated and disinfected using chlorine at Seqwater’s Petrie Water Treatment Plant.
Once the upgrade is complete, the area will be primarily supplied water from North Pine Dam, which is treated and disinfected using chloramine (chlorine and ammonia) at Seqwater’s North Pine Water Treatment Plant.
How long before I notice a change in my water supply?
The new connection process has already commenced. The changeover is taking place gradually throughout March and early April. Customers may notice a change to the taste, smell or colour of their water supply during the changeover to the new water supply. It will have a similar smell and taste to Brisbane water.
Will this change be harmful to my family and I?
Residents can be assured the water is still extremely safe to drink and meets the strict health requirements of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.
How long will it take to complete the transition to the new water source?
The source water transition will take place over March and April 2018.
Will the transition to a new water source affect its quality?
Some residents may notice a change in the taste and smell of water due to the changeover. Every water source has its own distinct taste and smell as a result of catchment area characteristics and local water treatment processes. The water will continue to meet the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
During the transition, it is possible some customers may experience discoloured water for a short time. If this happens, it will be because the direction of the water flow within the mains has been reversed to bring water from the new supply source. This can stir up sediment that has settled in the water mains over a long time.
To minimise the potential of discoloured water, Unitywater will undertake a program of flushing the water mains before the new water supply is introduced. There will be no interruption to water supply during the transition.
What if my water is discoloured?
If you experience discoloured water, please:
- turn on the tap nearest to the ground level (usually an outside tap), and
- let it run for up to five minutes until water runs clear. This costs less than 30 cents and on average uses 75 litres of water. You can capture this water in a bucket and then reuse it in your garden. If water remains discoloured please contact Unitywater on 1300 086 489.
Will my water supply be interrupted?
While your water supply will NOT be interrupted, some people may notice a change in the water’s taste and smell. This is because its drinking quality is achieved through treatment using chloramination instead of chlorination.
What is chloramination?
Brisbane water is chloraminated and our customers can expect their water to have a similar smell and taste to Brisbane.
Chloramination is a disinfection process which involves adding controlled doses of chlorine and ammonia to the water supply. This creates chloramines, which last longer in the water supply than chlorine does. This is an advantage for large water networks like the Petrie Water Supply Zone because it preserves the high microbiological quality of water supplies travelling over long distances.
Chloramines are toxic to pet fish and, like chlorine, need to be removed from aquariums.
What should I do if I keep pet fish?
To make sure the new chloraminated water is safe for pet fish, please seek advice from your local aquarium.
How can I find out more?
Call Unitywater on 1300 086 489.