Category Archives: Water

Council advises what to flush and not to flush


Redlands Coast residents are urged to be aware of what is being flushed down their toilets after recent sewerage pump station blockages caused by children’s underwear.

Mayor Karen Williams said the clothing pulled out of machinery at the Victoria Point pump station was the latest in a long list of inappropriate items making their way through the city’s sewerage system.

“Children’s underwear has been appearing every couple of weeks at the Victoria Point pump station,” Cr Williams said.

“Council is encouraging parents and caregivers to keep an eye on what children may be flushing and of course, not to flush these items themselves.

“If a child has soiled their underwear and you don’t want to wash the items they should go in the bin.”

Children’s underwear pulled from a pump station at Victoria Point.

Cr Williams said that over the years Council staff had pulled out of the pumps everything from large lumps of solidified and hardened fat (known at fatbergs), disposable wipes, paper hand towel and cotton buds to wallets, money, jewellery and spectacles.

“None of these items should be disposed of through toilets as they are not designed to break down,” Cr Williams said.

“The sewerage transport system consists of pipes, manholes and pump stations that are designed to carry only free-flowing wastewater with no large solid matter.”

The wastewater treatment plants are designed to treat only human wastewater from toilets, and low-level biodegradable food residue.

If in any doubt on what can be flushed down the toilet, just think of the three Ps (Pee, Poo and toilet Paper).

Cr Williams said flushing incorrect items down toilets could have a number of serious ramifications.

“Flushing anything other than the three Ps down the toilet can cause damage to the sewerage infrastructure, which can result in increased costs to ratepayers,” she said.

“A blockage may also cause sewage to back up onto a resident’s property and it can bubble out of nearby toilets.

“Back pressure may also cause the lid of a sewer maintenance hole to lift, causing sewage to flow into the environment.”

Cr Williams said blockages could also interfere with the treatment process, result in regulatory non-compliance, or reduce the ability to recycle biosolids – all of which could lead to increased costs to ratepayers.

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Council to lobby State Government to introduce water leaks rebate


Redland City Council today voted unanimously to lobby the Queensland Government to introduce a policy to reimburse residents for concealed water leaks.

Mayor Karen Williams said the Government had a moral obligation to implement a policy to complement a Council reimbursement policy already in place.

“Council is seeking a collaboration with the State Government by supporting a new State Government bulk water concealed leaks policy,” she said.

“The State Government is responsible for more than 80 per cent of resident’s water consumption price, yet offers no assistance at all if a Redlands Coast resident finds a concealed leak.

“Council’s component of a resident’s water consumption price is about 16 per cent and we already have our own policy in place to reimburse residents for this component.

“They can claim a rebate from Council covering a portion of the lost water costs, but the vast majority of the charge has been levied by the State Government, which disappointingly has no policy to assist in the event of a leak.”

Total water charges to Redlands Coast residents are currently included in rates notices issued by Council.

  • Council retail water price – $0.629 per kilolitre
  • State bulk water price – $3.231 per kilolitre.

“State-imposed bulk water charges have more than doubled since 2012 and Council believes the Government has a moral obligation to reimburse some of the funds it receives from residents who discover a concealed leak on their property,” Cr Williams said.

“We have been lobbying the State unsuccessfully for many years to accept their responsibility and implement a concealed leaks policy to complement our own.

“Our pleas have so far fallen on deaf ears, but now Council has urged local State MPs to consider the inequity that currently exists and support our crusade to convince the Government of the need to soften its thinking and do something for hard-hit residents.

“I know some of our fellow South East Queensland Councils have had similar situations and no doubt they will support our calls for such a policy.”

Council resolved today to write to the Government and Seqwater and request they support Council’s existing concealed leaks policy by implementing a new policy to cover the State Government’s bulk water component of water consumption in Redland City.

To allow time to enact changes for next year’s Budget, Council has asked for the State Government to advise if it enacted such a policy by February 2022.

Subject to a State concealed leaks policy being implemented by February next year, Council will then consider any policy change to complement the new bulk water rebate to further assist ratepayers.

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Water supply shut down on Macleay Island for pipeline installation


Seqwater has advised it will need to shut down the water supply to Macleay Island overnight on Saturday 10 July 2021, to complete the installation of a temporary pipeline between Macleay and Lamb Islands.

Water supply will be shut off from 9pm on Saturday and is expected to be restored early Sunday morning.

Residents are advised to begin preparing for the shutdown by filling suitable containers with drinking water, storing water in the bathtub to be used for toilet flushing, and planning to shower or bath before 9pm Saturday.

When water supply is restored, there may be some air in residential pipes or discoloured water when residents first turn on their taps. Residents are advised to let the water run for 2-3 minutes to clear. The water will be safe to drink.

When the water supply is restored and the repaired main is flushed, residents may notice hydrants with flowing water. This is necessary to flush the pipeline. Residents are requested to not approach the hydrants or attempt to turn them off.

The temporary Seqwater pipeline will be installed by Seqwater contractors. Redland City Council officers will flush the pipeline in order to remove any air and complete water quality checks once the installation is complete early Sunday morning.

The temporary pipeline will remain in place, above the ground along Cressy Street on Macleay Island, until a new valve pit can be installed and the permanent pipeline can be fully installed underground. This is anticipated to occur in three weeks’ time and will necessitate a further shutdown. This will be confirmed and communicated to the community nearer the time.

For inquiries on the Macleay Island pipeline replacement, contact Seqwater on 1300 737 928 or visit the project page on the Seqwater website.

Residents who have urgent water inquiries during the water supply shutdown period can contact Redland City Council on 3829 8999.

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Freewheeling with three wheels on Coochiemudlo Island


Three wheels are proving more efficient than four following some freewheeling thinking about how best to manage water facilities on Coochiemudlo Island.

Redland City Council’s City Water team has replaced their ute, which was based on the island to attend water supply incidents and emergencies, with a three-wheel electric-powered Cargo Max trike bike.

A Council staff member undergoes training on the trike bike ahead of its use on Coochiemudlo Island.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the island-based trike cost less to purchase than the registration costs for the ute for its five-year life.

“Redland City Water is required to attend to incidents and emergencies on the water supply on Coochiemudlo Island a few times per month. As a result, the ute was only travelling about 20 kilometres per year on the island and 20 kilometres per year travelling to the mainland to be serviced,” Cr Williams said.

“After researching the options, it was decided an electrically assisted trike based on the island would be more efficient. It is a good example of how Council works hard to be innovative and deliver outcomes that work.”

Division 4 Councillor Lance Hewlett said the ute replaced by the trike has been repurposed and is increasing productivity by being fully utilised on the mainland.

“The new trike bike started in service on Coochiemudlo in June and it is already proving to be a great asset,” Cr Hewlett said.

Council staff underwent training on the trike at Council’s South Street depot in Cleveland before it went into service.

The trike bike is already proving effective on Coochiemudlo Island.

The Cargo Max Trike Bike has the capacity to carry up to 400kg and has a range of 40 to 60 kilometres depending on the load. The trike has been fitted with a tool box and containers to carry the equipment needed for island purpose.

It features hydraulic disc brakes, lights, horn, indicators and brake lights, with an electric motor that runs off a 48V lithium-ion battery.

 

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Council adopts plan to maintain healthy waterways


Redland City Council has adopted a new plan to help maintain the health of local waterways and Moreton Bay.

Mayor Karen Williams said the development of the Redlands Coast Bay and Creeks Plan 2021-2031 and supplementary Action Plan 2021-2026 reflected an ongoing commitment to sustainable stewardship of our waterways and Moreton Bay.

“This plan provides a strategic approach to protect, maintain and enhance the resilience of our waterways and the bay,” she said.

“It aligns with and supports other Council plans and strategies, such as the Corporate Plan 2021-2026, the Coastal Adaption Strategy and the Conservation Land Management Strategy 2010.

“In conjunction with the Action Plan, it also operationalises Council’s implementation of the Lower Brisbane-Redlands Coastal Catchment Action Plan that Council endorsed in 2018.”

Cr Williams said management of the waterways and bay was a complex issue.

“There is need for a plan with a clear vision to identify priorities, set a clear future direction and drive coordinated and targeted actions,” she said.

“Council has invested significantly in assessing and improving the condition of our waterways and the bay, with initiatives such as waterways monitoring and assessment programs, implementing actions to reduce sediment loads from construction sites and through the commitment to plant one million native plants by 2026.

“While this work is yielding results, we recognise there are opportunities for improvement.

“The Action Plan identifies high priority activities Council will implement over the next five years to protect and enhance the resilience of the waterways and bay.”

Cr Williams said the plan’s aim was to ensure Council and community actions left a positive legacy for the future.

“Over the 10-year life of the plan we intend to develop a better understanding of what’s happening in our waterways and adjacent lands.

“We want to ensure we’re budgeting for ongoing maintenance of our waterways and operating at best practice. We also want to see an improvement in water quality.”

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Redland City Council to start smoke testing


Redland City Council will begin its sanitary drain smoke-testing program in the Alexandra Hills area in June.

The non-toxic smoke, which doesn’t smell like fire, will be blown into sewer maintenance holes to check the city’s wastewater network for defects, damage or illegal connections.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council’s contractor Veolia would need access to some properties during this time but there would be no interruption to services.

“All authorised officers will carry identification cards that will be produced on request,” Cr Williams said.

Affected residents will be advised in advance and there will be no need to be at your home during the inspection, however please contact Council if there are any access issues, such as dogs or security gates. If your property has a maintenance hole, please ensure there is clear access.

Cr Williams said emergency services were aware of the smoke testing, which was part of Council’s ongoing commitment to improving community infrastructure.

“The smoke flows through the sewer and will escape through sewer maintenance holes and sewer vents, which are often on the roof of your property, so if it does smell like smoke and you are concerned, please don’t ignore it as the smoke used in the program is similar to that used in special effects and doesn’t smell like smoke from a fire,” Cr Williams said.

Smoke testing is used to find where stormwater is entering the sewerage system and causing wet weather overflows. It can also identify any illegal or incorrect stormwater connections, as well as cracks or breaks in pipes which can result in stormwater entering sewer pipes, leading to potential flooding and sewage overflows.

Affected areas

Zone 1

  • Montgomery Drive from No 39 to McMillan Road
  • Lincoln Close
  • Holborn Court
  • Doncaster Place
  • Elina Court
  • Justin Court
  • Normanby Street
  • Dean road
  • Dawson Road
  • Ludmilla place
  • Greenlea Place
  • Flowers Street
  • Eton Court
  • Trent circuit
  • Caleedonia Crescent
  • Cromwell Court
  • Kingsbury Court
  • Stonebridge Street
  • Middleton Court
  • Pembroke Court

Zone 2

  • Mcdonald Road no 143 to McMillan Road
  • Sylvania Street
  • Leah court
  • Jasper Street
  • Cherry Street
  • Amethyst Street
  • Sapphire Drive
  • Jade Court
  • Gem Close
  • Emerald Street
  • Agate Court
  • Amber Place
  • Andamooka Place
  • Opal Court
  • Ruby Street
  • Diamond Street
  • Garnet Street
  • Topaz Streetr
  • Allenby Road No 105 to McMillan Road
  • McMillan Road – Allenby Road to Mcdonald Road including 8-56

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zone 3

  • Finucane Road – Allenby Road to Mcdonald Road
  • Sallows Street
  • Birch Street
  • Muir Court
  • Somerset Street
  • Westminster Avenue
  • Hefferman Road
  • Hunter Street
  • Hielscher Street
  • Cook Street
  • Lawrence cout
  • Johnson Street
  • Sussex Street
  • O’Gorman Street
  • Winchester Street
  • Cochrane Street No 3 to 27 and No 2 to 20
  • Osmond Street
  • Bedford Court
    Maclean Court
  • Suthurst Court
  • Payne Court
  • Belgravia Street
  • Andrew Court
  • Winchester Road up to 29 and 44

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Council trials ‘floating wetland’ to treat water in Wellington Point lake


Redland City Council is trialling a new water treatment system, known as a ‘floating wetland’, at Sovereign Waters Lake in Wellington Point.

Mayor Karen Williams said, if the trial was successful, the floating wetland concept could be used to help improve and protect aquatic environments across Redlands Coast.

“Floating wetlands are small artificial platforms that incorporate wetland plants on a suspended matrix that floats on the surface of the water,” she said.

“In December 2020, two floating wetland islands were installed at the southern end of Sovereign Waters Lake to reduce turbidity levels, absorb excess nutrients and settle sediment particles.

Mayor Karen Williams and Cr Wendy Boglary view one of the ‘floating wetlands’ at Sovereign Waters Lake.

“Over the next 10 months Council will monitor water quality levels, the growth rate of the wetland plants, plant root density, and the floating wetland’s ability to cope with changing water levels.

“At the end of the year officers will review the effectiveness of the trial and decide whether to permanently install floating wetlands at the lake and possibly other waterways across the city.”

Cr Williams said floating wetlands were not only visually appealing, but research showed benefits for the environment and wildlife.

“As the plants’ roots grow through the platform and down into the water, thick root columns absorb nutrients and other contaminants to help maintain high water quality.

“The floating islands also provide habitat and a food source for aquatic species and water birds.”

Division 1 Councillor Wendy Boglary said she hoped the trial would be successful in improving the lake’s water quality.

“As well as being a complex ecosystem of aquatic plants, animals and micro-organisms, Sovereign Waters Lake is a tranquil open space for the community,” Cr Boglary said.

“Success with this floating wetland trial could pave the way for more of these water treatment systems in other well-loved areas across Redlands Coast.”

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Blue-green algae found at Victoria Point


Redland City Council has installed signs at Orana Esplanade and Wilson Street in Victoria Point to advise residents and visitors of the presence of Lyngbya, a naturally occurring blue-green algae.

Lyngbya (Lyngbya majuscule) can cause skin, eye and respiratory irritations if people come into contact with it, and swimming and wading are not recommended where it is present.

The presence of Lyngbya is not uncommon for the waters of Moreton Bay between October and March, and often appears as mats floating on the surface of the water or as washed-up clumps on the beach.

The council signs are precautionary only to inform people of the presence of the algae, and all Redlands coast beaches and waterways remain open for recreational use.

Council urges residents to be mindful that Lyngbya could be present at any beach, and will continue to monitor all Redlands Coast beaches and erect signs if Lyngbya is found elsewhere.

More information is available from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

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Council devices keep rubbish from waterways


Redlands Coast residents are being asked to think about how they dispose of their rubbish after a newly-installed trash rack captured 8.5 tonnes of waste from local stormwater in just two weeks.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the newly-installed trash rack was part of Council’s network of 587 stormwater protection devices that helped prevent waste ending up in Moreton Bay.

“Last year Council removed about 280 cubic metres of litter, vegetation and other material from our network of stormwater protection devices – that’s enough to fill more than four average-size backyard swimming pools,” Cr Williams said.

“Anything from trees and logs through to toys, balls and takeaway cups are collected in these devices, and without them this material would have ended up in our local creeks and Moreton Bay.

“With a wet summer expected, there is likely to be increased stormwater runoff into our local catchments, so we are urging residents to think about where you throw your rubbish to ensure it doesn’t end up in our creeks.”

Division 10 Councillor Paul Bishop said the Birkdale trash rack was installed on Agnes Street, alongside a public park, following concerns about localised flooding and pollutants entering Woodgate Canal.

“Two weeks after it was installed, Council officers inspected the trash rack as part of storm preparedness and noted it was already half full,” Cr Bishop said.

“Further heavy rain filled it further, resulting in it being emptied three months ahead of schedule.

“The trash rack will help reduce road flooding by preventing rubbish from blocking the drain.

“Council officers have advised that no animals have ever been caught in council rubbish traps or gross pollutant devices.”

Redland City Council uses a range of Stormwater Quality Improvement Devices, including bioretention basins, bio-swales, grass swales, vegetated swales, detention basins, sedimentation basins, constructed wetlands, inground and open gross pollutant traps (GPTs), trash racks, litter baskets and sediment traps.

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Redlands Coast maintains its healthy water quality rating


Redlands Coast waterways have maintained environmental conditions according to the 2020 Healthy Land and Water Report Card.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said steady catchment conditions of C+ and a Waterway Benefit Rating of 3.5 stars (out of 5) showed the good work being done across the city continued to yield results.

“We know our community loves our local waterways and Council is committed to improving waterway health,” she said.

“While we know there is still opportunity to improve conditions, it is positive to note pollution loads from the land remained very low.

“This has been aided by Council’s programs, such as our Environmental Partnership Program and the active Erosion and Sediment Control Compliance Program on development sites.

“Ongoing work in this space is increasing the resilience of our catchments to extreme weather events, with more than 1500 erosion and sediment control inspections undertaken over the last year.

“The Report Card also shows the health of the aquatic bug community remained stable, a useful stream health indicator.

“However improvement opportunities still exist for freshwater habitat, with a decline reported in the health of our fish community.

“We know our creeks experience low oxygen in discontinuous pools during dry weather, which can impact on these communities.

“Our need to contribute to a regional approach of waterway health was reinforced by the slight increases in nutrients in Southern Moreton Bay and the previous reports of mud from flows of the Logan and Albert Rivers.”

Cr Williams said the Report Card also showed the high value residents placed on their local waterways.

“The report shows 66 per cent of residents are satisfied with their local waterways, compared to only 62 per cent across all of South East Queensland,” she said.

“Residents also value local waterways for recreation, with 60 per cent of those surveyed using them at least monthly for activities such as walking or running, enjoying nature, cycling, picnics and swimming.

“This has highlighted the benefit of waterways to our community during the challenges of COVID-19.

“Here on the naturally wonderful Redlands Coast, our future is inextricably connected to Moreton Bay and the waters that feed it.

“This reinforces the importance of the ongoing works Council and the community are undertaking to protect and enhance our part of the bay and our creeks for a sustainable future.”

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