Category Archives: Water

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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Seqwater media release: Investigations on reported Karragarra Island water main burst underway


Seqwater crews are investigating a report of a burst water pipe on Karragarra Island.

The burst was reported to Seqwater at 8.45am 1 September 2020.

Seqwater and Redland City Council crews are being deployed to Karragarra Island to investigate the cause and extent of the problem.

The first step will be to drain the water around the burst water main so crews can inspect the pipeline.

This is expected to take most of the day.

Seqwater will determine the repair work required once the pipe is assessed.

Repair work is expected to take place tonight and will require an overnight shutdown of water supply to Karragarra, Macleay and Lamb islands from 8pm tonight.

Water supply is expected to be switched back on by 6am tomorrow.

This will be followed by restoration work at the site.

Residents on Karragarra, Macleay and Lamb islands are not expected to experience any water supply issues prior to the shutdown.

Residents are advised to begin preparing for an overnight water shutdown by:
• filling suitable containers with drinking water and storing them in the fridge
• storing water in the bathtub that can be used for toilet flushing
• planning to shower or bathe early this evening or later tomorrow morning

Once water is restored, there may be some air in residential pipes or some slightly cloudy water when residents first turn on their tap.

Residents are advised to let the water run for 2 to 3 minutes to clear.

The tap water will be safe to drink.

As the repaired main is flushed, residents may notice hydrants with flowing water – this is necessary to flush pipelines.

Please do not approach the hydrants or attempt to turn them off.

More details and updates will be provided as information becomes available.

For more information, contact 1300 737 928 or visit seqwater.com.au

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Redland City seeks State freeze on charges


Redland City Council has urged the State Government to freeze its charges to Council for bulk water and business waste so the savings can be passed on to the local community.

Mayor Karen Williams said maintaining the charges at 2019-20 levels would help to ease the burden on residents and businesses as Council managed the city’s emergence from the impacts of COVID-19.

“It would allow Council to deliver this month’s recovery budget based on the lowest and most accurate water and waste costs; supporting us in our efforts to reboot the local economy and provide the services residents tell us they want while helping those adversely impacted by COVID-19,” Cr Williams said.

“A freeze on charges outside of our control – such as what the State charges Council for commercial waste going to landfill and especially for bulk water, considering the hefty increases imposed over the past several years – would significantly assist us to do that.

“Bulk water costs and the commercial waste levy are passed on to users and the saving from a freeze would be significant. For bulk water alone, the published price for 1 July 2020 suggests it would be around $36 a year for average users.

“These cost increases have a budget impact and Council wants to ensure that every cent at our disposal is available for supporting the community by bringing forward the infrastructure projects that will help support the local economy and local jobs.”

She said Council’s 2020-21 budget was due to be delivered on Thursday 25 June despite the State Budget being postponed.

“We fully appreciate the State Government’s need to suspend its budget because it is simply not sensible to produce economic forecasts in these unprecedented times but Council, as the direct provider of essential community services, must push ahead with its budget and get Redlands Coast moving again,” Cr Williams said.

Cr Williams said Council was also seeking vital infrastructure commitments from the State Government under its Works for Queensland program and the Federal Government under its Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program and Financial Assistance Grants.

“We already have 64 projects worth $82.9 million that are shovel-ready and which, if funded, will support jobs growth and deliver improvements for our community,” Cr Williams said.

“These include community disaster resilience and infrastructure improvements worth
$10.4 million for North Stradbroke Island and $8.6 million for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, communities which have been particularly hard hit.

“It also includes millions of dollars’ worth of upgrades to the Redlands Coast transport network, including 6.2km of footpaths, 26km of resurfacing mainland roads and 3.7km of green seal for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands in the next financial year alone to help residents and visitors move around the city faster and safer.

“These job packages, along with a freeze on charges outside of Council’s control, can provide immediate relief and create a positive ripple effect across the community.

“We are, indeed, all in this together and I look forward to the State and Federal governments’ support for our plans.”

For details of Council’s recovery plans and assistance, go to the COVID-19 Business and Community page at redland.qld.gov.au

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Russell Island night water works Friday 1 May to Saturday 2 May 2020 (overnight)


Seqwater is undertaking water supply maintenance on High Street, Russell Island on Friday night, 2 May (weather permitting). During works some island residents may experience temporary loss of supply/low pressure. Tap water may be discoloured for a short time after the work. Enquiries can be directed to Seqwater 1300 737 928.

For more information about discoloured water visit redlnd.cc/2V72rEY

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Summer time water usage reflected in April 2020 rates notice


Redland City Council is aware that some residents have received higher than usual water consumption charges in their April 2020 rate notice, resulting in an increased rates bill for this quarter.

Council advises the increase is not due to a change in water pricing.

In the majority of cases, the increase is due to the number of days between quarterly meter readings having been longer than usual.

Redland City Council Chief Executive Officer Andrew Chesterman said while Council strived for a consistent meter reading pattern, due to unforeseen circumstances this was not achieved for the April 2020 rate notice, which also included summer-time water use.

“While the water billing period for the April 2020 rate notice has been longer for many ratepayers, a smaller number of ratepayers may have also seen a more significant increase,” he said.

“This was due to a low, possibly incorrect, water reading recorded by Council’s external contractors in the last quarterly rate notice (January 2020), and the reading taken for the April rate notice has corrected this.

“Council sent this group of ratepayers a letter in January 2020 alerting them to the possibility of an incorrect low reading that may have been the cause of their apparent significant water reduction and advised that their next rate notice may result in a higher charge.”

Mr Chesterman apologised for the factors that contributed to the higher-than-usual water bill in the current rate notice.

“We understand the impact on ratepayers,” he said.

“I encourage anyone who is experiencing hardship or believes there has been an error to contact us, as Council is committed to working with property owners and has a range of hardship provisions and payment plans available.

“The time required to pay the April 2020 rates notice has also been doubled, with the due date being 11 June 2020.”

Mr Chesterman said Council was also investigating the introduction of smart water meters, which would allow residents to monitor their own meters via an app.

Contact Council on 3829 8999 or send an email to rcc@redland.qld.gov.au

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Water maintenance works on Russell Island 15/16 April 2020


Redland City Council advises that Seqwater will be undertaking maintenance work on Russell Island this week.

The work on Keats Street and Canaipa Point Drive will start on Wednesday, 15 April 2020 and is expected to finish on Thursday, 16 April 2020.

Council does not expect water loss but residents may experience discoloured water.

For information about discoloured water visit https://www.redland.qld.gov.au/info/20237/your_water_supply/543/water_quality.

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Make water saving your New Year’s resolution


While there are currently no water restrictions for Redlands Coast, the hot and dry conditions continue and residents are encouraged to remain water wise and make water savings a New Year’s resolution.

The latest water supply assessment by Seqwater shows that the SEQ Water Grid dams continued to drop during December, losing almost 2.5% over the month.

On the last day of 2019, the SEQ Water Grid combined dam levels were at 56.4%.

For more information: https://www.seqwater.com.au/news/seq-new-years-resolution-save-water-now

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