The 4350water Blog highlights some of the issues relating to proposals for potable reuse in Toowoomba and South East Qld. 4350water blog looks at related political issues as well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Toowoomba Regional Council rules out 'unsafe' purple pipe water recycling on health concerns ...

Deputy Mayor Antonio declares recycled water 'unsafe'.

Water services director Kevin Flanagan recommends discontinuing it due to “unforseen” health concerns.

Property developers throw their hands up in the air.

Recycling backflip

9 March 2009

Toowoomba Regional Council has performed a major backflip with plans to ban its purple pipe recycled water system.

Mayor Peter Taylor and the former Crows Nest and Jondaryan councils had promoted the scheme as a key means of saving water pre-amalgamation.

That was until yesterday when
Deputy Mayor Paul Antonio announced it was unsafe to use the Class A+ recycled water system for flushing toilets and hosing gardens.

“It's a risk council is not prepared to take,” he said.

Class A+ is the highest rank of recycled water for non-drinking purposes in Queensland, but Cr Antonio said problems arose from the design of existing systems.

Water services director Kevin Flanagan will today recommend the council discontinue the scheme due to “unforseen” health concerns and enormous costs associated with testing the safety of supplies.

“The current system doesn't work,” he said.

Developers Jeff Trevarthen and John Anderson were miffed when The Chronicle told them of the decision.

The men behind the 80-lot Trevean Gardens estate were not just encouraged by the Crows Nest Shire Council to install purple pipe systems - the council both co-branded and constructed the subdivision.

Their award-winning scheme linked to 10,000 litre underground rainwater tanks at the cost of more than $5000 a lot, was to become the prototype for all Highfields developments. “We felt recycling for gardens and toilets was a sensible way to save water,” Mr Trevarthen said.

“Now to have this thrown out is very disappointing. We have gone to a lot of trouble we didn't need to.”

The developers met in November with Crs Taylor, Antonio, Joe Ramia and Mike Williams to discuss the purple pipe scheme, after hearing whispers it was under threat.

“We were given categorical assurances it would be maintained,” Mr Trevarthen said.

About 184 blocks in Westbrook and Oakey also have similar systems.

Cr Antonio said the changes were prompted by new State Government regulations and the fact that monitoring would cost about $120,000 a year in Highfields alone.

“In the last six months, there was absolutely no demand on the purple pipe system (which only engages when the tank drops below 10 per cent capacity),” he said. “No flow in the recycled water mains can lead to microbial growth, slime and water becoming stagnant.”

Highfields developer Mac Stirling, who included the purple pipe system to his Power Homes sustainable housing project, said the council should now find new solutions to water scarcity.

Cr Antonio said rainwater tanks would remain mandatory in new housing blocks and 65% of council's treated sewage would be recycled.

“This water will be sold and generate between $4.85 million up to $8.6 million a year,” he said.

“The pipeline from Wivenhoe Dam will guarantee a secure water supply to 2051.”

Councillors will discuss the issue at today's committee meeting.

See - The Chronicle - Backflip on purple pipe water recycling.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love Mr Flanagan to explain why it is acceptable to have purple pipe suburbs operating in other parts of the country?

This council is weak and I can see them going down the path with Flanagan and his team and their recycle water plans. The next proposal will be to build the rest of the plant at Wettalla and we WILL get our own processed sewage to drink! Just watch them carefully.

7:29 AM, March 10, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Kevie's life long dream. He can't retire until he's forced the people of Toowoomba to drink recycled sewage. Then he will retire and move away from Toowoomba just like Thorley.

9:42 AM, March 10, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Springborg wins in 2 weeks time, it might put a little spanner in Kevin's recycled dream!

9:49 AM, March 10, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This bunch of councillors are so incompentent! They just let the likes of Kevvie tell them what to do.

If this bunch of councillors don't realise it that they are finished at the next election, they must be pretty damn stupid!

11:23 AM, March 10, 2009

Anonymous watchful resident said...

The Council has been outwitted by the Govt who are determined to force the people of Qld to drink recycled sewerage water. There can be no scientific reason why the purple pipe water cannot be used to flush toilets and hose gardens - a different scenario than drinking the water. They are being forced to toe the line and Kevin Flanagan is hand in glove with the Govt. Also, is the Govt or the Council, with Ratepayers money, going to compensate the developers the thousands of dollars it has cost them when they were given the go ahead by the Council. What a weak incompetent high paid lot? They had the opportunity to get rid of Flanagan!

12:03 PM, March 10, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't get rid of Kevie!!!

1:09 PM, March 10, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there is a new government after 21st March I think Kevie will be gone!!

6:05 PM, March 10, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He'll probably stay but just not be allowed to proceed with his plans to make everyone drink the sewage.

7:45 PM, March 10, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

gone is good and nothing's the only way

8:47 PM, March 10, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right Anon @ 13:09 10/3 Mr Flanagan is employed by the TRC not the state govt so the election is irrelevant

5:36 PM, March 12, 2009


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