The Gold Coast Desalination Plant has produced more than 360 million litres of drinking water in five days, while upgrades were made to the Molendinar Water Treatment Plant.
The desalination plant, which operates in a ‘hot standby’ mode, recently ramped up its output to further supplement the Gold Coast’s drinking water supply from August 15 – 19.
Seqwater Acting Chief Executive Officer Jim Pruss said the desalination plant had produced an average of 72 million litres of drinking water a day, as the Molendinar Water Treatment Plant – the coast’s largest treatment plant – was shut down to allow the essential upgrade work.
“The desalination plant ran at about 66 per cent to distribute 363 million litres of water to more than 400,000 residents in the northern Gold Coast,” Mr Pruss said.
“More than 20 suburbs were supplied with desalinated drinking water while the Molendinar Water Treatment Plant was offline, including Gilston, Broadbeach, Nerang, Yatala and Mermaid Beach.”
The water produced at the desalination plant was blended with water from the Mudgeeraba and Mount Crosby Water Treatment plants.
Mr Pruss said it was the third time the desalination plant had been used to supply drinking water outside of extreme weather events, since it went into hot standby mode.
In September last year, more than 170,000 residents in the southern Gold Coast region of the coast were supplied drinking water from the desalination plant while Mudgeeraba Water Treatment Plant was refurbished.
“The desalination plant was built as an insurance policy to provide critically needed drinking water to South East Queenslanders during droughts or extreme weather events,” Mr Pruss said.
“The Gold Coast plant played a significant role during the January 2011 flood event and the Australia Day 2013 extreme weather event, supplying up to 20 per cent of the region’s drinking water supply.
“It’s also proving to be a valuable asset beyond emergencies and is an essential part of the South East Queensland Water Grid.”
Mr Pruss said based on population growth and demand, the plant may be required to supplement peak demand on the Gold Coast during the summer as early as 2019-2020.
The recent upgrade works at Molendinar were conducted to improve the way raw water entered the plant.