Releases almost completed from Somerset and Wivenhoe dams

Seqwater is winding down its low flow releases from Somerset and Wivenhoe dams in anticipation of achieving the temporary full supply levels early next week.

Temporary full supply levels have been introduced for both dams as part of Seqwater’s Dam Improvement Program.

The levels equate to storage percentages of about 80% for Somerset Dam and 90% for Wivenhoe Dam.

The temporary full supply levels will remain in place until dam improvement works at Somerset Dam are completed.

The latest assessment of Somerset Dam has indicated improvement works may be required earlier than previously planned to ensure the highest safety standards are maintained.

For more information about the Somerset Dam Improvement Project, visit www.seqwater.com.au/damimprovement/somerset.

 

Desalination Plant supplements Gold Coast’s water supply during treatment plant shutdown

Water treated at the Gold Coast Desalination Plant this week supplemented the coast’s water supply, while the Molendinar Water Treatment Plant was offline for essential maintenance.

Production was ramped up at the desalination plant and at Mudgeeraba Water Treatment Plant from Monday to supplement supply to the coast.

Water treated at the Mount Crosby plants also flowed south along the Southern Regional Water Pipeline to the Gold Coast. Production increased at the Mount Crosby plants when low flow releases began from Wivenhoe Dam last month.

Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said around 170 million litres of desalinated water had been supplied to the coast this week.

“These operations are a great example of the South East Queensland water grid in action. Our water grid enables us to move treated water around the region to where it is needed most,” Mr Dennis said.

“This project helps highlight the importance of the desalination plant beyond emergencies and drought. The desalination plant adds significant resilience to the South East Queensland water grid.”

Mr Dennis said Molendinar Water Treatment Plant was brought back online today following the completion of maintenance work at the facility.

 

Little helpers tackle water weed at Hinze Dam

A band of little helpers are successfully tackling a water weed infestation at Hinze Dam on the Gold Coast.

The Salvinia molesta, a free-floating aquatic fern which poses a serious threat to our waterways, is being attacked by an ant-sized weevil, as part of Seqwater’s biosecurity program.

Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said aquatic weeds such as Salvinia could degrade water quality, inhibit water flow and interfere with irrigation and recreational activities if left untreated.

“Salvinia is regarded as one of the worst water weeds in Australia due to its invasiveness and potential to spread, in addition to its significant environmental and economic impacts,” Mr Dennis said.

“In ideal conditions, Salvinia can double in volume every four to seven days, rapidly covering water bodies with a thick mat of vegetation, impacting fish and other animals by creating a physical barrier.

“Our biosecurity officers re-introduced the Salvinia weevil into Hinze Dam last year and we are pleased to see this small black insect working its magic on the weed.”

Mr Dennis said the weevil worked by tunnelling through the new growth buds, reducing the Salvinia’s ability to grow.

“The weed is present within a handful of inflows in the upper reaches of the western arm of Hinze Dam. Fortunately, we’ve been able to contain the Salvinia within this area with floating weed booms, which restrict the dispersal of the weed,” he said.

“The infestations are showing signs of significant stress, with much of the weed now affected by the weevil.

“We expect the damaged plant will eventually sink, exposing the water underneath.”

Mr Dennis said Seqwater’s biosecurity officers and rangers would continue to manage the weed as part of an integrated program, combining weevil releases with herbicide treatment.

“We ask that our boaties and paddlers play it safe and do not cross the weed booms as this activity may transfer the weed from the affected area into other locations,” he said.

“The booms are an important mechanism to help control the spread of this noxious weed.”

For more information about Seqwater and its services, visit www.seqwater.com.au.

 

Lake Borumba closed to all water-based recreation

Lake Borumba is now closed to all water-based recreation after the latest test results indicate blue-green algae levels have increased.

The lake was last week reopened to boats and paddle craft but algal biovolume and toxin producing species levels have now risen to the point at which the lake is closed all water-based activities.

Seqwater is fast-tracking water quality tests in an effort to re-open the lake as soon as possible.

Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said the increased algal levels caused concern for public health.

“A number of factors are likely to have contributed to the increase in blue-green algae,” Mr Dennis said.

“We have witnessed a period of overcast and cool weather with moderate showers and strong winds. These conditions can result in the mixing of deeper water and tributary water nutrients.

“Since Friday, we have experienced sunnier weather and less rain which has provided favourable growing conditions. This weather, combined with the increase in available nutrients, has facilitated rapid growth.”

Mr Dennis said the lake would re-open to all activities as soon as it was safe to do so.

“The decision to close a lake to any activities is not one we take lightly. We are very conscious of the impact water-based recreation closures have on the community, including local business. Public safety is our priority,” he said.

Visitors are asked to observe signage at Lake Borumba and follow the direction of Seqwater staff.

For more information, a fact sheet on blue-green algae is available on our website www.seqwater.com.au/about/publications/fact-sheets.

 

Recreation update

 

Speed limit at Lake Atkinson

Lake Atkinson is open to all water-based recreation, but has a 6 knot speed limit in place for boating.

Visitors are advised to exercise extreme caution when boating due to the potential for previously submerged hazards to be above the water line at the reduced water level.

Boat users should remain vigilant at all times as conditions in the lake may have changed.

Visitors are requested to observe the direction of staff and signage at the site.

 

Restrictions at Westvale Road boat ramp 

Trailerable vessels can not be launched from the northern access point (off Westvale Road) at Somerset Dam.

The ramp is still accessible for paddle craft and fishing, but launching vessels is not be permitted due to the reduced water levels that are being implemented for the Somerset Dam Improvement Project.

Please also be aware that reduced water levels may reveal previously submerged hazards and conditions may have changed since your last visit.

Please obey signage installed at the site and follow the directions of staff. 

 

Camping restrictions at Meebun Recreation Area, Lake Wyaralong

The Meebun Recreation Area at Lake Wyaralong will be closed to camping from 12 to 14 February due to a Rowing Queensland event.

The shoreline car park near the entrance to the mountain biking trails is available for parking but camping and overnight stays are not permitted.

The events will not impact the use of the trails but we expect high visitor numbers to the lake during these times.

Please observe the directions of signage and staff on-site.

 

Lake Clarendon closed to water-based recreation

Lake Clarendon is temporarily closed to all water-based recreation due to poor water quality.

Seqwater is performing regular water quality testing and will re-open Lake Clarendon to water-based activities as soon as possible.

Visitors are requested to observe the direction of staff and signage at the site.

 

Northern boat ramp at Lake Baroon closed

The boat ramp at the Northern Recreation Area at Lake Baroon is closed to boats and trailers until further notice.

For your safety, please use the boat ramp at the Southern Recreation Area.

The ramp will be opened as soon as it is appropriate to do so.

People with paddle craft are still permitted to use the ramp.

 

Lake Dyer closed to water-based recreation

Lake Dyer is temporarily closed to all water-based recreation due to the detection of blue-green algae.

Seqwater is closely monitoring algae levels and will re-open the lake when water quality results indicate it is appropriate to do so.

Please observe all signage and directions of Seqwater staff on-site.

 

SEQ dam levels

The current drinking water supply capacity of the Grid Twelve is 87.7%, down 1.3% from last week. The Grid Twelve makes up nearly 90% of South East Queensland’s total water storage volume. See below for further breakdowns:

Dam

Current drinking water volume

Change in volume past 7 days

Catchment rainfall past 7 days

(ML)

(%)

(%)

(mm)*

Wivenhoe

1,048,890

90.0%

0.5% 

5.9

Somerset

306,627

80.7%

5.4% 

8.8

North Pine**

157,109

81.3%

0.6% 

6.3

Hinze**

292,598

94.2%

0.1%

20.8

Baroon Pocket

42,419

69.5%

0.6%

31.8

Leslie Harrison**

10,685

80.9%

0.8%

148.6

Ewen Maddock

16,825

101.4%

0.5%

22.6

Cooloolabin**

6,556

81.6%

0.1% 

23.1

Lake Kurwongbah**

8,563

99.0%

0.9%

2.5

Lake Macdonald

7,939

99.0%

0.6%

25.3

Little Nerang

6,714

100.1%

No change

20.8

Wappa

4,699

100.1%

0.5%

23.1

 

* Catchment rainfall is the average of rainfalls recorded in and around the dam catchment.
** The capacity of North Pine, Hinze, Cooloolabin, Sideling Creek and Leslie Harrison have been temporarily decreased

SEQ water consumption figures

Average daily residential water consumption across South East Queensland for the 14 day period ending 10 February 2016 was 168 litres per person. This is a decrease on the average for the previous period of 181 litres per person (calculated over 14 days ending 3 February 2016).
 
Average daily residential water consumption for a similar time last year was 154 litres per person. Across South East Queensland, residents are currently consuming about 14 litres more water per person per day as they did this time last year.
 
See below for further breakdowns:

Water consumption summary for the 14 day period ending Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Zone

SEQ

Central SEQ

Gold Coast

Redland

Scenic Rim

Sunshine Coast

Average daily production (ML)

809

526

163

38

5

77

Average daily residential consumption (L/person)

168

161

188

194

115

165

Total rainfall (mm)

 

15.2

64.0

15.2

81.0

200.0

Temperature oC

 

31.5

29.8

29.8

31.1

30.7

 

Residential water consumption for similar time last year (14 day period ending Wednesday 11 February 2015)

Zone

SEQ

Central SEQ

Gold Coast

Redland

Scenic Rim

Sunshine Coast

Average daily residential consumption (L/person)

154

140

182

191

114

172