South East Queensland’s water supply
Seqwater is continuing to operate our water treatment plants as required and provide bulk drinking water to our five retailer customers (Urban Utilities, Unitywater and the councils of Logan, Gold Coast and Redland).
There is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted by drinking water.
Existing water treatment and disinfection processes, including the use of chlorine, are effective in protecting water supplies.
How Seqwater is maintaining operations through COVID-19
We have business continuity plans and are confident we will maintain water supply, flood operations and the safety of our dams through this pandemic.
Seqwater is working closely with our five retailer customers on a coordinated response and taking advantage of opportunities to share resources. We have taken steps to protect our staff, particularly those who are critical to our day-to-day operations and will continue to focus on continuity of supply.
We have cancelled or postponed Seqwater public events, including our community education program, to protect our staff and the communities we serve.
We have also closed all Seqwater-managed lakes and parks to recreation until further notice. This includes both land and water-based recreation, including boating, skiing and fishing.
Seqwater is proactively managing this situation, taking an approach that is aligned with our values –integrity, respect, care and courage.
The following guidelines have been adopted:
- The health and wellbeing of our workforce during the coming weeks and months is our priority. As such, with the exception of critical operational staff, all employees are to work from home.
- Any staff member who is unwell is not to attend an Seqwater workplace under any circumstance.
- Virtual meetings are to be held instead of face-to-face meetings.
- To support our suppliers, we are prioritising payment as soon as possible.
What we expect from suppliers and contractors
In order to protect our employees and maintain our services, Seqwater has limited access to operational sites.
From time to time access is required for the delivery of important goods (e.g. chemicals), maintenance or construction crews undertaking work on site. We also have some people working in non-operational areas as contractors, consultants or as temporary staff.
We expect these firms to take similar measures to protect their own workers and ensure none of their workers attend a Seqwater site (operational or otherwise) if they are unwell, have recently been overseas or believe they have come into contact with a person who may be exposed to the COVID-19 virus. Please note, we may seek separate assurance that you have the appropriate measures in place.
Queensland border controls
Entry into the state of Queensland has now been restricted to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Security of water supply is critical in sustaining the health and safety of Queenslanders in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recognition of this critical role, certain exemptions apply to persons, goods and services that support the supply chain that provides safe drinking water (this will include inputs essential to allow Seqwater to maintain its services and infrastructure).
Government has put in place arrangements that enable entry into Queensland by our contractors and suppliers to support our critical water supply service. Suppliers and contractors should be familiar with the entry requirements and exemptions, and obtain the relevant documentation (for example, refer to https://www.qld.gov.au/border-pass)
Important note: It is expected that all visiting suppliers, who are exempt from border restrictions and travelling into Queensland, will remain in their vehicle and practice social distancing wherever possible. This includes maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 metres from other persons where reasonably practicable.
If you have a question in relation to supplier/contractor movements across the border into Queensland (which is not already covered above), please contact our Commercial Services Team at [email protected].
Other visitors to our sites
In order to protect the employees who are critical to our service delivery, we will not be permitting any visitors to our operational sites by anyone other than suppliers or contractors mentioned above.
The above measures are an important part of our overall plan for the safety and wellbeing of our staff members, and the continuation of essential services for the people of South East Queensland through this pandemic.
Impacts on our irrigation customers
Seqwater supplies water to over 1,000 irrigators in South East Queensland. As is our usual practice, if any of our irrigation customers are having difficulty paying invoices, they should contact Seqwater at 1800 077 005 or by emailing [email protected].