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BMD Constructions has won the contract to construct two new water clarifiers at the Douglas Water Treatment Plant in Townsville in a $27.5 million project.

And tenders for the construction of a duplicate pipeline between Ross River Dam and the treatment plant are set to be released later this year in fast-tracked works expected to cost about $45 million.

The roll-out comes as Townsville City Council moves to address water supply issues after problems including discoloured water this year and a period of major water restrictions when a 1.3m diameter pipe supplying the Douglas Water Treatment Plant ruptured in December.

“The pipe, which was routinely inspected, was expected to have an operational life of around 80 years, however it ruptured around the 53-year mark,” Townsville Water and Waste Committee chairperson Russ Cook said.

“Once the pipeline was repaired and water supply was returned to normal, council turned its attention to minimising the risk of a similar event occurring again.”

Earlier this week, the council announced completion of work to install three new pumps to provide an enhanced secondary water intake for the plant – which is the city’s primary water treatment facility.

Cr Cook said the $1 million capital investment in the secondary water intake would allow for 110 megalitres of water to be pumped into the treatment place each day when required.

Work to install the new clarifiers is expected to start this week and be completed by the end of August 2022.

Cr Cook said the new clarifiers would minimise the risk of the city experiencing temporary discolouration of its drinking water supply caused by increased turbidity during the wet season.

“Like many water authorities across Australia, Townsville Water has to deal with increased turbidity in our raw water supply during the wet season,” Cr Cook said.

“Following the issues experienced with discoloured water earlier this year, council set about finding ways to minimise the risk of a similar event happening again.”

He said clarifiers were part of the filtration process that water raw from the dam went through before being treated to the highest possible standard and piped to homes and business across the city.

“This project will double the number of clarifiers at the Douglas Water Treatment Plant and increase the capacity to treat water during the wet season by an additional 90 megalitres per day,” he said.

Meanwhile the council has worked with the Department of Defence to fast-track the design and land access arrangements to enable the duplication of the pipeline between the dam and treatment plant as soon as possible.

The cost of the duplication is expected to be around $45 million at the concept level. The council is developing the concept into a full detailed design package including a more accurate cost estimate.