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28 June, 2021

Drilling strikes liquid gold

The results of drilling tests at the Clifton Great Artesian Bore (GAB) site has indicated the water found there is suitable enough and of sufficient quality to supply Clifton, potentially bringing about the end of water supply problems that have plagued the town over the last few years.

A drilling team has been testing water flow at the GAB bore adjacent to the Clifton water reservoir on Hinz Street. Photo, Droneview Solutions

Waste & Water Committee Chair Rebecca Vonhoff said Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) is in the final testing stages of drilling at the Clifton GAB bore site.

“Last week the Clifton GAB underwent a 100-hour pump test,” Cr Vonhoff said.

“The results from this will inform the pump size and treatment capacity.”

Over the last few months, Council has been testing both the quality as well as the volume of water from the bore to determine whether it will meet the requirements to supply Clifton with a reliable water source.

Cr Vonhoff said that encouragingly, initial water samples taken from the site have indicated the quality is suitable for us to treat and supply to the community.

“This will be a great outcome and will mean we will be able to stop water carting to Clifton,” she said.

In the 2021/22 TRC Budget, $800,000 has been allocated to the Clifton GAB site.

Overall, the Budget allocated $100 million to water and $41.3 million to wastewater.

Cr Vonhoff urged the State and Federal governments to become more involved in securing water for Toowoomba Region.

“We more than carry our weight in our contribution to Queensland’s regional domestic product and Australia’s GDP, so I’m looking forward to them sharing our vision for the future of the Darling Downs and seeing what we can so clearly see,” Cr Vonhoff said.

TRC completed initial test drilling of the site in April.

Water was found and samples were taken for quality testing.

“The next step after this will be to determine whether the available water volume and quality are suitable to supplement existing Clifton town water supplies,” Cr Vonhoff said at the time.

Other strategies that have been used to curb Clifton’s water supply problem include TRC’s construction of a packaged water treatment plant for Clifton and the Queensland Government’s Toowoomba to Warwick Pipeline, that could potentially include Clifton, Nobby, Greenmount and Allora.

The Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline received additional funding in the 2021/22 State Budget.

TRC has been spending more than $90,000 each month to transport treated water to Clifton reservoir.

Clifton is currently on high level water restrictions.

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