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4 May, 2022

Let there be water

After decades of uncertainty when it comes to water security and close to two and a half years of carting water into Clifton via truck, it appears the light at the end of the tunnel is here, with water from the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) now flowing through our taps.

Councillors Nancy Sommerfield and Rebecca Vonhoff and Mayor Paul Antonio were shown around the new facility last Thursday by Matthew Semciw of Gradiant Australia. The Reverse Osmosis machine can be seen to the right and media filters behind.

The Clifton Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant, located on Mowen Street, is now operational.

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has spent $2.75 million investing in the plant.

Speaking at the plant recently, Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said the $2.75 million investment Council made on the plant would secure Clifton’s short-term water supply.

“Today is a great day for Clifton, we have secured the town’s drinking water supply and can give residents peace of mind that their drinking water is top quality.

“Council has worked hard over a number of years to secure a better option for Clifton’s water supply and this new treatment plant is the best option for the town,” Mayor Antonio said.

TRC Water and Waste Committee Chair Councillor Rebecca Vonhoff said the plant would treat water from the Kings Creek Alluvium and Great Artesian Basin groundwater sources, providing “great quality water” for Clifton residents.

“The Great Artesian Basin bore for Clifton is now being drawn on and this means the town’s water supply is now coming from more than one source which is very important for its water future,” Cr Vonhoff said.

“Trucking water into Clifton has stopped and the new plant has the capacity to treat 500kl per day to drinking standards which is more than enough to supply the town into the future.

“The reverse osmosis plant uses a process where a partially permeable membrane separates and removes unwanted impurities and particles in raw water to make the water safe for drinking.

Cr Vonhoff said water sampling and testing of the treated water from the plant was completed last week and it was confirmed the water meets Australian drinking water standards.

“Both the Kings Creek Alluvium bore and the Great Artesian Basin bore are being used as sources of the water for the plant,” she said.

Cr Vonhoff said trucking water into Clifton from reservoirs in Wyreema and Nobby since late 2019 has cost $3.3 million.

While trucking water into Clifton has stopped, Council still has trucks on standby for any unforeseen issue with the new water treatment plant.

Minor works around the plant site including drainage and roadworks are expected to be completed within the next few weeks.

It is important to note that Australian drinking water standards are not necessarily the same as public perception of drinkable water.

Initial reports around town are that the water taste is a marked improvement on what we are used to, with it now being comparable to Toowoomba water.

Now there has been some time for the GAB water to well and truly be circulating, take a glass, turn on the tap and see for yourself if it passes muster.

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