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Queensland desal plants turned on

Water supplies are secure for residents in Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold Coast and Logan due to the Tugun desalination plant. The desal plant will run at 66 per cent capacity for several more weeks while mud stirred up by the flood continues to result in dirty water in the Brisbane river.

It was estimated that up to 1,000 tonnes of silt is flowing over the Mt Crosby Weir each day where the intakes are located for the region’s two main treatment plants.

In the past, high levels of sediment in the river after a major wet weather event have on occasion caused a slight discoloration of tap water in some suburbs.

Production at the Mt Crosby treatment plants is also reduced by the time it takes to remove the silt. This shortfall also is being negated by output from the desal plant.

The desal plant is currently operating at 66 per cent of capacity to maintain current water quality and meet demand.

The Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme has also been turned-up as part of the emergency response to the floods. It also continues to supply water to industrial customers.

It has been providing purified recycled water for the critical wash down and clean up easing demand on potable water in those areas hardest hit by the floods.

Last year, the Government announced plans to place the Tugun Desalination Plant and part of the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme into standby mode.

The plan included a provision for both operations to be activated in emergency situations.

The ongoing operation of the two plants will have no impact on the reductions to bulk water prices that were announced by the government in December 2010.

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