Douglas Shire warns residents to stock up on water following failure at Mossman Water Treatment Plant

Residents in far north Queensland are being forced to ration their water after a supply shortage alert was issued.

Douglas Shire advised residents late on Thursday night there had been a failure at the Mossman Water Treatment Plant.

In a post on social media, council explained the plant had failed to continuously function within the previous 24 hours which resulted in immediate water preservation measures.

“Douglas Shire Council urges all residents, businesses and visitors to refrain from water use immediately,” the council warned.

Customers were estimated to experience complete water loss starting midnight on Friday.

It comes weeks after the far north coast was slammed by ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper, with many communities, including Port Douglas, still in the depths of the mammoth clean-up.

Council’s Acting CEO Scott Mason said there were complexities in trying to get the treatment plant back up and running.

“Despite a mammoth effort to try and get the water treatment plant up and running, we haven’t been successful,” Mr Mason said late on Thursday.

“We are working around the clock to alleviate the issue as quickly as possible.

“In addition, two water pumps deployed from Cairns as an alternative method to transfer water to the treatment plant are experiencing water pressure and air pocket challenges.

“These challenges have prevented the treatment plant from running correctly.”

Council confirmed at 3pm on Friday that the Mossman Water Treatment Plant was still offline and a lack of available treated water supply for Douglas Shire continued.

“Crews are continuing through a last effort process to get the treatment plant functioning,” council stated.

“If this attempt fails, the decision has been made to bypass the water treatment plant with non-potable water.

“Once this process occurs it will remain in place for an extended period.”

Residents are being urged to use non-potable water for hygiene purposes, while cooled boiled water can be used for drinking, cooking, washing raw foods and dishes, making ice and cleaning teeth.

Pets can also drink cooled boiled water.

Bottled drinking water is available at the following locations:

  • Mossman State High School Sports Centre, Front Street Mossman
  • Newell Beach Fish and Chip Shop, 42 Marine Parade, Newell Beach
  • Port Douglas Community Hall, Corner Mowbray and Mudlo Streets, Port Douglas

However, people will be limited to collecting one 2L bottle of water per person.

The challenges the plant faces stem from a landslides from upstream of Rex Creek which have caused blockages to the facility.

“The water treatment plant is facing major issues with the ability to treat water,” council stated.

“Large rocks and debris that are challenging to move are blocking the inlet that feeds the water treatment plant.

“This has been caused naturally by landslides upstream of Rex Creek.

“As a result of the many landslides within the Rex Creek catchment area, it is expected that council will be battling ongoing heavy sediment challenges.

“Crews are currently clearing air pockets from the water main by activating air bleed valves along the 5 km intake water main.”

Read related topics:BrisbaneWeather

Leave a Comment