Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

New pipeline benefits Townsville community

Media release
2 June 2011

The last piece of a 27 kilometre pipeline to capture and redirect wastewater from the northern areas of Townsville was laid today at the Mt St John Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Attending the official pipe laying, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, said the Townsville Wastewater Diversion Pipeline Project would provide major environmental benefits to the local waterways.

“Importantly, the treatment plant will eliminate discharge into the Black and Saunders Rivers,” Senator Farrell said.

“This project will increase the volume of wastewater being treated at the Mt St John Wastewater Treatment Plant, enabling more wastewater to be treated to a higher quality.

“The quality of water being discharged into the sea and eventually flowing out to the Great Barrier Reef, will be greatly improved. Nitrogen and phosphorus levels will be reduced by up to 70 per cent, and ammonia levels by up to 97 per cent.”

The Australian Government committed up to $39.1 million in funding to the diversion pipeline project – through the Water for the Future – Water Smart Australia program - providing important infrastructure to support Townsville’s growing population.

“The pipeline allows wastewater to be redirected to the centralised treatment facility at Mt St John. As a first step towards greater reuse in the future, some of the redirected treated wastewater is used to irrigate the plant’s grounds and some surrounding facilities.”

“The Australian Government’s investments in urban water programs are securing water supplies for local communities by assisting states and territories to diversify supplies, including developing alternative water sources, and by making the most of the water we have through recycling and reuse programs such as this,” Senator Farrell said.