The Burdekin Shire Council is set to receive $46.88 million in funding from the Queensland Government to drive the development of Stage 1 of a new water treatment plant in Ayr. 

This funding package also provides support for costs associated with refurbishing South Ayr bores to supplement current drinking water supplies and is part of an ongoing management plan following detections of PFAS in the groundwater.

Stage 1 of the new water treatment plant includes iron and manganese pre-treatment, dual media filtration (coal on sand), disinfection, solids handling, chemical storage and dosing.

The water treatment plant is set to begin construction in late 2023 and be commissioned and supplying drinking water by 2026.

In addition, funding for ongoing technical support, and groundwater monitoring and modelling of the Ayr aquifer will also be provided.

PFAS was first detected in the local groundwater in 2018 and Burdekin Shire Council took immediate action to establish new bores for the town’s water supply. 

To support safe and reliable drinking water, the Queensland Government has previously provided $12 million funding to Burdekin Shire Council for water supply infrastructure upgrades.

These works, which were completed in 2022, included a 10ML South Ayr Reservoir, installation of new bores and associated pumps, chlorination and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection equipment and connecting water mains, and the design of the South Ayr Water Treatment Plant.

Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said that the Queensland Government is supporting the Burdekin Shire Council in the delivery of safe and reliable drinking water to the community now and into the future.

“Everyone knows the Burdekin is built on liquid gold, and this investment sets the community and Council on a path for safe, clean and healthy water for decades to come,” Mr Butcher said. 

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor, Lyn McLaughlin, said that Council welcomes the State Government’s announcement of financial support to deliver stage one of a new water treatment plant. 

“This project will ensure a safe, reliable source of drinking water for residents in the Ayr, Brandon and Alva communities,” Mayor McLaughlin said. 

“I would like to thank the State Government for their support and collaboration to provide essential infrastructure to the Burdekin Community which will also improve water security. I look forward to seeing the benefits of this project for our region.”

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