Water

water hose

Overview

Western Downs Regional Council supplies over 4,000 million litres of water within the region. In this section, information can be found on all of the Western Downs Regional Council water supplies as well as information relating to water quality. Information can also be found for connecting water to your property as well as reporting leaks found at the meter.

Water Connections 

To apply for a new standard water connection to your property, or to obtain a quote for a non-standard connections, visit your local Council Customer Service Centre or phone Council on 1300 COUNCIL

Fees and charges are applicable to all of Council’s water service areas unless otherwise stated. All charges are inclusive of GST where applicable. Please refer to Councils fees and charges register. 

Water Charges 

Council provides access to water throughout the Western Downs Region. Residents who are connected to the public supply will have their water usage calculated by their water meter and charged for their water usage annually by way of water notices. 

Part A

An annual supply charge of $485.10 for a standard (20mm or 25mm) connection is charged through the bi-annual rates notice. 

Water Charges for for larger meter sets may be located in Council's fees and charges.

Part B

Part B is the dollar amount calculated on the quantity of water consumed as stated in the standard consumption charges below and as charged through the bi-annual water consumption bill.

Standard Consumption Charges (Part B) 

  • Bi-annual consumption up to 125kL will be charged at $2.10 (per kilolitre) 

  • Further Bi-annual consumption between 126kL and 250kL will be charged at $2.81 (per kilolitre) 

  • Further Bi-annual consumption between 251kL and 15,000kL will be charged at $3.48 (per kilolitre) 

  • Further Bi-annual consumption greater than 15,000kL will be charged at $5.14 per (kilolitre) 

The communities of Jimbour, Kaimkillenbun, Kogan, Meandarra, Moonie, The Gums and Westmar which receive non-potable water will be charged at 90% of the standard consumption charges above. 

The communities of Brigalow, Dulacca, Flinton and Glenmorgan which receive untreated surface water will be charged at 75% of the standard consumption charges above. 

Find out more

Water Restrictions

As of midnight Thursday, 25 March 2021, Council’s Water Restrictions apply as follows:

Normal

Brigalow, Chinchilla, Condamine, Dalby, Dulacca, Flinton, Glenmorgan, Jandowae, Jimbour, Kogan, Meandarra, Miles, Moonie, Tara, The Gums, Wandoan, Warra, Westmar

Conservation

Bell

Emergency

Kaimkillenbun

All consumers connected to a Council Supply are advised that authorised Council officers will be monitoring adherence to the restriction program and all consumers are requested to abide by the restrictions, as failure to do so will incur a fine. The restriction levels adhere to the Water Restriction – Council Policy as adopted by Western Downs Regional Council. More information on current water restrictions can be found in the Public Notice - Changes to Regional Water Restrictions(PDF, 65KB)

Normal Level Restriction Fact Sheet(PDF, 124KB)

Conservation Level Restriction Fact Sheet(PDF, 123KB)

Emergency Level Restriction Fact Sheet(PDF, 122KB)

Water Supply Levels

WATER SUPPLY

TARGET (Litres per person per day)

ACTUAL USAGE
(Litres per person per day)

AVAILABLE CAPACITY

Bell

300

173

Koondaii Dam 100%

Bores

Brigalow

480

86

Chinchilla

480

525

Weir 100%

Condamine

480

305

Weir 100%

Dalby

480

459

Weir 98%

Jandowae

480

213

Dam 98%

Jimbour

480

71

Bores

Kaimkillenbun

180

45

Bores

Miles

480

475

Weir 100%

Tara

480

521

Lagoon 96%

Wandoan

480

913

Bores

Warra

480

353

Dam 73%

Information updated: 25 March 2022

Water Standpipe Rebate

Council’s standpipe rebate offers half-priced water for those drought declared.

Contact Council for more information.

Report Water Restriction Breach

To report a water restriction breach please contact Council on 1300 268 624.

Where Water Restrictions are Applicable

Water restrictions are applicable to all properties connected to a Council water supply, including potable (drinking quality) and non-potable (not for drinking) supplies. Council will be enforcing restrictions and non-compliance may result in a fine. Individuals contracted to Council and Council employees have the appropriate authorisation to monitor compliance with water restrictions under the provisions of the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008

Approved Inspection Program – Water Restrictions

Council is conducting a systematic approved inspection program to monitor the compliance of the Water Restrictions – Council Policy and the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008. Property inspections will be carried out by Council’s Authorised Persons.

 

Exemption from Water Restrictions

Sometimes circumstances arise when customers are unable to adhere to current water restrictions. Council understands this, and has in place exemptions from water restrictions. Customers connected to WDRC water supplies may apply for an exemption to water restrictions under specified circumstances.

Please note: An application for exemption takes ten (10) days to process.

General Water Exemption

If an exemption is required from Council’s water restriction policy for the activities below, please complete the Exemption to Water Restriction form(PDF, 98KB) and return to any Council Customer Service centre or email to info@wdrc.qld.gov.au

  • Community Projects
  • Domestic Maintenance
  • Cementing
  • Painting Preparation
  • Business
  • New Turf
  • Dust suppression
  • Other

Please refer to the Water Restriction – Council Policy for full exemption details.

Concession Card Holders/Health Water Exemption

If a concession or health exemption is required from Council’s water restriction policy for the activities below, please complete the Water Exemption from Water Restriction – Health form(PDF, 99KB) and return to any Council Customer Service centre or email to info@wdrc.qld.gov.au.

  • Aged Pension
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Carer Pension
  • Short Term Health Ailment
  • Other

Please refer to the Water Restriction – Council Policy for full exemption details.

For more information contact Council on 1300 268 624.

 

Reporting

Statewide Water Information Management Reporting

In 2014, specific changes to the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (the Act) were enacted. These changes aim to simplify regulatory requirements and remove the need for service providers to have multiple management plans in place. Instead, mandatory reporting on key performance indicators (KPIs) were introduced. 

In conjunction with the KPIs, service providers with >10,000 connections are also required to report on indicators as part of the National Performance Reporting (NPR) framework. 

The KPIs and NPR are designed to monitor and benchmark performance on common industry metrics including water security, capacity to ensure continuity of supply, affordability, financial sustainability, industry and workforce capability and quality of service provided to customers. 

Results of the performance reports are reported through the Statewide Water Information Management (SWIM) database. The database was created to collate the significant volume of data and distribute it to various State and Commonwealth agencies. 

The data will be used by Government agencies to create benchmarking reports. 

 

Fact Sheet - Fact or Furphy - Making sense of Water and Sewerage Services(PDF, 323KB)

 

Drinking Water Quality Management Plan Reporting

This report documents the performance of Western Downs Regional Council’s drinking water service with respect to water quality and performance in implementing the actions detailed in the Drinking Water Quality Management Plan (DWQMP) as required under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (the Act). 

Water Tank Rebate 

Western Downs residents looking to install a rainwater tank on their property will be offered a significant rebate under a common-sense plan to boost resilience by Western Downs Regional Council. 

The Rainwater Tank Subsidy Scheme continues as part of the 2022/23 Council Budget, offering a generous incentive to help increase water storage across the region. 

The rebate amount varies between $500 and $2,000 depending on the size of tank purchased and if the tank is to be installed in one of Council's non-potable water networks. The rebate applies to new tanks only, and will be made available on a first come, first serve basis. 

The rebate will only be available through a pre-approval process and reimbursed when proof of purchase is provided. Application must be made prior to the purchase of the tank. No retrospective payments will be payable. Council will also attend the property to ensure the tank is fully installed and operational. 

Applications must be submitted via Council's Online Grants Platform. 

Apply Here

Rebate Types 

GRANT TYPE

AMOUNT

OPENING/CLOSING DATE

5,000 litres and greater

$500

1 July 2022 / 30 June 2023

10,000 litres and greater

$750

1 July 2022 / 30 June 2023

20,000 litres and greater

$1000

1 July 2022 / 30 June 2023

40,000 litres and greater*

$2000

1 July 2022 / 30 June 2023

*this grant is only available to residents connected to Council's non-potable water supply schemes 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Am I eligible for a water tank rebate?

All property owners (individual, businesses and community organisations) within the Western Downs Regional Council area are eligible if they meet the following criteria:

  • No retrospective payments will be made for tanks purchased prior to approval.
  • Properties must be within the WDRC area and have a dwelling.
  • Applicable to new tanks only and not for replacement tanks.
  • Only submit one application per year, per property rate assessment, with a maximum of two tanks; payable to the property owner only
  • Tanks must be purchased and installed within 3 months of and not prior to approval
  • If approved, the applicant must purchase and install the tank at their own cost. Approved funds will be dispersed to the applicant upon successful completion of the acquittal process.
  • Install a tank of at least 5,000 litre capacity.
  • Available until the grant budget is reached.
  • Limit of six grants per week issued for the duration of grant funding. Applications will be assessed in order of receipt. Due to the limit of six approvals per week, the timeframe for assessment of your application will be dependent on the volume of applications being received.
  • Applicants must attach quotes sourced from local businesses for the project. If components of the project cannot be delivered by local businesses, an explanation as to why the project cannot be delivered by local businesses must be provided within the application. A local business is considered a business within the Western Downs Regional Council boundaries. 

Who is not eligible for a water tank rebate?

  • Properties outside of Western Downs Regional Council boundaries.
  • Properties that do not have a dwelling on them.
  • No retrospective approvals will be provided. 

How do I apply?

All applications for WDRC rain water tanks must be lodged through Council's online grants platform. Click here to view more information and the online application. 

If you do not have a computer or access to the internet, please visit one of the Western Downs Libraries to use a computer or to access free internet. 

Applications for funding must be submitted online by the closing date.  Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted for assessment. 

Unsuccessful applications 

Funding decisions are endorsed by Council, CEO or delegated staff member.  Decisions cannot be appealed.  Applicants may write to Council to seek clarification if they believe that their application was incorrectly assessed. 

How is my grant assessed?

All grants are paid exclusive of GST regardless of the tax status of the applicant:

  • Grants are assessed against the eligibility criteria. 
  • Applications will be assessed in order of receipt. 
  • Limit of six grants per week will be issued until the grant budget is reached.
  • If the application is approved, the applicant will be required to purchase and install the tank within three months of the approval being granted. Approved funds will be dispersed to the applicant upon successful completion of the acquittal process.

What will I need for my acquittal?

All grants must be acquitted. 

As a minimum, you will be required to provide the following evidence of completion of your purchase: 

  • A fully complete acquittal form through the online grants portal. 
  • Financial documents such as receipts and invoices for payment of tank. 
  • A Council staff member will be required to attend the property to confirm tank installation has been completed in accordance with the grant guidelines. 

 

Where can I get assistance with my application?

For more information and support with funding applications or the online grants platform please contact Council's grants team: 

Email: grants@wdrc.qld.gov.au 

Phone: 1300 COUNCIL (1300 268 624) 

Water Treatment in the Western Downs 

Council supplies both potable (drinking water) and non-potable (not for drinking) water to residents located in townships across the electorate. 

Brigalow, Flinton, Moonie, Westmar, Kogan, Meandarra, The Gums, Dulacca, Jimbour, Kaimkillenbun and Glenmorgan all have non-potable water supplied to their homes. Each resident in these communities is responsible for providing their own drinking water supplies. The majority of residents capture and store rain water in tanks for drinking water purposes. 

The communities of Bell, Chinchilla, Condamine, Dalby, Jandowae, Miles, Tara, Warra and Wandoan are provided with potable (drinking quality) water which is required to meet the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG). 

Why Is Water Treatment Required?

Water treatment involves the removal of contaminants and potentially harmful microbes that may impact a persons health either in the short term or the long term. 

The amount and/or type of treatment that raw water requires is dependent upon what needs removing or adding to the water so that it meets the Australian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines and Council's Drinking Water Quality Management Plan. 

Water treatment plants are designed to offer a range of treatment processes to suit the water supply source. 

Plants may treat the water using one or a combination of processes such as: 

  • flocculation; 
  • sedimentation;
  • filtration; 
  • desalination; 
  • pH correction and disinfection. 

Flocculation and Sedimentation Treatment Processes

The two most common treatment processes are Flocculation and Sedimentation. 

Water from particular sources such as rivers, creeks, dams and weirs contain suspended particles of clay and other matter that needs to be removed to make the water clear. The clarity or cloudiness of the water is measured by the turbidity of the water; the more turbid the water the more particles it contains and therefore the more treatment it requires to make it clear and sparkling. 

Sedimentation involves letting large particles in water settle to the bottom of a large storage tank to form sludge. This sludge is removed and pumped to drying beds to de-water. 

Flocculation is a similar process sedimentation except it involves adding a coagulant such as alum to help clarify the water. 

As particles suspended in water are negatively charged (repel other/similar particles with the same charge) they do not settle very easily. 

The alum helps the suspended particles join to form larger particle or “floc”. The quantity of the alum is controlled so that it clarifies (clears) the water which flows from the top of the tank and the particles sink to the bottom to for a sludge. 

Information sourced from: Australian Water Association, We All Use Water, At the water treatment plant, brochure 9. 

Filtration

Most drinking water is filtered after it has been treated. 

The most common process is to allow it to filter through a bed of sand. Filters need to be backwashed regularly. 

Disinfection

Chlorine is always added to drinking quality water to protect it on its journey through the network of pipes to your home. 

Desalination Treatment Process

Dalby, Miles and Tara are the only communities in the region supplied with desalinated water. The water fed into the desalination plant is supplied from sub-artesian bores. 

Pretreatment 

Bore water passes through a feed pump which pressurises the water for the pre-treatment stage. The pre-treatment stage consists of multimedia filtration, anti-scalant dosing and bag and cartridge filtration. 

Initially, the feed water passes through three fibreglass Multimedia vessels containing gravel, sand and anthracite. These filters suspend solids and colloidal material and are routinely backwashed to remove any deposited matter. 

Anti-scalant dosing occurs to reduce carbonate, sulfate and calcium fluoride scaling of the membrane. Scaling reduces the efficiency of the membranes and can also decrease the working life of the membranes. 

The bag and cartridge stage of the pre-treatment process removes any suspended solids remaining after multimedia filtration. The bag filters remove particles larger than 5 micron (0.005mm) and the cartridge filters remove particles larger than 1 micron (0.001mm). 

Desalination

Desalination is the removal of salts from ocean or brackish waters using various technologies. Electrodialysis Reversal (EDR), Multiple Stage Flash (MSF) and Reverse Osmosis (RO) are some of the technologies that are capable of removing nutrients and salts that make the water unfit for human consumption. 

Reverse Osmosis is the main process used in the Western Downs. 

Principles of Reverse Osmosis 

The phenomenon of osmosis occurs when pure water flows from a dilute saline solution through a membrane into a higher concentrated saline solution. 

A semi-permeable membrane is placed between the two compartments. Semi-permeable means that the membrane is permeable, or penetrable, by some species or substances, but not to others. Assuming that this membrane is permeable to water but not to salt, a salt solution is placed in one compartment and pure water in another compartment. The membrane will allow water to permeate through it to either side, but salt cannot pass through the membrane. 

As a fundamental rule of nature, this system will try to reach equilibrium where the same concentration (saltiness) of water exists on both sides of the membrane. The only way to reach equilibrium is for water to pass from the pure water compartment to the salt-water compartment, in order to dilute the salt solution. 

Osmosis can cause a rise in the height of the salt solution. This height will increase until the pressure of the column of salt solution is so high that the force of this water column (head) stops the water flow. The equilibrium point of this water column height, in terms of water pressure against the membrane is called osmotic pressure. 

If a force is applied to this column of water, the direction of the water flow through the membrane can be reversed. This is the basis of the term, “Reverse Osmosis”. Note that this reversed flow produces pure water from the salt solution, since the membrane is not permeable to salt. 

Within the Desalination Plant, the high-pressure pump forces the saline feed through the spiral-wound membranes to produce a product stream (permeate) and a high-salinity brine stream (concentrate, or reject). 

The processed outcome of these two (2) streams results in a 80% recovery rate, or alternatively, a waste rate of 20%. This waste is transferred to evaporation ponds. 

Although higher recovery rates are possible, production costs are greatly increased due to the increased amount of membranes required and associated pumping costs. 

These pressure vessel arrays contain the spiral-wound membranes which are the foundation for the reverse osmosis process. 

Post Treatment 

The water produced through the reverse osmosis process is close to pure water. The process does not remove the carbon dioxide that is naturally present in the feed water. Conversely, salts contributing to the alkalinity are strongly rejected. Carbon dioxide in its dissolved form causes a decrease in the pH levels due to its acidic quality. Aeration supplemented by caustic dosing of the permeate is conducted in order to increase the pH to an acceptable level. 

A certain amount of the initial feed water by-passes the RO process and is re-introduced into the permeate in order to increase the alkalinity of the water, thus reducing the need for chemicals. Achieving the correct rate of alkalinity is required to produce a slightly scaling as opposed to a corrosive product. 

Management of Concentrate Waste 

Due to the nature of Dalby’s reverse osmosis process, there is a saline by-product that represents approximately 20% of the total feed water. 

Considerable research has gone into the most appropriate way to manage this by-product. As a result of this research, a series of large evaporation ponds have been developed in close proximity to the plant. Monitoring of the ponds and associated infrastructure is conducted daily and comprises visual inspection of pipe work, monitoring of evaporation rates, salinity testing and monitoring of near by test bores. 

  

Regional Water Treatment Plants 

Community

Source

Process used

Chinchilla

Condamine River &
Charley’s Creek

Flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, pH correction and disinfection

Miles

Gil Weir
Dogwood Crossing

Aeration, flashmixing, sedimentation, filtration, pH correction and disinfection

Condamine

Condamine River

Coagulation, carbon dosing, sedimentation, filtration, pH correction and disinfection

Wandoan

2 Bores

Two treatment processes:
1. Aeration, flocculation, sedimentation, sand filtration and disinfection.
2. Aeration, addition of potassium permanganate solution for manganese treatment, filtration and disinfection

Dalby

Condamine River

Flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, pH correction and disinfection

 

Dalby

Desalination

Water is filtered through multimedia filters and 5 and 1 micron filters before passing through the 2 stage reverse osmosis system. Approximately 20% of water is wasted in the concentrate stream along with the rejected salts, used for filter backwashing or sent to the evaporation ponds. Desalinated water is aerated to remove carbon dioxide in solution thereby improving the pH.

Bell

3 bores

Disinfection only

Bell

Koondaii & Cattle Cr reservoir

Aeration, sedimentation, filtration, pH correction and disinfection

Warra

Condamine River

Aeration, sedimentation, filtration, pH correction and disinfection

Jandowae

Jandowae Cr reservoir

Aeration, sedimentation, filtration, pH correction and disinfection

Jandowae

4 Bores

Used as emergency back up only – disinfection only

Tara

Lagoon & Bores

Treatment Plant A – flocculation, clarification, filtration

Desalination – pre-treatment (chloramination), UV, Ultra-filtration, 2 stage reverse osmosis, blending, pH adjustment, stabilisation, disinfection