Securing our water future

Water is a precious resource. It sustains life and is vital for us and our environment.

For Council, providing safe, reliable, efficient water and wastewater services to local residents and businesses is one of our core responsibilities.

The supply of safe drinking water begins in our drinking water catchments, where water is stored before being treated and supplied to the community.  On the Fraser Coast, water is purified at four water treatment plants.  

Water is used in so many different ways, including drinking, bathing, washing clothes, flushing toilets, watering gardens and filling swimming pools. Wastewater that enters the sewerage system is treated at one of eight sewage treatment plants on the Fraser Coast. 

The sewage treatment process makes recycled water and biosolids by-products that are reused by some local activities like agriculture, golf courses, sporting fields and turf farms. 

Over the next 20 to 30 years, the population of the Fraser Coast is expected to increase significantly, which will impact on how water is provided and how it is used and reused.

Council has a range of strategies underway or in development as part of an overarching Water Resilience Framework. The framework spans from source water storages to recycled water and biosolids reuse, with the aim of securing our water future on the Fraser Coast.

It’s all about ensuring we have a sustainable, affordable and reliable water future for our community and our environment.

Drinking Water Catchment Management Strategy

Council has developed a 10-year Drinking Water Catchment Management Strategy 2023-2033

The supply of safe drinking water begins in our drinking water catchments, where water is stored before being treated and supplied to the community.

Drinking water catchments are areas where rainwater is collected by the natural landscape and eventually flows via creeks, rivers and underground systems into  water source storages, such as dams, weirs and barrages. 

The Fraser Coast’s drinking water catchment areas are located along the Burrum River, Mary River and Tinana Creek. These catchments don’t just provide drinking water though. They also support a wide range of land uses, including agriculture, grazing, forestry and residential.

In addition, our drinking water catchments are home to a range of species of plants and animals, include culturally significant areas like the Wongi Waterholes, and provide opportunities for recreation such as boating, fishing and kayaking.  

Maintaining healthy catchments with good quality water is vital for the community and it’s vital for the environment.

Water Supply Security Strategy

Our water supplies rely on rainfall with our water source storages monitored daily by Council and managed carefully to ensure there is enough water during periods of prolonged dry weather.

To ensure the balance between always having water available and the cost to provide water to the community, water restrictions are a widely used method of managing the available water.

Based on current climate and population forecasts, the most recent strategies have identified that our current dams and weirs will provide safe water supply yields for Hervey Bay until at least 2046 and Maryborough until at least 2066.

Click here to view the project, or view the report below.

PLANNING REPORT -  Water Supply Security Strategy

Recycled Water Strategy

Fraser Coast Regional Council is a national leader in ensuring our precious water does not go to waste.

Our recycled water scheme, which has been in place for more than 25 years, routinely uses 90 to 100 per cent of the Fraser Coast’s treated wastewater for golf courses, turf farms, sporting fields and sugar cane crops.

We also grow 500,000 native trees on the outskirts of Hervey Bay to help reuse our region’s wastewater.

With our population rising, volumes of effluent will increase. This can be recycled and managed in different ways.

Click here to find out more about Council’s Recycled Water Strategy

Biosolids Strategy

Biosolids are an unavoidable by-product in the sewage treatment process consisting of mainly organic compounds and some water. Biosolids are often applied as a fertiliser to improve soil structure due to the high nutrient value and water retention capabilities.

Depending on their grade, biosolids may be applied to a range of uses such as composting, land application in forestry operations, topsoil, land rehabilitation and application to agricultural land.

Council recently sought feedback via its biosolids strategy to identify potential alternative reuse options and take into account emerging trends, recent changes to legislation and the work being done at treatment plants.

View the Biosolids Strategy here

Upgrading our Sewage Treatment Plant capacity

The development of the Recycled Water Strategy follows Council’s recent decision to move ahead with plans to upgrade the Pulgul Sewage Treatment Plant to cater for the needs of our growing population.

To find out more information on sewage treatment plant capacity view here