Mount Isa Water Board invests in reliable future water supply

07 Jun Mount Isa Water Board invests in reliable future water supply

Mount Isa Water Board is investing $3.6 million in the city’s future water supply, constructing a new electrical switchyard and high voltage infrastructure to replace the original that was constructed in 1958.

The switchyard connects the electricity supply from MIM to the Water Board’s main pumping station at Clear Water Lagoon, which moves approximately 18 million litres of clean drinking water for local residents and 30 million litres of semi-treated water for industrial customers each day.

Mount Isa Water Board Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Farrelly said, “The new switchyard will help to secure the reliability of Mount Isa’s future water supply and is expected to be commissioned in the coming weeks.

“It is a critical part of the water supply network and the upgrade will help to make sure Mount Isa continues to have safe and reliable water for decades to come.”

The project will include installation of a new switchyard and associated high voltage electrical infrastructure including a series of 33,000 volt switches, transformers and pump control equipment.

“Construction commenced approximately four months ago but has now reached a critical point with the existing switchyard to be shut down for a few weeks to finish construction,” Mr Farrelly said.

“The Lake Julius pumping station will provide water supply during the shutdown, and the new switchyard is expected to be commissioned mid-year.”

“It has taken an enormous amount of planning to ensure the shutdown will be well managed to maintain normal water supplies.”

Local water supply comes from Lake Moondarra which is 13kms downstream of Mount Isa on the Leichhardt River and Lake Julius which is 60kms downstream.

This means all of the city’s water needs to be pumped to customers. As a result, Mount Isa requires almost as much electricity to supply water for approximately 20,000 people as Canberra which has more than 450,000 residents.

Despite this, the total Water Board charges to Mount Isa City Council average approximately $1.50 per 1,000 litres which is about half the amount paid by Brisbane water users.

The switchyard project is one of a number of capital investments during 2019 to upgrade and future-proof Mount Isa’s water supply infrastructure.

ENDS

For further information, please contact Stephen Farrelly: 07 4740 1000, [email protected]