Drilling on a Great Artesian Basin (GAB) test bore at Clifton is due to start this week. (from March 8, 2021).

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) Water and Waste Committee chair Cr Rebecca Vonhoff said drilling firstly would determine the depth of the water.

“Depending on the initial drilling, the next step will involve analysing the water to determine whether the volume and quality are suitable to supplement existing Clifton town water supplies,” Cr Vonhoff said.

“If the test results are positive, the bore will provide a backup supply in the interim, while negotiations with the State Government around the southern pipeline keep going.

“Contractors, S & K Drilling of Pittsworth, have set up the drilling rig for the construction of an artesian water bore that will be located on Council-owned land off Hinz Street, near the Mowen Street corner.

“Test drilling results will inform our next steps, which are likely to include the purchase and installation of a suitable pump, installation of power and telemetry, plus the design and construction of supporting infrastructure, such as tanks and pipes.

“Council has been investigating medium and long-term water supply options for Clifton and surrounding southern area towns that are not connected to the Toowoomba Bulk Supply network.

“Tender assessment is under way on a new Reverse Osmosis (RO) water treatment plant to service Clifton. It is planned to be constructed by the end of June this year.

“The Clifton packaged water treatment plant project will deliver a pre-assembled, complete water treatment option for the groundwater aquifer bore system.

“The Clifton town water system has four bores. This water treatment system will draw water from bores until a long-term solution is in place. A timeline will be clearer when the tender assessment is completed.

“The RO water treatment plant will address the high nitrate and iron levels in the existing Clifton bore water supply.

“This infrastructure will provide a medium-term water solution that will enable most of the water carting to end when the plant is online.

“Southern towns rely on groundwater supplies. With drought and increasing demand for groundwater supplies, the security and quality of groundwater for town water supplies has diminished over time.”

Cr Vonhoff said two water trunk mains were being investigated to service Clifton. She said these included the state government option of a Wivenhoe to Southern Downs pipeline and Council’s proposed pipeline from Wyreema to Clifton.

Drilling contractors will work from 7am to 5pm on weekdays and on weekends when necessary.

Council will seek to minimise project impacts and thanks the community for their patience and co-operation during the site establishment and testing.