Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has today, Wednesday 29 November 2023, closed Loveday Cove at Cooby Dam for primary contact water-based activities until further notice.

The closure is for primary contact activities such as sail or paddle boarding. Secondary contact activities such as fishing and land-based activities such as BBQs and picnics remain open. Cooby Dam Wall is also closed as water supplied to this site is untreated dam water.

TRC Environment and Community Services Portfolio Leader Cr Tim McMahon said Council officers decided to stop primary contact water-based activities as a safety precaution due to health concerns related to increased microorganism levels.

“Council will conduct its regular testing regime to determine when Loveday Cove at Cooby Dam can reopen,” Cr McMahon said.

“We understand the importance of recreational activities at our dams to our community.

“However, Council can only reopen Cooby Dam when water quality tests meet the appropriate national standards.

“The microorganism levels represent no risk to drinking water supplies as the water treatment, and disinfection process removes them.

TRC Water and Waste Committee Chair Cr Rebecca Vonhoff said the treatment process is also closely monitored (daily).

“When the water leaves the treatment plant, we conduct tests in the distribution system under our Drinking Water Quality Management Plans. These plans line up with the Queensland Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008,” Cr Vonhoff said.

Council monitors all our three dams weekly for numerous chemical and microbiological parameters including Blue Green Algae. 

“Even if we are not drawing water from a particular dam, but a test shows that levels are too high for primary contact (sail boating/paddle boarding) or secondary contact (boating/fishing), we inform Council’s Parks and Recreation Services branch about closing a facility to the public.

“After a request from Councillors, Council now publishes the water quality results for recreational activities.

“We hope that this information will help people to understand how results comply with relevant national guidelines**.”

Council will further advise residents when Loveday Cove is able to be reopened to primary contact activities.

To view activities open or closed at the dams, and the ‘water standards for recreational activity’ please visit www.tr.qld.gov.au/damstatus

**Australian Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Water and the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.