STEER CLEAR: The Condamine River has been contaminated. Picture: Steven Kasper.
STEER CLEAR: The Condamine River has been contaminated. Picture: Steven Kasper.

Contaminated water flows into Condamine river

CONTAMINATED water leaked from the Warwick Sewage Treatment Plant into the Condamine River which flows into Wednesday afternoon.

The river flows into many parts of the Western Downs including Myall Creek in Dalby and the Chinchilla Weir.

A Western Downs spokesperson has confirmed that water supply in the Western Downs has not been affected by the incident at Warwick.

“The Condamine River is not currently flowing,” the spokesperson said.

“The Western Downs Regional Council continuously meets regulated drinking water quality standards and undertakes routine testing.

“This includes raw water samples from the river and groundwater supplies, during the water treatment process, and in the distribution network.”

An operational malfunction caused effluent water, which was only partially treated, to flow into the river and erode a significant part of the river bank.

The incident was “regrettable and accidental in nature” according to a spokeswoman from the Southern Downs Regional Council.

“Council immediately undertook remediation action once the leak was discovered,” she said.

“Officers cleaned and disinfected the spill site, and also conducted required water sampling and erecting of pollution signs.

“We have submitted an initial incident report to the Department of Environment and science.”

The water quality in the areas surrounding the leak has been sent for testing and council staff advise the flow of the river has been severely affected by drought which should “mitigate potential contamination”.

“In the interest of public safety, we will also conduct structural investigation of the river bank over next two days to assess the erosion,” the spokeswoman said.

The council will also conduct an incident investigation to review the plant control system and operation and implement remedial measures where necessary to avoid similar situations in future.