19 December, 2019 11:44
Water restrictions

With dam levels continuing to fall and water use remaining high, Urban Utilities and bulk water supplier Seqwater are urging Somerset and Lockyer Valley residents to save water this summer.     

While water restrictions are not yet required, residents and businesses are encouraged to reduce their water use in any way they can.  

Urban Utilities spokesperson, Michelle Cull, said voluntary efforts to save water would help preserve dam levels and local water sources over summer.

“Water usage is currently sitting at around 200 litres per person per day in South East Queensland and we’d like to see that come down to around 150 litres per person per day,” she said.

“If we all do our bit to save a little now, it can make a big difference down the track. We’re all in this together.”

The water supply schemes in the Lockyer Valley and Somerset are not connected to the SEQ Water Grid and rely on their own local treatment plants.

Seqwater spokesperson, Mike Foster, said increases in water usage during hot, dry weather placed additional pressure on their local water treatment plants.

“We’re particularly encouraging residents in the Lowood, Esk and Kilcoy water supply schemes to reduce their water consumption over summer,” he said.

“Although water for these towns is sourced from major dams, we need to manage demand to avoid exceeding capacity of the local treatment plants during peak periods.”

Seqwater is closely monitoring Jimna’s water source, Yabba Creek, via the water level at the Big Hole, as it may drop quickly. If the Big Hole drops to eight metres below normal operating level, Seqwater will begin supplementing the water supply with tankers.   

The township of Linville is currently being supplied by tankers, while Seqwater builds a new water treatment plant.

Ms Cull said there were many simple ways residents could save water in their homes and gardens.

“Avoid watering between 8am and 4pm, mulch your garden to retain moisture, and water less often but for a little longer to encourage deeper root growth,” she said.

“Inside, you can reduce your water use by taking shorter showers, turning the tap off while brushing your teeth, and only doing full loads in the dishwasher or washing machine.

“We also recommend residents check for concealed underground leaks on their property, by turning off all taps for an hour and checking the water meter. If the meter registers water consumption, then there might be a concealed leak.”

Water saving tips can be found on our website at www.urbanutilities.com.au/watersustainability

Below is a summary of the water sources for each supply scheme in Somerset and the Lockyer Valley.

Supply Scheme
 Water Source
 Dam Level*
Lowood (Supplies Lowood, Fernvale, Glenmore Grove, Gatton, Helidon, Withcott, Grantham, Forest Hill and Laidley)
 Wivenhoe Dam
 Wivenhoe Dam
 Somerset Dam
 Somerset Dam
 The Big Hole
 N/A however Seqwater is monitoring closely
 Carting water from Kilcoy while Seqwater builds a new water treatment plant

*As at December 18, 2019. For the latest dam levels, visit www.seqwater.com.au/dam-levels

There are 16 off-grid communities in South East Queensland, including 11 in Urban Utilities’ service region.

As the drought continues, the need to restrict or close tanker filling stations will be assessed according to the water supply disruption and drought response plans for each off-grid supply scheme. 

About Queensland Urban Utilities
Established on July 1, 2010, Queensland Urban Utilities is one of the largest water distributor-retailers in Australia, providing water and sewerage services to more than 1.4 million residents across Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Somerset local authority areas. We are upgrading and improving the reliability of our infrastructure by investing $2.76 billion in a 10-year capital works program. Our service territory covers 14,384 square kilometres and we employ around 1,100 people.