Environment a key priority at Agnes Water desalination plant

Environment a key priority at Agnes Water desalination plant

The township of Seventeen Seventy marks the spot where Captain Cook made his first landfall in what was later to become the State of Queensland

  • Client

    Gladstone Regional Council with United Utilies Australia

  • Technology

    Microfiltration and seawater reverse osmosis desalination

  • Location

    Agnes Water, Queensland

  • Commissioned


  • Project Scale

    1.5 ML/d

Challenge Agnes Water and 1770 are located near the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, an area that is becoming increasingly popular as a tourism destination and as a place of residence for those seeking a sea change. Much needed upgrades to water and sewerage infrastructure are being provided under a contract by the Gladstone Regional Council. These upgrades include a seawater desalination plant to gradually replace reliance on insufficient local bore water. Environmental sensitivity has been a factor in the project. Most of the surrounding area is national park so extensive environmental investigation was required to determine and protect flora and fauna in and around the proposed plant facilities. Particular emphasis of this project is on the plant's footprint, noise and energy use. A number of water treatment challenges were also faced with the possible presence of algae and other suspended solids, which require a series of processes to eliminate.

Solution As part of the larger community water infrastructure project, Osmoflo was selected to design, build and commission the desalination plant. Osmoflo engineers have designed the plant to meet stringent noise levels, energy efficiency and environmental requirements. Construction was strictly monitored by the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM). Desalination equipment has been supplied and installed as modular containerised units which require a comparitively small site area and integrate into other plant systems and equipment. This design allows capacity for staged expansion of the plant to support future population growth. Treated water is to potable grade standard (less than 500 mg/l Total Dissolved Solids) and is tested regulalry to ensure its compliance with Australian Water Quality and World Health Organisation guidelines.

Result The new desalination plant water supply has been connected into the existing potable network. New properties will be added to this network as development occurs. As water quantity requirements increase, the plant can be expanded to meet new demands.

Agnes Water and 1770 are costal towns in a predominantly natural environment. Tight controls on development have enabled them to remain quiet townships.