In what is believed to be an Australian-first, treated coal seam gas water is being pumped into the drinking supplies of Chinchilla on southern Queensland’s Western Downs.
QGC estimates between now and 2040, 150 megalitres of water will be produced as a by-product from its gas fields.
It has built a treatment plant and will begin pumping up to 80 megalitres of treated water each day to the Chinchilla weir 20 kilometres away, where it will be added to the town’s drinking supply.
QGC operations director Walter Simpson says the water is of the highest quality.
“We treat it to standards that are set by the environment and heritage protection and the office of water supply regulator,” he said.
“Ninety-seven per cent of the water that we put into the plant will come out as treated water available for beneficial use.”
Western Downs Mayor Ray Brown says the water is safe to drink.
“The regulations are certainly significant before that water can be released,” he said.
He says it will not drought-proof Chinchilla, but it gives security.
“Effectively its substituting the town’s water supply,” he said.
Some local farmers will also be able to access the water.
The plant will officially open today.