1861: Early water supply
In 1861, the first resolution passed by the first six-man Council was that an application be made to the Government to use the Yeppen Yeppen, or later known as Yeppen Lagoon, as a town water supply. Water carts began a limited service charging six pence per load. The water contained weeds and was so dirty that ashes or charcoal had to be put in it to settle the dirt. It has been reported that residents modified water from Yeppen Yeppen with a dash of brandy, lemon juice or vinegar.
1875: Governor’s Hill Reservoir
A reservoir was built on Governor’s Hill (Athelstane Range) into which water was pumped from Crescent Lagoon, Dunganweate, Murray and Yeppen Lagoons. The reservoir was used until 1896. This was Rockhampton’s first sophisticated water scheme which supplied water to 1400 houses and a population of approximately 6400.
1926: Mount Charlton Water Treatment Plant
The former Rockhampton City Council provided treated water from Mount Charlton from 1926. The town’s water supply was originally gained from the Mount Charlton Water Treatment Plant as there was no separation between the salt and fresh water. Water was pumped from Yaamba (60km north of the City), because it was above the tidal influence of the river. The waterworks was located at Mount Charlton and fed by gravity to the City.
1935: Sewerage scheme first adopted
A sewerage scheme for the City was first adopted in 1935 and by 1978 the City was completely sewered.
1970: Fitzroy River Barrage opened
In 1970, the Fitzroy River Barrage was opened by then State Premier, The Hon. J. A. Bjelke-Petersen. With this came the decision that the Mount Charlton Water Treatment Plant was no longer large enough for the residents of Rockhampton.
1971: Glenmore Water Treatment Plant Commissioned
In November 1971, the new Glenmore Water Treatment Plant was commissioned by N.T. Hewitt, Minister for Conservation. The Glenmore Water Treatment Plant and Barrage were constructed at a historical cost of $6.3M and received funding from the State Government. To this day, the Glenmore Water Treatment Plant has the maximum capacity to provide the City with 140ML per day. On average, the plant treats 50ML of water per day, which is equivalent to 25 Olympic pools. Raw water from the Fitzroy River is treated at this facility and pumped to the various reservoirs located around the City.
1997: National Competition Policy Introduced
The National Competition Policy (NCP) meant major changes for Rockhampton City Council and more specifically the water and sewerage services. The policy reforms were aimed at encouraging a better use of the country’s resources — and hence provide a higher standard of living — through increasing competition. Thus, in April 1997 a public benefit assessment of competitive neutrality reforms of water and sewerage operations was undertaken. This public benefit assessment was completed in October 1997 with Council adopting the commercialisation model for future operations.
1998: Fitzroy River Water become commercial entity
On 1 July 1998, Council’s water and sewerage services became a commercialised entity that meant Fitzroy River Water was established as a commercialised business unit of the Rockhampton City Council.
1999: Registered business name – Fitzroy River Water
In February 1999, Council took the initiative and registered the business name of “Fitzroy River Water” for its water and sewerage activity. Fitzroy River Water was now supplying water and sewerage services to 60,000 Rockhampton residents and bulk water to Livingstone and Fitzroy Shires.
2008: Local Government Reform
The Local Government amalgamations saw four Councils in the Rockhampton area (Fitzroy, Livingstone, Mt Morgan and Rockhampton) become one, resulting in the formation of a new water service provider that now has approximately 40% more connections and a far larger service area. Fitzroy River Water is a business unit of Rockhampton Regional Council.
The Local Government de-amalgamations saw the existing Livingstone Shire Council de-amalgamate from Rockhampton Regional Council on 1 January 2014. Fitzroy River Water continues to supply water via a pipeline to Livingstone Shire Council under a commercial agreement.