Learn about Water & Infrastructure

Spend time learning about our Region's water and water infrastructure. You can learn about: 

  • your water meter, and leaks and consumption tests,
  • the process of getting water to you, from treatment to tap,
  • the sewage treatment processes, pump stations and mains.

About Your Water Meter

A water meter registers the amount of water through the connection to your property via an eight digit display. A ball valve is attached at the head of the meter to turn off the water supply to your home for repairs of leaking taps or pipes. The meter also contains a dual check valve designed to protect the water supply by preventing backflow of water into the reticulation system. Only Rockhampton Regional Council’s Fitzroy River Water employees are permitted to maintain and change water meters.

Locating your water meter

The water meter will generally be installed either on the footpath adjacent to the adjoining property or inside your property. Your meter will generally be in a black box approximately 500mm x 225mm x 320mm with a green dimpled lid. However, in some areas the meters are above ground.

Meter maintenance

It is your responsibility to ensure that your meter (box) is accessible. The meter must be at ground level. Please do not fill the area around the meter or cover it with garden beds, trees or shrubs or other matter. Please contact Fitzroy River Water if your meter or meter box is damaged or if you notice water leaking around the meter.

Water meter reads

Water meters are read on a quarterly basis. Residents are encouraged to assist in making this process as efficient as possible by keeping their meter box clear and accessible. If bees or other pests have been sighted in your meter box please inform Fitzroy River Water so they can arrange for their removal. In accordance with Local Laws, dogs should be kept within the property boundaries.

Water billing

Fitzroy River Water reads your water meter and issues Water Usage Notices on a quarterly basis.

Leaks & Consumption Tests

If you believe that the reading on your Water Notice is excessive, you should conduct a leak and consumption test at home to determine if you have an internal leak that may be the cause of the high usage.

How to conduct a leak test

  • Turn off all taps on the property
  • Take a reading of the water meter (all eight digits)
  • Do not use any water for a period of four or five hours
  • Take another reading of the water meter after four or five hours.

If the meter reading has changed and shows consumption then this would indicate there is a leak within the internal system. An internal leak is the responsibility of the property owner as it occurs within their property boundaries. A plumber should be called to fix an internal leak.

How to conduct a consumption check

  • Turn off all taps on the property
  • Take a reading of the water meter (all eight digits)
  • Fill a container with water of a known capacity (eg. 20 litre bucket)
  • Take another reading of the water meter
  • Subtract the first reading from the second reading.

The difference between the two readings should equal the capacity of the bucket or container that was filled. If the difference is more than it should be then you may have an issue with your meter. In this instance, it is important to contact Fitzroy River Water.

Handy tip: Generally on a water meter, a black number represents kilolitres and a red number represents litres. 1 kilolitre = 1000 litres.

Providing Quality Drinking Water

The Water Supply (Safety & Reliability) Act requires that FRW prepare and maintain a Drinking Water Quality Management Plan (DWQMP)(PDF, 4MB)  that describes in detail how FRW ensures safe drinking water is supplied to the community.

Fitzroy River Water conducts regular sampling to ensure its drinking water is compliant with the Queensland Government Public Health Regulation (2005) and the Australian Drinking Water Guideline (ADWG) health values. Drinking water quality is measured by testing biological, physical and chemical water quality parameters or indicators.

In recent years drinking water supplied by Fitzroy River Water has consistently met these guidelines and it continues to do so.

The following DWQMP (annual) reports document the performance of FRW in managing drinking water quality and determine compliance with the approved DWQMP and any approval conditions.

DWQMP Annual Report - 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014(PDF, 535KB)

DWQMP Annual Report - 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015(PDF, 243KB)

DWQMP Annual Report - 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016(PDF, 464KB)

DWQMP Annual Report - 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017(PDF, 574KB)

DWQMP Annual Report - 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018(PDF, 677KB)

DWQMP Annual Report - 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019(PDF, 578KB)

DWQMP Annual Report - 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020(PDF, 735KB)

DWQMP-Annual-Report-1-July-2020-to-30-June-2021(PDF, 1MB)

DWQMP-Annual-Report-1-July-2021-to-30-June-2022(PDF, 1MB)

Frequently asked questions

Why is my water a white/milky colour?

White, milky or cloudy water is due to harmless, tiny air bubbles being spread through the water, usually during repair work.

To check if air is in the water supply, fill a glass of water and allow it to stand. The cloudy appearance should clear from the bottom upwards.

To help fix the problem you can flush a garden tap for a few minutes. If it doesn’t clear, please contact us and we will arrange for the water main to be flushed.

Why is my water a brown/dirty colour?

Brown, yellow or muddy water can be caused by sediment and natural organic matter growing in the water main, or it may be rust from old galvanised wrought iron internal piping.

Sediment can be cleared by flushing the water main, while brown water caused by rusting iron piping can be managed by flushing internal taps or seeking advice from a licensed plumber.

If the water cannot be cleared by turning a garden tap on full for a few minutes, the problem may originate from the water network. This can occur with courts or dead-end streets.

Why is my water unusual tasting or smelling?

Depending how close your property is situated to the treatment plant, you may notice a chlorine taste or odour in the water.

Small amounts of chlorine are added to the water as a disinfectant to destroy any waterborne, disease carrying micro-organisms. The amounts are equivalent to half a tea cup in a backyard swimming pool. Chlorination is an essential part of water treatment and ensures the supply is of a safe quality.

If your water has a very high chlorine odour, you should contact us and we will investigate the problem.

Is there fluoride in my water?

No, Council discontinued fluoridating the Rockhampton Region’s public water supplies on 17 June 2013.

Water Treatment Process

To ensure the consistent supply of high quality safe drinking water, Fitzroy River Water undertakes an extensive treatment process. The treated water must comply with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

The following information explains each stage of the treatment process.

1. Coagulation:

The raw water is brought from the intake screens with underground low lift pumps to the coagulant tanks, where liquid alum, aluminium sulphate, Al2(SO4)3.14H2O - a metallic salt, is injected into the tanks to remove particulate impurities from the water, such as non-settleable solids, through adjustment of the solubility limit of the metal hydroxides.

The alum begins a series of reactions with other ions, which form a precipitate commonly called floc. The floc allows particulates such as clay, silt and simple organic structures to absorb onto the surface.

2. Flocculation:

After the floc has begun absorption, a non-ionic synthetic organic polymer is injected into the water to form interparticle bridges that collect and trap the particles. The pH of the water determines the chemical compounds that predominate. Lower pH values favour positively charged species, which are desirable as they react with negatively charged colloids and particulates, and also encourage the formation of insoluble flocs.

Liquid alum favours a pH between 5 and 7. The alkalinity may be modified by the addition of lime or soda ash. This is required if the natural raw water alkalinity is too low, hindering the complete precipitation of alum. After the floc has begun absorption, it passes across a series of baffles and mixed with horizontal paddles.

3. Sedimentation:

The water continues on from the flocculation chambers to the sedimentation tanks, where it is held while the floc, which now consists of quite large particles, about 3mm in diameter, begins to settle out and sink to the bottom of the tank.

As the concentration of solids increases at the base of the tank, the water is pushed up and over the sides of the long narrow weirs that traverse the top of the tanks. This clean filtered water is then sent to the Activated Carbon Treatment bays. The flocculants are sent to nearby sludge storage dams.

4. Activated Carbon Treatment:

Powdered activated carbon is added to the clarified water during flocculation or as the water passes from the sedimentation tank into the filters. This removes taste and odour compounds. It also removes any potential toxins when there is a blue-green algal bloom in the river.

5. Filtration:

Gravity forces the water through filter beds containing sand removing any remaining particles. The trapped particles are periodically removed from the filter by using compressed air and then pumping clean water in the reverse direction. The wastewater flows to sludge collection dams.

6. pH Correction:

After the water has passed through the sand filters, it undergoes a series of analytical tests. If the pH is too acidic, hydrated lime is mixed with the filtered water to bring the pH to just above neutral, so the water is not corrosive to piping.

7. Distribution and disinfection:

The water now flows into two concrete tanks prior to being pumped to reservoirs. The final stage of the water treatment process occurs in these tanks and involves adding gaseous chlorine to the water to kill remaining organisms which could cause diseases.

Process control

Each step of the water supply is computer controlled and monitored 24 hours per day by an operator in the control room of the water treatment plant. The plant uses a computerised control system to monitor all aspects of the process and plants at all times, and will flag any problems for the operating staff. In the event of a problem it can isolate and shut down any affected areas.

Qualified staff perform various tests on the water as it is processed. Samples of treated water from various sites are regularly analysed at the Water Laboratory to ensure a safe and pure supply of water for the community.

Water Treatment Plants

Fitzroy River Water maintains two water treatment plants located at Parkhurst (North Rockhampton) and Mount Morgan. They each supply safe and secure drinking water to residents living within the Rockhampton Region.

Glenmore Water Treatment Plant

Commenced operation:                  1971

Water source:                                 Fitzroy River Barrage

Capacity to treat:                            120 Ml/d

Maximum demand:                         114 Ml/d from 2002-03

Supplies water to:                           Rockhampton, Gracemere, and provides bulk water to the Capricorn Coast (Livingstone Shire Council)

This plant contains an Operations Control Room which monitors activity across the entire water and sewerage networks 24 hours a day.

Mount Morgan Water Treatment Plant

Commenced operation:                  1994

Water source:                                 Mount Morgan No. 7 Dam and Fletchers Dam

Capacity to treat:                            ~2.6 Ml/d

Supplies water to:                           Mount Morgan and surrounds

Water Mains

Water mains distribute water from creeks or river catchments to the treatment plant for treatment, to the reservoir for storage, and then to your home or business for consumption.

Fitzroy River Water provides water to 32,608 properties (not including vacant land) via 864.4km of water retriculation mains.

The water supply system is continually being improved by Fitzroy River Water replacing aged and damaged water mains across our network. This work reduces the risk of pipe breaks and helps maintain good quality drinking water.

Water Pump Stations

Fitzroy River Water operates and maintains 42 water pump stations throughout the Rockhampton Region including:

  • 32 in the Rockhampton Water Supply Scheme
  • 10 in the Mount Morgan Water Supply Scheme

Two additional large pump stations are used to transfer bulk water at the Glenmore Water Treatment Plant. These pump stations transfer water around the reticulation network to consumers and ensure water pressure is maintained.

The operation and performance of these stations is monitored via telemetry and computerised systems.

Water Storage

Fitzroy River Water sources water supplies from water storages such as dams, reservoirs and a Barrage in the Rockhampton Region.

Mount Morgan No. 7 Dam

The Mount Morgan No. 7 Dam is a mass concrete dam with an earth levee located on the Dee River, immediately downstream of its junction with Limestone Creek.

Main water supply for:                     Mount Morgan Township

Constructed:                                    "1990 by the Mount Morgan Gold Mine Company"

Storage capacity:                             2,830ML

Fletcher Creek Weir

Fletcher Creek Weir is a 3-row steel sheet piling weir located on Fletcher Creek, just upstream of the junction with the Dee River and 13km directly south of the Mount Morgan Township.

Supplementary water supply for:      Mount Morgan Township

Constructed:                                     1984

Storage capacity:                              340ML (with additional 300ML groundwater)    


Reservoirs act as storage facilities for the Region’s water supply systems.

As at August 2018, there are 21 reservoirs in the Rockhampton Region including:


Number of reservoirs:                      15 for drinking water (including two clear wells at the Glenmore Water Treatment Plan).

Combined capacity:                         103 million litres

Mount Morgan        

Number of reservoirs:                      2 for drinking water

Combined capacity:                         5 million litres


Number of reservoirs:                     4 for drinking water

Capacity:                                         7.75 million litres

All drinking water reservoirs are sealed to prevent any external contamination and re-chlorination is performed to ensure that the water quality is maintained.

Fitzroy River Barrage

The Fitzroy River Barrage (Barrage) is the major water storage in the Region. The Barrage is the water source for the town of Rockhampton and surrounding areas of Gracemere, in addition to supplying agriculture water to approximately 297 registered rural users (as at July 2020).

Rockhampton Regional Council is the Resource Operations Licence Holder for the Barrage and is required to operate the storage in accordance with the requirements of the Fitzroy Resource Operations Plan.

Constructed:                        1970

Storage volume:                  74,400 megalitres (approx. 24,600 megalitres is dead storage, or water that is not available for use or diversion)

Supply available:                 The Barrage holds sufficient water to supply Rockhampton for nine months without any run-off in to the river over its vast catchment.

Number of gates:                 18 vertical lift gates

Operation of gates:              Remotely controlled and monitored by a computer system. Automatically operate in response to rises in river height

Fish ladder:                          Operates on southern bank and is estimated 500,000 fish negotiate the ladder each year during full levels of 600mm

Rockhampton Region's Sewerage System

Fitzroy River Water maintains the sewerage system for the Rockhampton Region and provides a safe and reliable service to the community. The sewerage system is connected to each property via internal plumbing to a network of sewer pipes and sewerage pump stations. The network transports sewage and domestic wastewater from each home to the sewage treatment plants.

Sewage Treatment Process

The following information explains each stage of the treatment process.

1. Primary treatment

This treatment removes solid matter. Larger solids, such as plastics and other objects wrongly discharged to sewers, are removed when wastewater is passed through screens. Smaller particles, such as sand, are removed in grit traps.

Wastewater then flows into large tanks where solids settle and are removed as sludge. Grease and scum are skimmed from the surface.

2. Secondary treatment

This uses tiny living organisms knows as micro-organisms to break down and remove remaining dissolved wastes and fine particles. Micro-organisms and wastes are incorporated in the sludge.

3. Nutrient removal

This removes nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients that could cause algal blooms in our waterways and threaten aquatic life. Algal blooms can cause visual pollution and some forms may be toxic. In some circumstances, algal blooms use up dissolved oxygen, which is essential for aquatic life.

Nutrient removal is not available at all sewage treatment plants because it requires expensive specialised equipment. However, it is becoming more common in Queensland.

Clear liquid effluent produced after treatment may still contain disease-causing micro-organisms. If this effluent is released into waterways such as rivers or the sea, the micro-organisms will eventually die out. Until this happens, these waterways could be a health risk. Where people use these waterways, effluent needs disinfection to make it safe for release.

4. Disinfection

Disinfection removes disease-causing micro-organisms. Suitable and cost-effective disinfection methods for our Region include adding chemicals to effluent and irradiation with ultraviolet light. In less populated areas, effluent may be held in lagoons or ponds for several weeks, allowing micro-organisms to die off before the effluent is released. 

Sewage Treatment Plant

Fitzroy River Water maintains five sewage treatment plants located in Rockhampton, Gracemere and Mount Morgan. The sewage treatment plants treat the wastewater which has been transported from domestic or industrial sites through a system of sewers and pump stations, known as sewerage reticulation. Once the wastewater has been treated it is discharged into the waterways and or recycled onto sporting fields.

Wastewater can only be disposed of as permitted by a licence under the Environmental Protection Act 1994, administered by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

Gracemere sewerage network

Gracemere Sewage Treatment Plant

Commenced operation:   1984

Population served:           ~9,000 equivalent persons

Output:                             100% land irrigation at grazing land, golf club, sporting fields

Mount Morgan sewerage network

Mount Morgan Sewage Treatment Plant

Commenced operation:   2006

Population served:           650 equivalent persons

Output:                             Land irrigation including sporting fields and public open spaces with wet weather discharge to the Dee River

Rockhampton sewerage network

North Rockhampton Sewage Treatment Plant

Commenced operation:   1986

Population served:           Approximately 45,000 equivalent persons plus a commercial and industrial component

Output:                             Discharged to the Fitzroy River upper estuary, downstream of the Barrage

South Rockhampton Sewage Treatment Plant

Commenced operation:   1983

Population served:           Approximately 25,000 equivalent persons including a commercial and industrial component

Output:                             Discharged to the Fitzroy River upper estuary, downstream of the Barrage near the mouth of Gavial Creek

Sewer Mains

Sewer mains transfer waste water from your home to the sewage treatment plant.

Fitzroy River Water provides sewerage to 30,134 properties (not including vacant land) via 742 km of sewerage collection mains.


Sewer rehabilitation program

Fitzroy River Water is improving the sewerage infrastructure throughout the Region by relining deteriorated and damaged sewer mains across the network. This work will prevent the potential failure of the sewer main and extend its operational life.

Every effort will continue to be made to minimise any impact on residents as the program progresses, however, there may be some temporary impacts such as:

  • Excavation work on the roads and footpaths
  • Potential for noise and dust
  • Construction traffic in your street
  • Fencing of work sites and equipment to ensure community safety
  • Traffic and parking access may be temporarily restricted near the site and
  • Interruptions to the water supply.



Sewerage Pump Stations

Fitzroy River Water operates and maintains 55 sewerage pump stations throughout the Rockhampton Region including:

  • 39 in Rockhampton
  • 13 in Gracemere
  • 3 in Mount Morgan

Each of these pumps plays a very important role in taking the raw sewage from your neighbourhood to the treatment plant.

Occasionally, obstructions hinder the pump's operation. If a problem goes unreported, sewage entering the pump station may overflow and spill into your local creeks and waterways causing environmental problems. If this happens in your street, please contact us immediately.

Fact sheets

Take a look at our handy tips and fact sheets!