There are also the questions that were asked at the public meeting, which you can read the answers to here.
What are the current water restrictions for Mount Morgan?
Level 6 Water Restrictions in Mount Morgan commenced on 15 March 2021. The same restriction measures as Level 5 will remain in place so long as the community continues to meet the demand target of less than 0.8 ML per day overall. Hoses cannot be used in your garden; please use a bucket or watering can. There are no restrictions on using recycled or bore water in your garden. All residents will be send a letter and a fact sheet, but you can call us if you need another copy. The fact sheet is also available here(PDF, 220KB). You can read more about the decision here.
Can I apply for an exemption to the water restrictions?
Yes, there are certain circumstances where you do not need to follow the restrictions, particularly if you are elderly or have a disability. Please give us a call on 4932 9000 to discuss this. FRW has already granted a number of exemptions in recent months to members of the community.
I have seen Council staff watering plants in the town with sprinklers and hoses; why aren't they following the restrictions?
We use recycled water for the watering around town, it isn’t coming from the water supply. You can use recycled or bore water in your garden too.
Will you help me pay for a rainwater tank to help me water my garden?
Yes we will, subsidies of up to $500 are available. It is recommended that rainwater not be used for drinking or other potable purposes due to potential health risks. You can call us on 4932 9000 to discuss your options or click here to get more information.
Will the pool stay open?
Yes. The Mount Morgan pool is exempt from restrictions to make sure it’s available for public use. It will close for the winter as usual.
What are the next level of water restrictions and when will they happen?
Level 6 water restrictions will commence on Monday 15 March, after the dam fell below 10% capacity. The purpose of Level 6 restrictions is to keep daily usage under 0.8 ML, and ordinarily Level 6 restrictions would mean residents are no longer able to water private gardens unless they are using rain or recycled water. However, as daily usage is already under 0.8 ML we have taken the decision for current gardening restrictions to remain, allowing the watering of gardens to continue. A letter and a fact sheet will be sent to all Mount Morgan residents. You can read the media release about it here.
Are we going to be left without access to safe water?
You will not be left without access to safe drinking water under any circumstances.
The remaining water in the dam is expected to provide water for another three to six months so there is no immediate threat to your supply. However we have also now commenced trucking water to Mount Morgan from Gracemere full time. This sees 20 trucks of water delivered to the reservoir each day – which equates to about 160 litres per day per person.
There was a pipeline built to the coast, why isn’t there one to Mount Morgan?
The pipeline to the coast was built to supply water to a population of over 20,000 with significant population growth forecast. Council paid for about one-third of this $50M project and the Livingstone Shire continues to pay for the ongoing costs of this infrastructure. The population of Mount Morgan is approximately 3,000, and the ongoing operational costs will be significantly higher due to the expense of pumping water uphill and the relatively small volume of water required. The latest estimate for a pipeline is over $25 million to build. We are continuing to explore this but currently trucking water up is a far cheaper option, provides water immediately, and does not incur any additional cost for Mount Morgan residents.
What other options are there for increasing our water security?
We are continuing to explore the feasibility and costs of other options for improving water security in Mount Morgan. This is especially important given the impact of climate change, and that the region has been drought declared for so long. These options include a new dam site at the Nine Mile Creek, a pipeline from Gracemere to Mount Morgan, treating the mine-pit water, excavating Fletcher Creek, increasing the capacity of the dam and a pumped hydro scheme.
Are you going to dredge the dam while it’s low to increase the capacity?
This is quite an expensive option for very little gain in terms of extra capacity. There are also a range of approvals, including environmental, needed before any dredging would be allowed. We are working on obtaining these approvals and how best to carry out this work if the opportunity arises.
Is the water sourced from the No 7 Dam still safe to drink? It tastes different.
Update - April 9 2021. We are now trucking water up from Gracemere to provide drinking water. You can read more about it here.
Yes, the drinking water produced from No. 7 Dam is still safe to drink. However as the storage level lowers the water quality is slowly changing, and you may have noticed a change in the taste or odour of the water from your taps. This is due to some cyanobacteria (blue green algae) that have grown in the increasingly still water. This bacteria is commonly found in raw water storages, dams, and rivers (including the Fitzroy River) but we always treat this to ensure the water is safe before it reaches your tap. Also, low levels of manganese can cause discoloured water in pipes especially when the water spends longer in the system due to the reduced usage - you shouldn't drink discoloured water. FRW continues to monitor drinking water quality very closely to ensure that the drinking water remains safe to drink. Please call Council if you have any water quality concerns so you can chat to an officer at FRW. You can also read more about what we are doing to reduce the taste change here.
Where can I get more information?
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. You can message us on Facebook, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 4932 9000. A public meeting was held on Tuesday 13 April at the Mount Morgan School of Arts. You can find out more and watch a video of the presentation here.
How can I keep up to date with what’s happening?
We will regularly update our website and Facebook page, and will write directly to Mount Morgan residents about any significant changes. A public meeting is being held on Monday 29 March. Due to COVID restrictions you will need to register in advance to secure your place. You can find out more and register here.
Can we have a public meeting about water in Mount Morgan?
A public meeting was held on Tuesday April 13. There is more information here.
Are you currently trucking water up to Mount Morgan?
Yes. We have commenced daily trucking from Gracemere to the Mount Morgan Water Treatment Plant.
20 truckloads are taken to the reservoir each day - which equates to around 160 litres of water per person per day.
Once delivered to the reservoir, the water is disinfected again just to make sure its quality is still high after the journey, and then distributed using the same water distribution system that supplies water to the Mount Morgan community now. You are able to turn on your taps as normal.
For more info on the water trucking, head here.
I have a question that isn't answered here.
A public meeting was held on Tuesday 13 April at the Mount Morgan School of Arts. You can find out more and watch a video of the presentation here. There were over 70 further questions asked on the night and the answers are published at that link too.
If there's anything else please get in touch with us directly and we'd be very happy to help. You can message us on Facebook, email email@example.com or call 4932 9000.