Water quality testing in Turalba Valley, Queensland.

February 2021

Early in 2021, Think Water Mareeba was contacted by the Turalba Valley Rural Workers about water quality testing at the worker’s accommodation at Lakeland, a small farming community located at the junction of the Peninsula Development Road and the Mulligan Highway about 240km north-west of Cairns and 80km south of Cooktown.

The workers had noticed that their appliances were not working properly. Suspicious of the water quality from the bore that supplied the property, the owners arranged for water quality testing by the Cairns Regional Council. The water testing confirmed their suspicions, particularly noting the quality of the water had become quite hard.

Aware that some irrigation maintenance was required, the owners at Turalba Valley turned to Think Water to develop a solution to the problem. The team at Think Water determined that a filter replacement was required. Think Water replaced the resin in the filter. The small resin beads attract particles and assist in the filtration process. They also replaced the media in the filter using an effective gravel-based media and added salt to soften the water. An AquaCorp Softener Unit was used in this process.

Water Quality Testing tells us if water is Hard Water or contains E-Coli.

As the bore water was also used for showering, Think Water innovatively decided to add some additional layers of filtration to further improve the quality of the water. An AquaCorp UV Filter was added. The purpose of the UV filtration was to kill off any bacteria to make the water safe for showering. As UV filtration works most effectively on very fine particles, an additional AquaCorp Bag Filter was added between the Softener Unit and the UV Filter. The Bag Filter removed any larger remaining particles from the water before it moved through to the UV filtration stage.

While the project was relatively straightforward, it did take two days to complete. On the first day, the team from Think Water cleaned and replaced the media. The second day was all about installing the Bag Filter and the AquaCorp UV filter.

When the installation was completed, it was important water quality testing was redone to ensure the solution had been successful. Once again water samples were taken and sent off to the Cairns Regional Council for analysis. The testing considered potability and E.coli levels to ensure the water was suitable for human use. The outcome of the water quality testing confirmed that the filter replacement and addition of a bag and UV filter were doing their job and the water was suitable for human use.

While the solution was effective, it will be important in the future that irrigation maintenance is carried out to ensure the system continues to produce high water quality. In particular, it will be important to replace the UV lamps about every 12 months. The bag filter will also need to be replaced around the same time. Ideally, a regular irrigation maintenance schedule should be put in place to stay ahead of any problems occurring. If this is not possible, a telltale sign that the bag filter needs to be replaced will be a flow loss, resulting in reduced water pressure. Regular water quality testing is also ideal for ongoing water quality monitoring.

The workers at Turalba Valley Workers Accommodation were very happy to have their water quality restored.