HOW LOW CAN THEY GO? Water levels have dropped to 5.34 per cent at Bjelke-Petersen Dam.
HOW LOW CAN THEY GO? Water levels have dropped to 5.34 per cent at Bjelke-Petersen Dam. Jessica McGrath

Pump to be installed to access water for park as level drops

THERE is roughly two years worth of water sitting in the South Burnett's Bjelke-Petersen Dam.

This is according to South Burnett Regional Council general manager for infrastructure Aaron Meehan.

The dam's current capacity of 5.34 per cent equates to 7204ML of water and Mayor Keith Campbell said that was still a fair amount.

"Although the dam is very low, there's still a lot of water in the dam," he said.

"With water being secure for two years for the Murgon and Wondai area, there's got to be an awful lot of evaporation for this to change."

However water allocations have been cut to some customers.

The receding storage levels led to the recent termination of irrigation releases from Bjelke-Petersen Dam on July 1.

The lack of agricultural releases means Joe Sippel Weir has not been topped up, and no water is being allocated to farmers.

The intake point for the water treatment plant at Bjelke-Petersen Dam is also no longer receiving releases.

The council will be unable to continue to access the water allocation for the Bjelke-Petersen Dam to maintain daily operations at the Yallakool Caravan Park once the current raw water supply has been exhausted.

This is why the council has agreed to construct a new permanent water supply intake to the Bjelke-Petersen Dam Water Treatment Plant.

The new intake would allow the council to access its allocated raw water supplies at low water storage levels.

Mr Meehan said the new intake, a pump, would be a permanent solution to low water levels on the inside of the dam wall.

"We've got water there, we just can't access it," he said.

The pump will supply water to the Yallakool area.

The new intake is estimated to cost about $113,500 and will include a solar system to supply an average 70,000L per day to the onsite raw water treatment plant.

Councillor Terry Fleischfresser said saving water should remain a high priority as drought conditions continued.

"The time to be reacting is right now, the dams are the lowest of all time now," he said.

South Burnett residents are currently subject to Level 3 water restrictions.

South Burnett dam levels:

Bjelke-Petersen Dam: 7204ML (5.34 per cent capacity)

Boondooma Dam: 55971ML (27.41 per cent capacity)

Gordonbrook Dam: 4443ML (67 per cent capacity)

Boobir Dam: 26ML (19 per cent capacity)