East Bank Flood Resilience Program

What is the East Bank Flood Resilience Program?

The Mount Crosby Water Treatment Plants are a critical part of the SEQ Water Grid and supply about 50 per cent of South East Queensland’s drinking water supply including the cities of Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan. Following the severe flood events in 2011 and 2013, Seqwater identified improvements across the SEQ Water Grid to improve resilience during all weather. In 2016, Seqwater began a detailed assessment of the East Bank Pump Station site and its ability to cope and recover during a flood. The Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study showed the probability of floodwater inundating the East Bank Pump Station site was greater than previously thought, which is why Seqwater is focused on mitigating the flooding risk to this essential infrastructure. Seqwater’s East Bank Flood Resilience Program (EBFRP) involves a number of improvements over five years, to reduce flood risks to critical bulk water infrastructure along the Brisbane River in Mount Crosby. The Master Plan also aims to celebrate the area’s rich cultural heritage. Seqwater recognises the historical significance of the East Bank Pump Station and surrounding precinct and is committed to working with key stakeholders and the local community to revitalise the area as part of the EBFRP.

What is the EBFRP Master Plan?

Seqwater has finalised a Master Plan for the East Bank Pump Station site and surrounding area, as part of the East Bank Flood Resilience Program (EBFRP). The Master Plan aims to reduce flood risks, while also celebrating the area’s rich cultural heritage and increasing connectivity for the local community. 

Seqwater has worked with key stakeholders and local residents to develop a Master Plan that protects our vital water infrastructure and also benefits the community.

What does the EBFRP Master Plan involve?

The Master Plan involves:

·  constructing a new substation and high voltage switch room on higher ground, and decommissioning the old substation

·  constructing a new access road along the eastern side of the Pump Station, to provide access to the rear of the East Bank Pump Station

·  upgrading the intersection in front of the new substation site on Stumers Road to provide access

·  constructing a new vehicle bridge over the Brisbane River, and repurposing the existing Mount Crosby Weir bridge for pedestrians and cyclists

·  constructing sections of new footpath along Stumers Road and Mount Crosby Road to improve safety and connectivity

·  constructing a new community facility, on the corner of Stumers Road and Mount Crosby Road (near the Mount Crosby Bowls Club), to relocate the C&K Mt Crosby Community Kindergarten and allowing the existing hall to be repurposed for community use

·  refurbishing the historic pump station administration building, former blacksmith’s workshop and a workers’ amenities block

·  installing a new structure to protect critical water infrastructure from debris in a flood

·  realigning property boundaries and refurbishing the Works Hill precinct, in preparation for the sale of some of the dwellings

·  adaptive reuse of two of the dwellings for Seqwater office space

·  relocating one dwelling, known as the Drayman’s Cottage, to the northern side of Stumers Road, next to the community hall and repurposing for community use

·  constructing a new pump station building in the future (before 2030) on higher ground, north of Stumers Road.

How has the local community been involved?

In early 2018, Seqwater developed a draft Master Plan for the East Bank Pump Station site, aimed at reducing flood risks, while also celebrating the area’s rich cultural heritage and increasing connectivity. The draft Master Plan was released for consultation in August 2018, and the community was invited to attend an open day at the East Bank Pump Station on Saturday 11 August.

Feedback included an interest in increasing connectivity throughout the area, better access to community facilities, and maintaining the site’s rich cultural heritage.

Following community consultation there were some changes to the Master Plan. Seqwater presented the updated Master Plan to the community at a community session on Thursday 18 October 2018 at Mount Crosby Bowls Club. A fact sheet about how the Master Plan addresses community feedback is available here.

The Master Plan is available to view here.

How was the Master Plan changed following consultation?

Following community consultation in August 2018 the Master Plan was updated to include:

·  a new vehicle bridge over the Brisbane River with a greater flood resilience

·  repurposing the existing Mount Crosby Weir bridge for pedestrians and cyclists

·  building a new kindergarten facility near the Mount Crosby Bowls Club on Mount Crosby Road

·  relocating the heritage listed Drayman’s Cottage to the northern side of Stumers Road, about 150 metres south-east of the existing community hall (exact location still subject to change).

Following community feedback, the alignment of the proposed pedestrian footpath and heritage trail has been removed from the Master Plan and will be determined through planning approvals. The footpath will aim to safely connect community facilities and provide pedestrian access through the area. The trail will include signage at points along the footpath celebrating the people, places and events that make up Mount Crosby’s rich history.

The Master Plan is available here. A factsheet about how the Master Plan addresses community feedback is available here.

Why is the Mount Crosby East Bank Pump Station important?

The East Bank Pump Station pumps up to 500 million litres (ML) of water a day to the East Bank Water Treatment Plant, which is a critical part of the SEQ Water Grid.

The historical Mount Crosby East Bank Pump Station is located near the Mount Crosby Weir along the Brisbane River. The pumping station was completed in 1893. Originally steam-powered, coal was transported via a tramway to fire the boilers, creating the steam that drove the pumping engines. This was the practice until steaming ceased in 1948.

Inside the station are eight wells and 16 high voltage pumps. River water is drawn from the weir pool through two intake towers and into the East Bank Pump Station. The pumps then move water to the treatment plant to be turned into safe drinking water. 

How can I find out more about the Master Plan?

Seqwater will continue updating this website with the latest project information, including newsletters and event information, as it becomes available. You can also subscribe to project updates by emailing communications@seqwater.com.au. To find out more contact the project team by:
•emailing communications@seqwater.com.au
•phoning 1800 771 497 and asking to speak to a member of the project team 
•writing to the East Bank Flood Resilience Program Manager, PO Box 328 Ipswich QLD 4305.

What are the next steps?

Anyone can formally submit comments on a development application to support or oppose development. Council calls these comments 'submissions'. The formal submission period for the EBFRP Master Plan is yet to be scheduled. To find out more, visit the Council website here.

When will construction start?

Subject to approval, the staged delivery of the Master Plan is expected to begin in mid-2019 and be completed in 2022. Construction of the future pump station is expected to occur before 2030, however we are in the very early planning stages. Seqwater will keep the community updated as further information about staging and timeframes become available.

Substation relocation

Why is the substation being relocated to higher ground?

The East Bank Pump Station pumps up to 500 million litres (ML) of water a day to the East Bank Water Treatment Plant, supplying drinking water to 1.6 million South East Queenslanders.

Following the severe flood events in 2011 and 2013, Seqwater identified improvements across the SEQ Water Grid to improve resilience during all weather. In 2016, Seqwater began a detailed assessment of the East Bank Pump Station site and its ability to cope and recover during a flood. The Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study showed the probability of floodwater inundating the East Bank Pump Station site was greater than previously thought, which is why Seqwater is focused on mitigating the flooding risk to this essential infrastructure.

After a flood, we need to get the Mount Crosby Water Treatment Plants operating as quickly as possible, because water is critical for human health and large volumes of water are needed for a flood clean up.

To improve flood resilience, Seqwater will construct a new substation and high voltage switch room on higher ground and decommission the old substation.

Relocating the substation will ensure the pump station can be back up and running as quickly as possible after a major flood. The existing substation, located near the historic pump station building, is nearing end-of-life and will soon require replacement. Given the critical role of this infrastructure and flood risk associated with the current location, constructing a new substation on higher ground will help secure South East Queensland’s water supply during all weather.

Where will the new substation be located?

The Master Plan involves constructing a new substation on Seqwater-owned vacant land on the northern side of Stumers Road, Mount Crosby, beside the existing community hall. A number of potential locations were assessed as part of developing the Master Plan and the preferred site was chosen because of its proximity to existing water infrastructure and low flood risk. The site also has minimal impact on the area’s cultural heritage. 

When will construction of the substation start?

Energex has started detailed planning for the new substation and at this stage, construction is expected to start in mid to late 2019, subject to approvals. More information about the timing will be available as planning progresses.

Flood management

What has Seqwater done about the flood risks since 2011?

Following the severe flood events in 2011 and 2013, Seqwater identified improvements across the SEQ Water Grid to improve resilience during all weather. Since then, Seqwater has increased its chemical storage capacity at the plants so we can continue to treat water during severe weather, invested in improving catchment health, and enhanced our emergency response plans. Capital projects at the Mt Crosby Water Treatment Plants include:

·  water proofing the wells inside the East Bank Pump Station

·  repairing the river embankment near the East Bank Pump Station

·  an alum upgrade to improve treatment processes at East Bank

·  centrifuge upgrades to improve sludge handling at both East Bank and West Bank

·  upgrading the onsite chemical storage capacity at the East Bank Water Treatment Plant.

In 2016, Seqwater also began a detailed assessment of the East Bank Pump Station site and its ability to cope and recover during a flood.

The Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study showed the probability of floodwater inundating the East Bank Pump Station site was greater than previously thought, which is why Seqwater is focused on mitigating the flooding risk to this essential infrastructure.

As a result, Seqwater has been working closely with Energex to increase the flood immunity of the existing critical electrical infrastructure that provides power to the East Bank Pump Station. Seqwater has also worked closely with Brisbane City Council to develop the East Bank Flood Resilience Program and draft Master Plan to reduce flood risks to critical bulk water infrastructure along the Brisbane River, including the East Bank Pump Station.

What flood mitigation will be in place to protect the East Bank Pump Station?

The Master Plan includes flood debris barriers along the western side of the East Bank Pump Station, to protect the heritage listed building from floating debris in a flood event. The flood debris barrier will also help prevent storm surge from flooding the East Bank site. Options for the flood debris barrier are still being investigated in order to determine the optimal design and material for the structure.

Future pump station

Why do we need a new pump station in the future?

The 2011 and 2013 floods highlighted risks to Seqwater’s essential bulk water infrastructure at Mount Crosby, including flood inundation at the East Bank Pump Station site along the Brisbane River.

The Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study assessed the likelihood and impact of future floods. Preliminary data has shown the current flood immunity level of the East Bank Pump Station is estimated to be between 0.5 per cent (1 in 200 years) and 1 per cent (1 in 100 years) Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP). AEP is the probability of a flood of a given size being exceeded in any year. During the 2011 flood event, the East Bank substation was centimetres off being inundated with water, putting the main electricity supply to the pump station and water treatment plant at risk.

The East Bank Pump Station pumps up to 500 million litres (ML) of water a day to the East Bank Water Treatment Plant and has been identified as a key plant in the long-term strategy for the supply of drinking water to South East Queensland. Over the next ten years, the future requirement for the Mount Crosby water production facilities combined, is expected to increase to provide about 60% of South East Queensland’s drinking water supply.

Kindergarten relocation

Why is the Mount Crosby C&K Kindergarten being relocated?

Due to the program of upcoming works, including construction of the substation and future pump station, and the operational nature of the site, the C&K Kindergarten will be relocated from the Seqwater operational precinct.

The Master Plan involves constructing a new community facility on the corner of Stumers Road and Mount Crosby Road (near the Mount Crosby Bowls Club) for the C&K Kindergarten. This allows the existing hall to remain available for community use. C&K staff and parents have been informed about the relocation and Seqwater will work closely with the kindergarten operators to make sure there are no disruptions to service as a result of the project.

Where will the kindergarten relocate to?

The Master Plan proposes relocating the kindergarten to a new facility on the corner of Stumers Road and Mount Crosby Road (near the Mount Crosby Bowls Club).

This area has been identified for the new facility as it will have minimal environmental and heritage impacts, and improve safety and accessibility for the kindergarten community.  We are also working with the kindergarten operators to make sure there are no disruptions to service.

When is the kindergarten relocation expected to occur?

At this stage, the kindergarten will not be relocating until early-2020, subject to planning approvals. The relocation will occur during the holiday period to minimise disruptions to service.

Bridge and road upgrades

What is happening to the Mount Crosby Weir bridge?

The Mount Crosby Weir was constructed in 1927 to create a pumping pool for the water treatment plant and with a bridge crossing to provide access to coal for the nearby pump station. Today, the bridge over the weir is open to traffic and locals who regularly use it to access the sporting fields on the other side of the river. The Master Plan involves constructing a new vehicle bridge over the Brisbane River, and repurposing the existing heritage weir bridge for pedestrians and cyclists. Repurposing the existing bridge will allow residents to safely walk or cycle across the river and access the Mount Crosby Sportsground on Allawah Road.


Why is the new bridge required?

During low-level flooding at Colleges Crossing, the Mount Crosby Weir bridge becomes a key access point for the community including school buses. Closure of the Mount Crosby Weir bridge can result in detours of up to one-hour (approximately 30 kilometres). The bridge is also critical to Seqwater operations and provides a link between the West Bank Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and East Bank WTP.

In 2015, Seqwater introduced a nine-tonne weight limit on the 92-year-old weir bridge as a safety precaution following engineering assessments of the structure. Several options to address the safety issues have been assessed including upgrading the existing weir bridge, permanently closing the weir bridge to traffic and building a new bridge. The new bridge will address safety risks at the Mount Crosby Weir and improve connectivity for all road users.

The option of a new bridge provides greater flood resilience than the existing weir bridge and allows access for heavy vehicles such as school buses. The bridge will be about two metres higher than the existing bridge, reducing the risk of the road becoming inundated during severe weather events. Once construction is complete, the old weir bridge will be repurposed for pedestrians and cyclists.


Where will the new vehicle bridge be constructed?

The new vehicle bridge will be constructed about 15 metres immediately downstream of the existing Mount Crosby Weir bridge on the Brisbane River. Several options were assessed to address the safety issues including upgrading the existing weir bridge, permanently closing the weir bridge to traffic and building a new bridge.


Will the new bridge impact the historic weir bridge remains or fish ladder?

No. The new bridge will be designed so its piers, foundations and abutments will not impact the historic bridge remains in the river bed, which are relics from the 1899 timber bridge built to transport coal across the Brisbane River. In addition, the bridge won’t impact the historic fish ladder on the downstream side of the weir.


What will the new bridge look like?

The design is still subject to change, but it is expected to be made of steel-reinforced concrete, measuring about 13 metres high (about two metres higher than the weir bridge), 190 metres long and nine metres wide including the barriers and shoulders. We are seeking cultural heritage advice on the bridge design to minimise its impacts, where possible, on the surrounding heritage setting.

The height of the new bridge will reduce the risk of the road becoming inundated during severe weather events. However, it will be designed to be inundated in large and extreme weather to allow it to be reopened as soon as flood waters pass.

Can I fish from the existing bridge, when it is converted to a pedestrian bridge?

The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fishing (DAF) prevents fishing in certain areas, including those where fish may mass or be stranded near artificial barriers and be susceptible to overfishing. This applies to the Mount Crosby Weir bridge, which also functions as the Weir wall. The Brisbane River is closed to all forms of fishing from 100 metres upstream to 200 metres downstream of the Mount Crosby Weir. Fishing will not be permitted from the weir bridge.


Who will own the bridges upon completion?

Seqwater will retain ownership of the existing Mount Crosby Weir bridge after it is repurposed for pedestrians and cyclists. Seqwater will construct the new vehicle bridge adjacent to the existing bridge and once complete, ownership of the new bridge will be transferred to Brisbane City Council.


Works Hill residential precinct

Why are there houses at the East Bank Pump Station site?

The Mount Crosby Water Treatment Plant complex was built in the late 19th century to expand the reticulated water supply for Brisbane. Throughout the 1880s, Brisbane suffered from repeat shortages of potable water and a permanent water supply needed to be found.

A group of houses were built around the same time for the plant’s operators because of the relative isolation of Mount Crosby. A distinctive feature of the Works Hill site is the placement of the dwellings, which was designed to reflect the hierarchy of the occupants. The Works Hill residential precinct comprises two detached houses, four duplexes and one cottage, and is one of the few examples of this type of worker housing remaining in Queensland. The Works Hill residential precinct is located on Stumers Road, to the east of the East Bank Pump Station.

The houses were designed by Brisbane-based (Scottish-born) Charles McLay, who built Customs House in Brisbane, and are listed on Brisbane City Council’s heritage register.

Who owns the houses?

Ownership of the land and the houses was transferred to Seqwater in 2008. A number of the houses were leased to long-term tenants, prior to restoration works in 2018. Pending Council approval, and the completion of boundary realignment and utility works, some of the properties will be placed on the market in 2019.

Will any of the houses be demolished?

No. The Master Plan does not involve demolishing any heritage buildings. Seqwater recognises the historical significance of the Works Hill residential precinct and is committed to working with key stakeholders and the local community to revitalise the area as part of the EBFRP.

One duplex from the Works Hill residential precinct will be retained and repurposed for office use as part of the East Bank operational precinct.

One cottage, known as the Drayman’s Cottage, will be relocated to a nearby area. The current preferred location is land on the northern side of Stumers Road, about 150 metres south-east of the existing community hall. This location is still subject to change as part of the development application process. Under development application criteria, the relocation of the Drayman’s Cottage must be described as a “demolition”, as it is a pre-1911 dwelling being removed from its current location. However, Seqwater is committed to preserving and relocating the cottage for community hire.  Once the relocation has occurred, ownership of the Drayman’s Cottage will be transferred to Brisbane City Council, who are planning to make the cottage available for community hire.

The remaining eight houses in the Works Hill residential precinct are under refurbishment and some will be made available for sale in 2019.

When will the properties be available for sale?

Pre-sale works at the dwellings are still in progress and were completed in early-2019. These works included removing vegetation from the perimeters of the properties, installing fencing, asbestos removal, flooring repairs, installation of new electrical infrastructure, and internal and external painting.

Once the property boundaries have been realigned, the properties will be connected to the water reticulation network and storm water improvements will be made. At this stage, we expect to have some of the properties on the market in 2019.

Environment

How will the project impact the natural environment? Will there be any trees cleared?

Seqwater acknowledges the environmental importance of the area, which includes large areas of natural bushland in the Stumers Road Reserve. The Master Plan relies on existing Seqwater-owned land and Council-owned land to minimise the footprint of the East Bank Pump Station site. During construction it is likely that some localised vegetation clearing will be required. Heritage trees, such as the protected pines near Recca’s Park will be preserved or relocated.

Seqwater is also working with a cultural heritage specialist to develop a plan to protect heritage buildings and artefacts within the precinct.