Mt Charlton Reservoir upgrades complete


Significant refurbishment work has been carried out on one of Livingstone’s largest water supply assets to boost water security across the northern suburbs.

A number of improvements have been made to the 97-year-old Mt Charlton Reservoir, which services over 5,000 residents and businesses.

Councillor Andrea Friend, Portfolio holder Water, Waste Management and the Environment, said the nine (9) million-litre reservoir will return to service this week.

“As the population of Livingstone Shire grows, the demand for essential services like water grows with it,” Cr Friend said.

“The refurbishment should extend the life of this existing infrastructure by 30 years and save Council at least $5 million compared to building a new reservoir.”

The upgrades, delivered at a cost of just over $1.4 million, took 5 months to complete and included the replacement of not only the roof sheeting but the 600 original wooden purlins too, bringing the roof structure up to current building standards.

Cr Friend said the roof work was done by local contractor, Roth Plumbing, and required significant innovation on their part to allow the work to be done safely and to avoid damaging the original reinforced concrete rafters.

“The contractor used custom-made clamps each designed for a specific location,” Cr Friend said.

“The upgrade also included crack repairs to the original concrete structure and a special coating to address the effects of nearly 100 years of carbonation which tends to make the concrete more porous.  

“Minor improvements included new stairs and doors, a new fenced security compound and a new internal chlorine distribution network.

“Council would like to acknowledge the invaluable assistance from the team at Fitzroy River Water who implemented significant network and control changes to ensure residents serviced by the reservoir were able to receive safe and secure supplies during the outage.”

History of Mt Charlton Reservoir:
The reservoir was built in 1925 and was the main water supply to Rockhampton city before the Glenmore water treatment plant and barrage were commissioned in 1971.

During World War 2, the Reservoir was painted in camouflage colours to protect the reservoir from potential bombing attacks from the Axis powers, as the reservoir was then the main reservoir for Rockhampton. This paint can still be seen today.

The asset has remained in use and was eventually transferred across to Livingstone Shire Council upon de-amalgamation in 2014. By that time the roof of the reservoir had seriously deteriorated and was unsafe to walk on for making repairs.

A plaque on the reservoir attests to the good job done by the Queensland company who built the reservoir, M R Hornibrook (now Baulderstone), which was also responsible for some other more famous projects including Brisbane’s Storey Bridge, William Jolley Bridge, Hornibrook Highway Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

Most of the work in building the concrete structure was done by manual labour so the concrete shows all the signs of that laborious task with construction joints and cracks which would be unavoidable.