Fairbairn Dam Water Treatment Plant

SunWater has owned and operated the potable water supply and sewerage treatment facilities at Fairbairn Dam since 1972. The Dam has an extensive public recreational area that includes a caravan park and resort, residences, a school camp, picnic areas, lookouts, and a boat ramp. The day-area is owned and managed by SunWater.


Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant

Project Duration

Operations - 1972 to current


Fairbairn Township


Fairbairn Dam is approximately 270km west of Rockhampton in Central Queensland

Project Overview

SunWater supplies potable water and wastewater via a water treatment plant and evaporative ponds. The water treatment plant and reticulation system supplies potable water to urban and industrial customers. Furthermore, SunWater owns, operates and maintains the distribution mains, elevated tank and reticulation system.


The plant is a conventional water treatment plant and utilises chemical coagulation, clarification, media filtration, pH correction and disinfection with sodium hypochlorite to treat raw water drawn from the ponded storage of the Fairbairn Dam.

The water treatment plant consists of a flashmixer, 2 clarifiers, 2 sand filters, a set of pressure filters, and 2 low-level and 1 highlevel treated water storage tanks. The estimated capacity of the plant is around 750 KL/d well in excess of demand, which varies from 50 to 150 KL/d. Sludge from the clarifiers is collected in evaporation lagoons.

The wastewater treatment plant consists of a series of earthen ponds for settling and evaporation. The plant’s loading is 100 kL/d (400 EP), which exceeds its capacity estimated to be 60 kL/d (240 EP). The construction of additional ponds was completed in 2008 to cater for the expansion of the caravan park and resort.

Typical daily water demands range from 50kL/day during off peak, up to 250kL/day in peak tourist season.


Key project infrastructure includes:

  • capacity of approximately 800kL/day
  • Flashmixer
  • 2 clarifiers
  • 2 sand filters
  • A set of pressure filters
  • 2 low-level and 1 highlevel treated water storage tanks

Our Role

Asset owner and management, process investigations and design engineering