Quality certification a first

Gold Coast City Council's Water Directorate has become Queensland's first water authority with its entire operations meeting strict environmental and management standards.

Water, Wastewater, Beaches and Foreshores Committee Chairperson, Councillor Daphne McDonald said the dual certification, Quality Management Systems Certification (ISO 9001) and Environmental Management Systems Certification (ISO 14001) would become the benchmark for the Directorate's overall operations.

"The certification goes a long way towards achieving Gold Coast Water's mission of enhancing the Gold Coast lifestyle through the environmentally and commercially sustainable provision of high quality water services.

"Certification also rewards the staff for their ongoing pursuit of excellence and will, I am sure, encourage them to continue their efforts not only to provide a first quality service, but to strive to stay ahead of the community's demands to provide the very best product we can offer."

She said benefits include savings in resources such as electricity, water and raw materials, which lead to reduced licence fees and reduced insurance premiums.

"It is about positively influencing the future use of this system as a business management and improvement tool for the benefit of the organisation," Councillor McDonald said.

"To minimise its impact on the environment, Gold Coast Water has undertaken risk management workshops, identification of significant risks according to every workplace or work site location, and have detailed procedures as to how to stop or reduce impacts occurring.

"Should a water quality incident ever occur, such as a blue green algae outbreak, Gold Coast Water has detailed procedures to make early identification and respond quickly to any incidents.

"Our everyday practices revolve around improving performance in a number of areas to minimise greenhouse gases, develop procedures for the maximum reuse of byproducts, biosolids and effluent while we carry out ongoing research to minimise the environmental impact of our operations."

Gold Coast Water supplies 360,000 people. It is responsible for two dams, two water treatment plants, five wastewater treatment plants and 2,500 kilometres of water and sewer mains.

For further information contact Karen Irwin, Manager Consumer Services Gold Coast Water, telephone (07) 5581 6746.