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Brisbane Faces Water Shortages as Floods Muddy Supplies

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Brisbane faces water shortages after floods muddied supplies, forcing the main treatment plant for Australia’s third-most populous city to close.

The Mount Crosby Water Treatment Plant is off-line due to “record turbidity levels” in the Brisbane River following the passage of remnants of Tropical Cyclone Oswald, Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Terri Benson said today in a statement on the agency’s website. Seqwater is the government authority responsible for managing water supplies in southeast Queensland.

The plant is the region’s largest, supplying the bulk of drinking water for Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan. About 2.15 million people reside in the metropolitan Brisbane area. Seqwater and Queensland Premier Campbell Newman urged residents to conserve water supplies and use only what’s necessary.

“This water situation is serious,” Newman said today on his Twitter feed, which was linked to the Queensland government’s website. “We are doing everything possible to bring water in but we need the community’s help to save water.”

The turbidity in Queensland’s capital may take two days to subside, according to Seqwater, which said high levels of manganese in the water may cause discoloration. Newman’s team posted a tweet on the premier’s feed saying while the water may taste “different,” it is “safe to drink.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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