Brisbane Water Returns to Normal After Floods Forced Shutdown

Water service in Brisbane, Australia’s third-most populous city, returned to normal today after floods muddied reserves and forced officials to shut the region’s main treatment plant.

Average daily residential water consumption across southeastern Queensland state in the two weeks ended Jan. 30 was 184 liters (40 gallons) per person, less than the 217 liters in the 14-day period ended Jan. 23, according to Seqwater, the state authority responsible for ensuring safe supplies.

The Mount Crosby Water Treatment Plant, supplier of most of the drinking water to Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan, was off-line Jan. 29 because of “record turbidity levels.” About 2.15 million people reside in the metropolitan Brisbane area.

The late-January deluge that inundated thousands of homes and caused the evacuation of some 7,500 people in the Queensland town of Bundaberg followed higher-than-average temperatures across much of the country earlier in the month.

Australia recorded its hottest month on record in January, with an average mean temperature of 29.7 degrees Celsius (85.5 degrees Fahrenheit) that surpassed a previous record set in 1932, the bureau of meteorology said in a statement today. “The heat wave in the first half of January was exceptional in its extent and duration,” the statement said.

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