gold coast plumbing

The History of Gold Coast Plumbing

Modern-day Gold Coast is a vastly different place to what it was even 100 years ago. The first major road to the area was constructed in 1925, and its sewerage and plumbing networks followed. Now, the goal is sustainability for Gold Coast plumbing.

A time before the Gold Coast (1800-1925)

Gold Coast’s history as an actual city is young. In fact, it only achieved that claim in the 1950s.

Before European settlers called the region home, for about 23,000 years the Kombumerri People were the only locals. Approximately eight different Indigenous clans made up the Kombumerri People, who thrived on coastal living.

Europeans first began settling in the area in the 1860s. As a timber trade developed, Nerang was founded in 1865. Southport followed in 1875 as cattle, sugar and cotton farms sprouted.

Soon the area was recognised as the South Coast, a popular holiday destination for Queensland and New South Wales locals alike.

Popularity increased following the extension of a railway line from Brisbane to Southport in 1889, and again in 1925 when the first major road was built.

Finding gold after the war (1925-60)

As technology advanced and transport became more readily available, Southport and the surrounds boomed in popularity. The first housing estates appeared in the 1930s, paired with the first sewer systems.

When World War II unfolded, Coolangatta became a base camp for American soldiers. Many of them remained or returned to holiday in the coastal region.

The post-war years brought price hikes and inflated real estate prices. This led to the Gold Coast nickname popping up throughout the 1950s.

Initially hated by South Coast locals, in 1958 the South Coast Council adopted Gold Coast as its new name. Then, less than a year later, it was officially classed as a city.

The 1950s also saw the Gold Coast develop a reputation as a city of canals. While it’s no Venice, there’s now over 890 kilometres of constructed residential waterfront land.

Keeping up with the high rises (1960-1990)

Construction on the first major dam in the region, the Hinze Dam, may have begun in 1947 but it wasn’t completed until 1976.

The 30 year project was a monumental effort, providing 42,000 megalitres of water. Was it enough? Only for so long. Expansion followed in 1989 and again in 2011. The latest upgrade increased supply to a whopping 310,730 megalitres.

Just like the upgrades to water supply, the sewerage system had to cope with a sprawling high rise city and theme park haven.

Gold Coast welcomed the Elanora water treatment plant in the 1980s, one of four sewage treatment plants for the city. The others are Pimpama, Coombabah and Merrimac.

Together they cope with approximately 155 megalitres of sewage per day. Once treated, the water is used by the numerous theme parks, sporting clubs, golf courses, farmers and hotels.

Gold Coast Council’s first attempt at recycled drinking water was in 1988 – although it was only through a survey to the residents. How did it go? Almost 60 per cent said they would not drink recycled water.

Continued growth and major demands (2000-present)

Recent history has arguably been full of hits and misses for the Gold Coast. Initial plumbing infrastructure wasn’t ready to cope with serious growth, and much like the Hinze Dam, local treatment plants have undergone regular upgrades.

Coombabah and Merrimac spent a combined $60 million on upgrades in 2004. The Coombabah treatment plant services over 50 per cent of Gold Coast’s sewerage system, and in 2017 was at the centre of a potential $250 million pipeline upgrade, all to funnel an increasing amount of wastewater into the ocean.

In 2020 it was greenlit for another future upgrade.

Sadly Gold Coast’s plumping problems have hit the news on several occasions as well. In 2015 it was reported treatment plants shut down at least once a week due to blockages and overflow caused by locals flushing wet wipes down the toilet.

More toilet troubles followed in 2020 after stormwater was funnelled into the sewerage system, causing more overflowing. Many residents complained they couldn’t flush their toilets.

However, there have been some positives. Recycled water has been used to flush toilets in popular venues such as the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Meanwhile, in 2009 the first desalination plant on Australia’s east coast was opened in Tugun following a severe drought in the 2000s.

And the Gold Coast can hold its head high after the World Health Organization praised the city’s water system management from catchment to tap.

Metropolitan Plumbing Gold Coast is here for you!

With its water and sewerage systems managed by Gold Coast Water since 2010, a local effort will surely see the region rise to any future challenges. Metropolitan Plumbing will do the same!

Stop searching for ‘plumber Gold Coast‘ in your web browser. Our team are there to help locals with any blocked toilet during a crisis, whether it was caused by heavy rains or something you shouldn’t have flushed.

We can handle any task you throw at us, from leaking taps to busted air conditioners.

Metropolitan Plumbing has a proven history of outstanding customer service. Our efforts have been recognised with the 2020 Product Review award for the plumbing category across Australia.

So, when you call a Metropolitan plumber in the Gold Coast, they’ll call upon our 25 years of experience for every single job.


Published: 30 Jun, 2020

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Metropolitan Plumbing are proud winners of the 2020 Product Review award in the plumbing category. This award highlights our dedication to outstanding customer satisfaction. Product Review provides a platform for real-life experiences. Check out some of our customers' reviews below:
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