Territory Stories

Alice Springs town basin, review 2003



Alice Springs town basin, review 2003


Read, R. E.


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Report ; no. 42/2003




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).





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Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment

Place of publication

Alice Springs


Report ; no. 42/2003

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Inputs to the town area are as follows: Inflow in Todd at Anzac, (Appendix A) 110 T/y Fair estimate Inflow of water from Roe Creek borefield, 10 GL at 75 mg/L Cl 750 T/y Good estimate Natural inflow 2 T/y Taken from Berry (1992). Adjusted to chloride. Swimming Pool salt 150 T/y TOTAL to nearest 00 1 000 T/y Outputs are as follows: Outflow in Todd at Heavitree (Appendix A) 1000 T/y Based on only 7 points. This estimate is suspect because of major problems with the rating curve.(1) Outflow in sewers 600 T/y Rough estimate. Chloride has not been determined in sewage and has been estimated from limited and variable conductivity data. Groundwater outflow 50 T/y Present outflow (see 5.8.2) by a TDS of 4000 mg/L, converted to chloride TOTAL 1650 T/y (1) There is no reason to doubt the chloride values, which were determined in the usual way. The corresponding gauge heights were taken from the recorder data and may have some error. All samples were taken on the recession leg of the hydrograph, which would introduce some error. The component with the largest uncertainty is the chloride flux at Heavitree Gap. Only seven chloride-discharge values are available. The chloride flux through Heavitree Gap is in the range 2000 to 4000 T/y of chloride that is 6000 to 12000 T/y of salt. It appears there is a large salt imbalance in the system. While this figure implies a salt loss of 300 T/ km2 (or 300 g/m2) over the entire urbanised area, it is within the range of values (177 to 623 g/m2) tabulated by Hatton et. al (2002) for catchments in Western Australia. Bradshaw Drain and the drain along Telegraph Terrace both receive groundwater discharge when the water table is high. This water would be saline and would add to the salt flux at Heavitree Gap. It would be very useful to have estimates of the historic salt flux and changes. Unfortunately because of the total lack of any analyses or conductivity measurements before 1981 and the very restricted number of analyses since it is not possible to examine the changes over time. 5.4.9 Trends in Salinity SKM (2001) concluded that salinity in the Town Basin is generally decreasing. Salinity trends for production bores (Appendix E) show that there are significant decreases in some bores, but not all. The two bores with increasing salinity are both 35

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