The first bores in Toowoomba were in the 1880’s. Council has 20 bores in Toowoomba which supply up to 30% of the city’s water demand. Toowoomba’s bores are between 30 and 70 metres deep. Three larger bores have been drilled into the Great Artesian Basin to provide emergency supplies when needed.
As Toowoomba has grown, so has the demand for water. Toowoomba’s water comes from dams and from groundwater, which is water stored underground in aquifers, or cavities, in the rocks.
Groundwater is normally accessed from a bore by drilling down into the aquifer and pumping the water to the surface. A bore is simply a pipe or casing that fills with groundwater. Although this water goes through a natural filtering process as it seeps through the rocks, sometimes it picks up high levels of minerals that cause it to become ‘hard’. If water is hard, it will not lather well, so some of our water is made ‘soft’ or easy to lather by passing it through special filters.
Bore water may be considered 'hard water' depending on the amount of mineral content (calcium and magnesium) it contains. Toowoomba bore water is monitored for hardness and softened before being added to the reticulated supply. It can also contain harmful bacteria, so it is always chlorinated before passing into the water reticulation system.