The Environmental Protection Authority has recommended approval of the second stage of Water Corporation’s groundwater replenishment scheme, which will boost Perth’s drinking water supplies.
Water Corp plans to build an advanced water recycling plant at its Beenyup waste water treatment plant in Craigie, which will transfer treated recycled water by a 13-kilometre pipeline to two recharge facilities in Wanneroo and Neerabup, before injecting it into existing groundwater supplies.
The corporation hopes to double the capacity of the existing recycle plant at Craigie to 28 billion litres per year, while extracting the same amount of groundwater from other areas for Perth’s drinking supply.
The $232 million project was announced in July last year.
EPA chairman Tom Hatton said only 2.19 hectares of native vegetation was required to be cleared under the proposal, and the proponent would use tunnelling options to minimise impacts.
“Some sections of the pipeline would be constructed using technologies such as micro-tunnelling or horizontal directional drilling to avoid the clearing of native vegetation in sensitive Banksia woodland,” he said.
The corporation will also be required to ensure there are no indirect impacts to Banksia woodlands within five years after construction wraps up.
Recommended conditions by the EPA included implementing hygiene protocols, undertaking weed control, treating and managing acid sulfate soils, and minimising impacts to terrestrial fauna during construction.
The expansion is expected to be completed by 2020, with a long-term target of supplying up to a fifth of Perth’s drinking water needs by 2060.