05/08/2014 - 12:35

Water pumps Pilbara hopes

05/08/2014 - 12:35

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The state government has announced completion of an upgrade to the South Headland wastewater treatment plant, a major part of the $120 million overhaul of the Headland water system, on the same day that it revealed the Pilbara’s West Canning Basin could produce enough water annually for 350,000 people.

Water pumps Pilbara hopes
Water Minister Mia Davies

The state government has announced the completion of an upgrade to the South Headland wastewater treatment plant, a major part of the $120 million overhaul of the Headland water system, on the same day that it revealed the Pilbara’s West Canning Basin could produce enough water annually for 350,000 people.

The existing treatment plant will be decommissioned and will open 75 hectares of land to development for residential purposes.

“The upgraded plant in South Hedland is now in the final testing phase, and has the capacity to treat 10 million litres of wastewater each day, providing for future growth out to 2035,” Water Minister Mia Davies said.

“The Water Corporation’s upgrade to its South Hedland plant includes a recycling facility, with a design capacity to provide up to six million litres of high-quality recycled water each day for public open space and other non-drinking water uses.”

The facility is expected to be fully operational by December this year.

The government also announced the results of drill testing in the 10,000 square kilometre West Canning basin, part of one of the largest artesian basins in the country.

Drilling was conducted in the Sandfire area 200 kilometres from Port Headland as part of the government’s $12.5 million Pilbara Cities water project.

Ms Davies said the discovery would contribute to growth in the Pilbara.

“Test drilling in progress shows good quality fresh water with the potential for 50 gigalitres a year of new water in the Sandfire area, just 200 kilometres from Port Hedland,” she said.

“Add to this the water investigation work already completed closer to Port Hedland at Pardoo and you have a massive amount of water to fuel growth.

“This new water availability can now be confidently factored into regional investment blueprints and private business planning to guide investment into this growth.”

One gigalitre is equivalent to the annual use of more than 3,500 WA homes.

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the project provided a basis for the state to assess options for water provision to support priority development in the region.

“The project seeks to increase the certainty of existing groundwater supplies, determining the potential availability of new water sources in preparation for the region’s expected population growth and economic development,” he said.

 

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