AN upgrade to the Neerabup groundwater treatment plant will allow the plant to treat an extra 50 million litres of water a day, according to Water Minister Dave Kelly.
Mr Kelly said the expansion of Perth’s groundwater replenishment scheme due to be completed in late 2020, would double the recharge capacity of the scheme from 14 billion litres to 28 billion litres.
Groundwater replenishment is the process whereby secondary treated wastewater undergoes advanced treatment to produce drinking water.
The water is recharged to an aquifer for later use as a drinking water source.
When abstracted, the water is once again treated to meet Australian drinking water guidelines.
The $52 million upgrade to the Neerabup groundwater treatment plant will increase the capacity of the current plant from 100 million litres of water treated per day to 150 million litres of water treated per day.
The upgrade is expected to provide up to 120 jobs for local workers during peak construction at the site, located east of Tamala Park in Perth’s northern suburbs.
Works are expected to take about 12 months to complete.
Mr Kelly said water supply planning was never static and the government was responding and adapting to changing circumstances, including climate change, by adding new water sources when needed.
“The south-west of Western Australia is one of the areas on the planet that is most affected by climate change through declining rainfall,’’ he said.
“Through the innovative use of groundwater replenishment and this upgraded treatment plant, water is able to be replenished and abstracted on a one-to-one basis.
“The upgrade of the Neerabup groundwater treatment plant is the final step in the expansion of this important climate independent water source.
“The overall project to expand the groundwater replenishment scheme is supporting 540 local jobs.”
Burns Beach MLA Mark Folkard said it was great to see the McGowan Government deliver another major infrastructure project.
“This project will secure WA water supplies from climate change impacts,’’ he said.
“It also highlights the government’s focus on creating jobs and supporting activity that benefits the WA economy.”