Water Corporation recognises that Perkins Beach residents and local environmental groups are concerned about the future disposal of brine from portable desalination units being installed at the Denmark Water Treatment Plant.

To prevent any delays from wet weather, work was completed two weeks ago to level a turning circle near the end of Perkins Beach Road to ensure trucks had adequate access. Local residents should have been informed before these works were carried out. We are sorry that this did not occur and apologise for this.

These units are being installed as an emergency measure to ensure there is enough water for the Denmark community next summer if there is limited rainfall this winter.

We met with residents and local environmental groups last night to hear and discuss their concerns. We had planned to engage with local Perkins Beach residents and stakeholders this week once the details of the brine disposal were more advanced. However, we brought this forward after concerns were raised by the community.

Water Corporation is installing the portable desalination units to boost drinking water supplies with water from the Denmark River. Low water levels in Quickup Dam together with unusually high salinity in the Denmark River have made this contingency arrangement necessary.

Perkins Beach was identified as an appropriate location because it has safe access to the ocean where vehicles can dispose of the brine. It’s important to note disposal of the brine has not yet begun.

We have listened carefully to the community concerns and will assess what other potential options are available to dispose of the brine, while developing this option in parallel.
We are taking your concerns seriously and will continue to discuss the issue with you going forward.

Background:
• The brine water is essentially concentrated Denmark River Water. The salt levels in the brine will be around 18,000 parts per million, whereas seawater is around 35,000 parts per million. We anticipate up to 60,000 litres of brine will be disposed of typically five days per week – that’s the equivalent of nearly one and a half backyard swimming pools. This brine will be lighter than seawater and will therefore readily mix.
• The brine will also include a small amount of standard water treatment chemicals, which are approved by the Department of Health. The only additional chemical specific to the reverse osmosis is anti-scalant, which is used to keep the membranes of the reverse osmosis units clean. This anti-scalant is food grade and approved by the Department of Health.
• We anticipate brine may be disposed of at Perkins Beach for up to six months while the portable desalination units are used to supplement water supplies in Denmark. Work is already under way on a longer term solution to secure water supplies in Denmark.
• Disposing of the brine, if required, would not begin until late June at the earliest.


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