Water quality in the communities of Cue, Meekatharra, Mount Magnet and Sandstone is set to improve, with Water Corporation to install advanced water treatment plants in each town. The advanced water treatment, known as Electro Dialysis Reversal plants, reduce the naturally high levels of salinity and nitrates that occur in groundwater across the Murchison and will improve aesthetic characteristics such as scaling and hardness.
Further detailed planning and design has been undertaken since we announced in September 2017 that Cue, Sandstone, Meekatharra and Mount Magnet will receive new advanced water treatment plants.
It has been important to take our time with this additional preparatory work because the treatment plants are complex units. It will ensure the plants are reliable and there is adequate reserve storage to continuously supply water that meets Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
Our project team is now assessing the power supply situation in each town. This work is expected to be completed by the end of April, and will determine what additional power-related requirements might be needed.
Due to this additional work, a resubmission of tenders is necessary before any contracts are awarded. We expect this process to take about three months to complete. Once contracts are awarded we will be in a better position to advise when construction will start in each town.
Although this initial stage of the project has taken longer than expected the plants will be installed by our original timeframe of mid-2020.
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- Cue, Meekatharra, Mt Magnet, New Norcia, Sandstone, Yalgoo, Laverton, Leonora, Menzies, Nabawa and Wiluna in the Murchison and Goldfields regions have naturally occurring underlying rock conditions that affect the quality of drinking water sourced from local bores. Water in these towns may be affected by salinity, hardness, magnesium, nitrates and silica in the groundwater.
- It is acknowledged due to these conditions, the water may have an undesirable taste for some people, make it difficult to lather soap and leave brown crystalline deposits on surfaces when evaporated.
- This water is safe for everyone, except bottle-fed infants under the age of 3 months who are provided with bottled water from the local nursing post.
- Water Corporation has already installed water treatment units at Wiluna and Leonora, with a new system being commissioned in Yalgoo to reduce the levels of nitrates in water supplies.