Murchison water treatment plant program

Building water treatment plants to improve water quality in Cue, Meekatharra, Mt Magnet and Sandstone.

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Project goal:

To improve water quality in Cue, Meekatharra, Mt Magnet and Sandstone

Status:

In planning

Delivery Date:

All treatment plants scheduled to be running by early 2021

What's happening?

We're planning to build 4 water treatment plants in Mount Magnet, Cue, Sandstone and Meekatharra to improve water quality in the Murchison region.

The water treatment plants will use a desalination process called electrodialysis reversal (EDR). EDR technology has been successfully used in regional towns across Australia to improve water quality conditions, reduce nitrate levels and convert over 90% of the treated water into drinking water. It is currently used at the Wiluna and Yalgoo water treatment plants in the Murchison region.

Where is this happening?

Mount Magnet, Cue, Sandstone and Meekatharra.

Why is this work taking place?

Due to underlying rock conditions, water in these towns may be affected by salinity, hardness, nitrates and other undesirably qualities in the groundwater. The new water treatment plants will improve water quality by reducing salinity, nitrates and hardness.

When is this happening?

We’re working with our authorised contractor, Guidera O’Connor, on the design of the treatment plants. At this stage, we expect to begin construction of the first plant in mid 2019.

We’ll build each water treatment plant in stages, starting in Mount Magnet in mid 2019 and progressing to Cue, Sandstone and Meekatharra. We expect all plants to be operational by early 2021. This schedule has been determined by each town’s specific plant requirements and available power supply. 

How will the plants operate?

Existing Water Corporation assets on the water treatment plant sites will continue to operate using grid power.

As part of our commitment to improved sustainability, solar power and batteries will be installed at the Mount Magnet, Cue and Meekatharra sites. This will minimise the amount of additional grid power required to run the new water treatment plants, including the EDR technology.

A diesel generator will be installed at all sites for additional power support.

Sandstone will also receive two new 200kL water storage tanks and a booster pump station to improve their water storage.

How will this impact the community?

As we progress with planning we will update the project page of any community impacts.

Who can I contact?

For more information email us at murchison@watercorporation.com.au

Fact file

  • Cue, Meekatharra, Mount 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, Leonora and Yalgoo to reduce the levels of nitrates in water supplies.


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