A $238.5 million upgrade to Western Australia’s largest water resource recovery facility has commenced. 

Commonly known as a wastewater treatment plant, Water Corporation’s Woodman Point Water Resource Recovery Facility in Munster collects and safely treats 150 million litres of wastewater daily from around 900,000 homes and businesses in Perth’s southern suburbs.

The upgrade is set to facilitate more onsite renewable energy, provide greater capacity to produce sustainable resources from wastewater and cater for population growth across Perth’s southern suburbs.

The Munster facility processes up to 78t of organic matter each day, which is treated to produce biosolids which are a valuable resource used as safe, sustainable fertiliser in broadacre agriculture.

The upgrade will set a new benchmark in sustainably converting wastewater into clean water, renewable energy, and other valuable resources, and supports Water Corporation’s target of net-zero emissions by 2035.

As part of a three-year Water Corporation project announced by Western Australian Water Minister, Simone McGurk, the facility will be progressively upgraded to treat 120t tonnes daily, keeping pace with a growing population in addition to catering for higher future inflows.

Once installed, enhanced energy recovery technology will allow the facility to capture and reuse more biogas (mostly methane, which is naturally produced during the treatment process) as a renewable energy source.

The facility upgrades will assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by around 5,600t tonnes CO₂-e annually, as less power will need to be purchased from the electricity grid to run the plant.

Centralising solids treatment at Woodman Point Water Resource Recovery Facility and improving treatment efficiency will further reduce emissions by around 1,300t tonnes CO₂-e a year as there will be 1,000 fewer truck movements each year.

The project, to be delivered by Water Corporation joint venture partners Clough and Jacobs Group Australia, will create nearly 300 local jobs, and see around $174 million spent with subcontractors across Western Australia.

Wastewater can now be treated and recycled as a fit-for-purpose resource that can be used to alleviate pressure on valuable scheme water supplies as it is no longer viewed as waste. Water Corporation aims to recycle up to 35 per cent of all wastewater in the Perth metropolitan area by 2035.

Ms McGurk said the WWTP is a key piece of infrastructure and will now set a new benchmark in sustainable resource recovery.

“This $238.5 million investment by the Cook Government will create hundreds of jobs and help meet the needs of a growing population – while reducing emissions, improving efficiency, and promoting wastewater as a valuable resource.

“People often don’t consider what happens to water once it’s flushed away, but the reality is there is considerable innovation in how Water Corporation treats, recycles and repurposes wastewater.”

Cockburn MLA, David Scaife, said, “As the largest water resource recovery facility in Western Australia, these upgrades will ensure it can meet the needs of the community in an efficient and sustainable way.

“As the largest water resource recovery facility in Western Australia, these upgrades will ensure it can meet the needs of the community in an efficient and sustainable way. Importantly, this project will cater for population growth in Perth’s booming southern corridor well into the future.”

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