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New South Wales state and local governments will deliver upgrades totaling $5.5 million at the Wauchope Water Treatment Plant on the North Coast, tripling its daily capacity, with the tender for a new chlorine dosing facility to be awarded later this year.

The investment will be co-funded by the NSW State Government and Port Macquarie Hastings Council, who are seeking to improve water security for about 70,000 local residents.

The design and construction tender for the chlorine dosing facility will be awarded in November with construction expected to begin in March 2023 and be completed by December 2023.

NSW Minister for Lands and Water, Kevin Anderson, said the upgrades will triple the plant’s daily capacity from seven to 21 megalitres per day.

“This project is great news for the community with upgrades now underway, following the work of Port Macquarie Hastings Council to install an additional membranes system to filter the water,” Mr Anderson said.

“It will also add a new chlorine dosing facility to further boost the plant’s ability to treat water during storms and heavy rainfall which often stir up river sediment which impacts the quality and colour of the water.”

$1.4 million of the total spend will be sourced from the NSW State Government’s Safe and Secure Water Program, and the remaining $4.1 million from Port Macquarie Hastings Council.

Port Macquarie Hastings Council Mayor, Peta Pinson, said the benefits of this project extend beyond Wauchope.

“Currently the majority of the Port Macquarie Hastings Council area is reliant on unfiltered water supplies,” Cr Pinson said.

“Increasing the capacity of the Wauchope Water Treatment Plant will support more than 70,000 people in Port Macquarie and Wauchope, delivering top quality treated H2O to residents and businesses at times of poor water quality events.”

Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey, welcomed the announcement which she says will provide increased water security in Wauchope for generations to come.

“Water is our most precious asset and a basic human right which is why we are continuing to invest in water infrastructure projects that will provide certainty for the people of Oxley,” Mrs Pavey said.

“The improvements to this water treatment plant will allow more water to be extracted from the river during periods of high flows helping to safeguard the region’s future water security.”

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