The first of four new advanced water treatment plants has been completed in the Murchison, as part of the Western Australian Government’s $24 million commitment to improving water quality in the region. 

Installed at Mount Magnet, the plant uses a process called electrodialysis reversal (EDR) to reduce naturally occurring nitrate and salinity in local groundwater sources.

Water Minister, Dave Kelly, said, “This important project represents a $24 million commitment by the McGowan Government towards improving water quality for communities in the Murchison region, and I would like to thank residents for their continued support throughout the planning, design and construction process.

“The technology being used has proved incredibly effective in other communities at reducing salinity and nitrate levels.

“It’s exciting to see the project take shape with completion of the Mount Magnet plant. This will be followed soon by those in Cue, Sandstone and Meekatharra where construction is progressing well.”  

Similar plants in Cue and Sandstone are expected to be completed in early-2021, with Meekatharra to be commissioned by late 2021.

It follows the success of EDR plants at Yalgoo and Wiluna, where nitrate levels have reduced by 75 per cent.

Mining and Pastoral Region MLC, Kyle McGinn, said, “Water security is vital, particularly in regional WA.

“This project goes a long way to securing better quality water for these remote towns. 

“It’s very encouraging to see the strong use of renewable energy and innovation that has been utilised throughout this project.

“It’s critical to see local jobs supported by projects from the State Government, and this project has provided that value to the entire region with 60 out of 100 new jobs created being based in the Mid West.”

The Mount Magnet, Cue and Meekatharra plants will be powered by renewable energy, helping to reduce carbon emissions, lower operating costs, and allowing sites to remain online during network power outages.

The entire project is expected to create around 100 Western Australian jobs, including 60 for workers in the Mid West.

Since mid-2017, the Western Australian Government has invested $140 million in new water infrastructure in the Mid West. 

A further $94.6 million has been allocated to water supply projects across the region over the next four years.

Mr Kelly also announced the extension of water-saving support to Mount Magnet residents through Water Corporation’s 2020-21 Waterwise Towns Program. 

Among the available offers is Showerhead Swap – a free program allowing residents to exchange two old, inefficient showerheads for waterwise alternatives.

Cue, Sandstone and Meekatharra will be added to the program on completion of each community’s EDR plant. 

For more information, click here.

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