Perth takes its first sips of recycled drinking water26 October 2016
The country’s first ever recycled sewerage scheme will soon be in full flow in Perth, where wastewater is undergoing advanced purification to become clean, safe, healthy drinking water.
The Groundwater Replenishment Scheme, which is expected to be up and running by end of 2016, is hoped to supply up to 20 per cent of Perth’s drinking water needs by 2060.
Where many of Australia’s communities rejected the scheme, Perth was quick to embrace it. 79 per cent of people surveyed in 2012* supported the concept.
Treated wastewater is a practice that’s long been embraced by the likes of California, where water supply is a big problem. Water Corporation CEO, Sue Murphy, also confirmed California had provided the momentum for Perth’s own groundwater replenishment scheme.
“The Orange County model established the foundation for the technology we have used in Perth,” Murphy commented in an interview with WAtoday.
The scheme has been years in the making, with a three-year trial declared successful back in 2013. This kicked off construction of the official scheme in 2014, and today the $51 million Craigie plant has capacity to treat 14 billion litres of wastewater using advanced purification techniques.
The government is throwing its support behind the scheme, with Water Minister Mia Davies announcing the government would begin work in early 2017 to duplicate the Craigie plant and double the scheme’s capacity to 28 billion litres annually.
The $232 million expansion, funded through the existing capital works program, will be complete in three years, subject to approvals. It’s big news and billions of litres of fresh drinking water for Perth!
*An independent Water Corporation survey of 1292 people.