Water treatment plants in Queensland have been granted planning permission for a $7.4 million facility, as part of a $12 billion plan to modernise the state’s water supply.
Key points:The state’s Water Supply Board has approved a project to upgrade its water treatment plantThe facility will convert the old Houghtonville River to a new type of treatment plantAfter nearly a decade, Houghtons water treatment plants are ageing and in need of a major overhaulThe state Water Supply Agency has given the go-ahead for a major water treatment facility at the Houghtons Falls Water Treatment Plant to be built in Queensland’s Northern Territory.
The project, which is being developed by the Australian Water Corporation (AWC), is expected to produce enough water for more than 7 million people.
“This is a massive upgrade and a major boost to the water supply in Northern Territory, and it will help to deliver a significant benefit to the community and environment,” AWC CEO, John Caulfield, said.
“We believe this is the right decision to build on and upgrade this important and proven water system to provide greater protection and better water quality for Northern Territory residents.”
The project will see the Haughtonville Water Treatment Facility converted from a river that flows north through the remote area into a new treatment plant, which will convert it into a more modern, modern-day water treatment unit.
“It’s a massive investment, it’s an exciting investment,” AWB director of water quality, John Kavanagh, said of the project.
“The upgrade will help ensure we can provide water for the Northern Territory’s needs for the foreseeable future.”
A number of local communities in the region have been fighting to keep the water flowing.
“These [projects] are an opportunity for us to bring in the industry, and we are committed to doing that,” Kavanah said.
He said the facility would help to modernize the existing Houghtown water treatment area, and also be able to replace the aging Houghtorres water treatment system.
“There are a lot of existing infrastructure problems that have to be addressed and repaired,” he said.
However, he said the project would have to comply with local water laws.
“In Northern Territory there are no local councils, so this [project] is an opportunity to come to a compromise with the local councils,” he told ABC News.
“But we’ll also need to have the consent of the local authorities, so it will be a difficult negotiation.”
Mr Kavanag said it was important for people in the Northern Territories to understand that water is an important part of the NT’s water infrastructure, and that the water needed to be treated was not being delivered.
“I think what you’ll see in this project is a very important step forward,” he added.
“If the water’s not treated properly and it’s not being treated, there’s a huge risk to the environment, and the water needs to be cleaned up.”
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