The health of the Canning River will soon be enhanced with work now underway to upgrade the Bacon Street oxygenation plant.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the $1.4 million upgrade was a part of the Liberal National Government's commitment to provide oxygen relief to all feasible areas of the Canning River upstream of the Kent Street Weir.
The upgraded Bacon Street plant, as well as a plant built in 2014 further upstream at Nicholson Road Bridge, would provide refuge for fish and reduce the severity of algal blooms.
"Two plants at Bacon Street and Camsell Way in Ferndale were built in the late 1990s in response to low oxygen levels and severe algal blooms, but technology has come a long way since then and we will get a much better result by upgrading the oxygenation equipment," Mr Jacob said.
"The new and improved plant at Bacon Street will replace the two ageing plants along the 2.3 kilometre stretch of the river where natural oxygen levels are low, and will mean we can respond more effectively to provide relief when needed.
"Better oxygenation of the river means organic matter will be broken down more quickly and nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen will remain bound to sediments."
The new technology means oxygen is dissolved more efficiently in the river water and can be distributed much further. One distribution pipe will replace eight pipes from the two older plants, significantly reducing maintenance costs.
Water Minister Mia Davies said use of artificial oxygenation technology to support river and estuary health in the Swan Canning Riverpark had been extensively trialled and was now an effective management tool in the Vasse Estuary.
"Strategic use of this technology reduces risk of fish deaths and algal blooms while we continue to work with partner groups to reduce nutrients entering our waterways from catchments," Ms Davies said.
The Canning River oxygenation upgrades are a joint project between the departments of Parks and Wildlife and Water.
Work is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
A new $1 million oxygenation plant at Nicholson Road was commissioned in 2015, doubling the capacity to provide oxygen relief upstream of the Kent Street Weir
The State Government has also invested $7 million in six nutrient-stripping wetlands to improve water quality in the Swan and Canning rivers
Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800
Water Minister's office - 6552 5500