Water Resources Minister Dr Kim Hames said today that the Harding Dam’s $16 million microfiltration plant could now be ready up to 12 months earlier than originally planned.
Dr Hames had asked the Water Corporation to fast-track the project and had been advised it was working to complete the project by the second half of 2002. The scheduled completion date was the second half of 2003.
The Minister said preliminary work on site for the plant at the dam could begin late this year.
“There are risks involved in moving too quickly ahead of the scheduled timeframe because the project involves a fairly large plant combined with the fact that microfiltration is a relatively new technology,” he said.
“However, the Government and the corporation are committed to establishing this plant as soon as possible, because of the concern in the region about the issue of occasional elevated trihalomethane levels in the water.
“The Health Department has made it absolutely clear that the water from the Harding Dam is safe to drink, poses no health risk and meets the stringent national water quality guidelines.
“Nevertheless, it is now clearly in everyone’s interests that the plant be commissioned as quickly as possible and that will be the case.”
Dr Hames said the Water Corporation was convinced the only way it could increase use of the Harding Dam water source was to build a major filtration plant at the dam. The plant, which would reduce the water’s turbidity, would mean that less chlorine would be required in the water treatment process.
“This, in turn, will result in a significant reduction in the trihalomethane levels,” the Minister said.
“The corporation is confident that not only will the plant improve the acceptability of the water supplied to West Pilbara customers, it will also provide a lasting solution to occasional elevated trihalomethane levels.
“The corporation will also increase its monitoring when the dam is in use to ensure the water is always safe for its customers.”
Media contact: Zac Donovan (08) 9213 6400