Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Bathurst water treatment upgrade to save 192 million litres a year

3 February 2012
DF12/004

A $1.3 million upgrade to the Bathurst Water Filtration Plant will save up to 192 million litres of drinking water each year, significantly improving Bathurst's long-term water security.

Officially opening the plant upgrade today, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, said the new infrastructure would recycle and treat water that would otherwise go to waste.

"This technology allows residual water generated by the filtration process, called supernatant, to be fed back into that process and treated to drinking standard," Senator Farrell said.

"By recycling and treating supernatant, up to 192 million litres of water will be saved each year. Saving this water will reduce the need for water from the Macquarie River to be used for town water supply."

The Australian Government has invested more than $676,000 in the project through the Water for the Future initiative, under the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns program.

A further $150,000 in Australian Government funding has also been contributed to help Bathurst Regional Council undertake a trial of methods to prevent drinking water discolouration through manganese build up.

Manganese is a naturally-occurring element in water across Australia and is safe to drink, but it can build up on the walls of water pipes and cause water discolouration.

"Providing funding for this trial will assist Bathurst Regional Council in determining an effective way of removing manganese at the treatment stage," Senator Farrell said.

"Reducing manganese levels at the treatment stage would result in less discolouration and improved visual water quality.

"It would also prevent manganese build-up in pipes, reducing the need to flush the pipes, which could potentially save an additional 500,000 litres of drinking water each year."

The Australian Government has committed more than $250 million to fund practical projects that save water in cities and towns across the country through the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns program.