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Water Corporation expands Perth wastewater treatment plant capacity

With 10% of Perth’s wastewater successfully recycled and recharged into groundwater supplies via the landmark treatment plant at Beenyup, Water Corporation is set to expand the plant’s capacity.

The utility is currently expanding the plant's capacity from 14GL to 28GL a year, with the expansion expected to be complete in 2019.

Water Corporation Assets Planning General Manager Ashley Vincent told ABC Online the success of the Beenyup facility has offered “grounds for moving ahead” with aquifer recharge.

"We've demonstrated through trials and with the opening of the treatment plant at Beenyup that technically it's quite achievable," Vincent said.

"As we look forward, we look around at our other wastewater treatment facilities in the metropolitan area, and we certainly have a view that's it's possible to re-use that water as well.

"Very similar treatment technologies and processes could see the vast majority of Perth's wastewater being treated to a very high standard and being reinjected back into the aquifers.”

Vincent also said the utility will begin to check the feasibility of applying the same water recycling method to other wastewater sources too.

"Over the next couple of years we'll be investigating the nature of the groundwater around our major treatment facilities and Woodman Point and Subiaco, or Shenton Park, looking at how suitable they are for highly treated water,” he said.

Vincent said growing urbanisation and climate changes would need to be taken into consideration when planning the expansion of recharge operations.

“If we continue to see our inflows to our dams reduced, and we continue to see the impacts of climate change on groundwater levels, then we might need to speed up the rate which we build new sources of water," he said.

"It's unlikely we'd see the complete volume of water in our wastewater treatment facilities being recycled in the next 10 to 15 years, but if you start to think 20 to 30 to 40 years, recycling all of our wastewater makes a lot of sense.

"It's about taking proven technologies and treatment processes and applying them to meet your ongoing water needs."

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