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New water treatment plant could address Katherine’s PFAS problem

Katherine’s contaminated water concerns might soon be abated thanks to the delivery of a new water treatment plant to help reduce PFAS levels in the town’s drinking water supply.

Built by international environmental company Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies, the facility was commissioned by the Federal and NT Governments to address water supply concerns raised by high levels of PFAS levels in Katherine’s water supply.

The Defence Department stated the water treatment plant is a precaution, maintaining that the town’s water is safe to drink.

NT’s Power and Water said its water treatment plant in Katherine was operating at full capacity to keep PFAS contamination levels as low as possible.

Power and Water Executive General Manager of Water Services Rob Brito told ABC Online the utilities work aimed to keep bore water use to a minimum in order to keep drinking water safe.

"This reduces the reliance on bore water, which is now less than 1%, to provide safe drinking water supply for the Katherine community," he said.

Currently, the Katherine’s water supply is a mix of contaminated bore water and river water, with PFAS levels being controlled with the introduction of water restrictions in August.

The plant, which Defence stated would cost between $3 and $5 million, will be able to treat 1ML of bore water per day and is expected to be operational by the end of October.