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CH2M Hill and Thiess JV to construct WA’s first groundwater replenishment plant

Western Australia’s Water Corporation recently awarded CH2M HILL, as part of a joint venture with Thiess, a contract to design, construct, and commission a full-scale Advanced Water Replenishment Plant (AWRP) in Perth. 

The Thiess and CH2M HILL 50/50 joint venture will undertake the $80 million project in alliance with the Water Corporation, with the joint venture awarding all contract packages on the project.

The plant is the first wastewater recycling project of its type in Australia and is a major step in progressing the Water Corporation’s strategy for climate resiliency.

“With Australia’s dry climate, groundwater replenishment provides a secure, rainfall independent water source and will be an integral part of northern Perth’s future water security,” said Chris Morris, CH2M HILL Australia and New Zealand Geography Manager.

Construction on the first stage of the plant will begin later this month. The plant, which will inject highly treated wastewater into Perth’s underground aquifers, will have an initial capacity of 14 billion litres — double the project’s original capacity, with an option to expand to 28 billion litres in the future.

The Water Corporation undertook a complex Groundwater Replenishment Trial (GRT) from 2010-2012 at the Beenyup wastewater treatment plant site to assess the technical and social feasibility of constructing such an advanced wastewater recycling plant for producing water that is suitable for replenishing groundwater. 

The Trial, which involved treating approximately 3.5 billion litres of treated effluent from Beenyup using ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection and storing the water in an underground aquifer where it can be further filtered by natural processes, was successful.

“The success of the GRT demonstrated the effectiveness of using advanced technologies and innovative solutions to treat water so it is suitable to replenish groundwater supplies,” continued Morris. 

“We are delighted to tackle this advanced, complex project with our JV partner and the Water Corporation, helping secure Western Australia’s safe, reliable water supply for years to come.”

The new AWRP will be built on the same site as the Trial, in Craigie. Construction of the project is expected to be in commissioning by October 2016. When commissioned, the plant will help Perth meet its future drinking water needs through 2060. 

More details on this scheme.

[Image courtesy Thiess]

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