The Water Corporation has confirmed that a wobbegong (carpet) shark has been found in the seawater intake station at the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant during scheduled maintenance work.
The 22 metre deep station (see diagram) is at the beach end of a 500 metre long, two metre diameter pipeline that brings seawater slowly into the plant from the ocean.
Water Corporation spokeswoman Clare Lugar said the shark had most likely entered the station via the pipeline during the plant’s construction while a grated screen was not in place.
"The shark is still alive and we are now attempting to catch it using a net and remove it from the station," she said.
"It is not possible for the shark to enter the main area of the desalination plant, and at no time has water quality been compromised."
The image above indicates the desalination plant’s intake station where the shark is trapped — close to the sea. (Image courtesy: Water Corporation.]
Lugar said the shark may have escaped early checks of the system as it was somewhere in the pipeline that could not be visually checked for safety reasons.
"It would not be possible for a similar shark to enter the station again via the pipe as the screen would now prevent this."
[Image of shark courtesy and copyright Richard Ling.]