Public feedback sought on potential Alkimos desalination plant

A concept plan for the Alkimos desalination plant.
A concept plan for the Alkimos desalination plant.

A DESALINATION plant beside the Alkimos Wastewater Treatment Plant could initially produce 25 billion litres of drinking water a year, if it goes ahead.

Water Corporation is running a community survey as part of its investigation into a potential desalination plant in either Alkimos or Kwinana.

A spokeswoman said if constructed, the desalination plant would be built in stages and was at least five years away.

“Initially it would have a capacity to produce 25 billion litres of drinking water a year, with a further 25 billion litres a year in the second stage,” she said.

“Ultimately, if constructed, the plant could have capacity of 100 billion litres a year.”

The utility’s long-term planning and its ‘Water Forever’ 10-year plan, released in 2012, consider the potential to build a desalination plant north and south of Perth.

“We are completing early investigations for a number of new water sources, including the possible desalination plants,” the spokeswoman said.

“We do not expect a major new water source will be needed for at least five years.

“As there is an existing wastewater treatment plant in Alkimos, there are a number of financial and environmental benefits of having two assets on the same site.

“As this planning is still at a conceptual stage, it is too early to estimate the cost to build a new desalination plant.”

The spokeswoman said consultation, which started in February, had so far included discussions with community groups and local governments, and more than 35 people had completed an online survey.

She said marine investigations during design of a desalination plant would consider the location of the wastewater treatment plant’s 3km outfall pipe.

She said the size and scale of the existing Alkimos plant did not make groundwater replenishment practicable.

However, in the longer term, Water Corporation aims to recycle about one-third of metropolitan wastewater through groundwater replenishment and will investigate expanding the scheme that started in Craigie.

Any future desalination plant would connect to Perth’s Integrated Water Supply Scheme, which in 2016-17 supplied 283 billion litres of drinking water to about two million people.

To do the survey, visit https://yoursay.watercorporation.com.au/future-perth-desalination-plants

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