The Wauchope water treatment plant

The Wauchope Treatment Plant has undergone a $5.5 million upgrade, including the completion of a new $1.7 million chlorine dosing facility.

The upgrades are set to make the region more drought resilient and to secure water during dry times.

The facility will boost the plant’s ability to treat water after storms and heavy rainfall events where quality is compromised by river sediment, or when dam levels drop.

It complements the already completed filtration system which enhances the plant’s capacity to now treat up to 21ML per day during emergencies like drought.

The upgrades also mean there is potential to send water to Port Macquarie to prop up water resources during extreme dry periods, shoring up supplies from the coast to inland areas.

The total upgrades have been jointly funded with $1.4 million from the New South Wales Government’s Critical Drought Initiative and $4.1 million from Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.

A/Executive Director Development, New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment, Lisa Hingerty, said, “We’re doing everything we can to help regional communities across our state prepare for another dry spell. With Port Macquarie-Hastings already drought-impacted the completion of this project could not have come soon enough.

“It means the region is now on the front foot of drought preparedness. The upgrade will maximise the plant’s capabilities to treat water that previously couldn’t be filtered and help secure supplies when the region endures drier times.

“While the plant only needs to treat around 9ML of drinking water a day, tripling its capacity from 7ML to 21ML means when the community is in the grips of severe drought, residents can be rest assured there’ll be top-quality water flowing when they turn on their taps.”

Port Macquarie-Hastings Mayor, Peta Pinson, said, “The completion of this upgrade is a real game-changer for more than 70,000 people across our region and locks in our water security future.

“Our region is already feeling the effects of El Niño so it’s reassuring we’ll have improved capabilities during drought and can continue to deliver high-quality water for our residents even when we fall on dry times.”

Featured image: The Wauchope water treatment plant. Courtesy of NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

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