MidCoast Water has begun upgrades at the Gloucester water treatment plant in New South Wales to improve water services to the Gloucester community.
MidCoast Water will invest $900,000 in the plant in the short term to provide improvements to help prolong the life of the ageing water treatment plant.
The current work at the water treatment plant will see improvements made to the chemical dosing system to result in automated operation and will also include the replacement of the compressed air system and upgrades to pneumatic valves and controls.
The upgrade aims to make the water quality produced by the plant more reliable.
MidCoast Water General Manager Ken Gouldthorp said, “The upgrade will improve the service Gloucester customers receive and importantly automating some processes will increase our ability to monitor water quality and initiate alarms and shutdown procedures when required.
“While this is a step forward in the short term, more work is required to bring the plant up to modern standards,” Mr Gouldthorp said.
The plant, which was originally built in the late 1930s/early 1940s and last upgraded almost 40 years ago, presents a challenge to MidCoast Water.
“We have completed a number of improvements at the plant to date, and while those improvements will result in more reliable water quality and some efficiencies, we are still challenged by the cost of modernising a system which came to us in a very poor state and with significant fundamental design deficiencies,” Mr Gouldthorp said.
Mr Gouldthorp said improving water services for the Gloucester community has been a focus for MidCoast Water since taking on water and sewer services in 2011.
“The fact that we are community owned allows us to work closely with our communities and invest in improving our services and projects such as this upgrade to provide tangible benefits,” Mr Gouldthorp said.
“However the aging infrastructure in Gloucester does present a number of challenges to us, as the cost to get the services to a modern standard is not insignificant.”
Mr Gouldthorp said that in addition to the modernisation required at the water treatment plant, the organisation has been investing between $200,000 and $400,000 each year since taking on the Gloucester system in 2011 on renewing aging water mains in the township.
Previous improvements completed include the replacement of aged mechanical and electrical equipment and several building modifications to improve work health and safety outcomes.