Work has begun on a $238.5 million upgrade to Water Corporation’s Woodman Point Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF), Western Australia’s largest water resource recovery facility.
Located in Munster, the facility collects and safely treats 150 million litres of wastewater daily, from around 900,000 homes and businesses in Perth’s southern suburbs.
Water Corporation said the upgrades will set a new benchmark in sustainably converting wastewater into clean water, renewable energy and other valuable resources.
Each day, the facility processes up to 78t of organic matter, which is treated to produce biosolids – a valuable resource used as safe, sustainable fertiliser in broadacre agriculture.
As part of a three-year Water Corporation project announced by Water Minister, Simone McGurk, the facility will be progressively upgraded to treat 120t daily, keeping pace with a growing population as well as catering for higher future inflows.
Enhanced energy recovery technology will also be installed, allowing the facility to capture and reuse more biogas (mostly methane, which is naturally produced during the treatment process) as a renewable energy source.
The upgrades will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 5,600t CO₂-e annually, as less power will need to be purchased from the electricity grid to run the plant, supporting Water Corporation’s target of net zero emissions by 2035.
Centralising solids treatment at Woodman Point WRRF and improving treatment efficiency will also see around 1,000 fewer truck movements each year – further reducing emissions by around 1,300t of CO₂-e a year.
The project, to be delivered by Water Corporation joint venture partners Clough and Jacobs Group Australia, will create nearly 300 local jobs and see around $174 million spent with Western Australian subcontractors.
No longer seen as waste, wastewater is now treated and recycled as a fit-for-purpose resource used to alleviate pressure on valuable scheme water supplies. Water Corporation aims to recycle up to 35 per cent of all wastewater in the Perth metropolitan area by 2035.
Western Australia Water Minister, Simone McGurk, said, “People often don’t consider what happens to water once it’s flushed away, but the reality is there is considerable innovation in how Water Corporation treats, recycles and repurposes wastewater.
“The Woodman Point WRRF is a key piece of infrastructure servicing more than 900,000 homes and businesses in Perth’s south – and now it will set a new benchmark in sustainable resource recovery too.
“This $238.5 million investment by the State Government will create hundreds of jobs and help meet the needs of a growing population while reducing emissions, improving efficiency, and promoting wastewater as a valuable resource.
“Nearly half the plant’s energy needs will be generated on site, which is another significant step towards Water Corporation’s target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035,” Ms McGurk said.
Western Australia Member for Cockburn, David Scaife, said, “The Woodman Point WRRF plays an important role in servicing our community of Cockburn and beyond.
“As the largest water resource recovery facility in Western Australia, these upgrades will ensure it can meet the needs of the community in an efficient and sustainable way.
“Importantly, this project will cater for population growth in Perth’s booming southern corridor well into the future,” Mr Scaife said.
Featured image: Water Corporation Senior Principal Project Manager Metro Wastewater, Derek Upton; Western Australia Member for Cockburn, David Scaife; Western Australia Water Minister, Simone McGurk; Water Corporation Head of Treatment and Resource Recovery, Rino Trolio; Integrate Alliance Alliance Manager, Jason Fletcher.