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The Western Australian Government has announced completion of two electrodialysis reversal (EDR) water treatment plants in the Murchison region, delivered by Water Corporation. 

The two completed projects will ensure the Cue and Sandstone regions receive higher quality water. 

 As part of the Western Australian Government’s $24 million program to improve water quality in the region, the new plants use the EDR process to reduce naturally occurring nitrates and salinity in groundwater.

These new plants follow the successful commissioning of a similar plant in Mount Magnet in late 2020, with another plant in Meekatharra expected to be online by early 2022.

Western Australian Water Minister, Dave Kelly, said, “We’ve listened to the community and delivered a project that will provide higher quality water to Cue and Sandstone residents long into the future. 

“These plants represent part of a $24 million investment by the McGowan Government to improve water quality across the region and will soon be followed by the remaining plant in Meekatharra. 

“It’s also fantastic to see Cue and Sandstone join the Waterwise Towns program and I would encourage residents to take advantage of the free Showerhead Swap program to help reduce their household water use.”

EDR plants already operating in the northern Goldfields communities of Yalgoo and Wiluna have helped reduce nitrate levels in drinking water by as much as 75 per cent.

Cue’s plant, like those in Mount Magnet and Meekatharra, is powered by renewable energy, reducing carbon emissions, lowering operating costs, and allowing the site to operate during network power outages. 

To mark the plant’s commissioning, Cue and Sandstone have also been added to Water Corporation’s 2021-22 Waterwise Towns program. 

Cue residents can now exchange old, inefficient showerheads for waterwise alternatives under a program called Showerhead Swap, with Sandstone’s free plumbing service due to launch soon. 

Since mid-2017, the Western Australian Government has invested $152 million in new water infrastructure in the Mid-West, and a further $87 million has been allocated to water projects across the region over the next four years. 

Western Australian Mining and Pastoral Region MLC, Peter Foster, said, “This is a very welcome announcement that has real benefits for the Murchison region.

“Powering these plants through renewables not only reduces carbon emissions, it also means they are self-sufficient and powered during outages, ensuring a more reliable supply of quality water for the residents.”

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