WANNON Water’s largest ever project in the city of Portland has finally been completed at the new $13.5 million reclamation plant.
The massive facility on the city’s western outskirts has come online replacing an old and outdated environmentally-hazardous system of lagoon reeds.
Wannon Water bosses, alongside South West Coast MP and Premier Denis Napthine, cut the ribbon on the plant yesterday inside a marquee beaten by gale-force winds.
Wannon Water chairman John Vogels told The Standard the project had been a long time coming.
“The reed system wasn’t working very well. It wasn’t meeting EPA requirements,” Mr Vogels said.
The plant also needed upgrading to meet the demand of connecting the sewerage network to Dutton Way out in the city’s east, which until now had been serviced by septic tanks.
Mr Vogels said water bills would be unaffected by the massive works.
“We’ve already said there will be no increase above CPI for the next four years,” he said.
The water authority has spent $20 million on fixing assets in the city since 2011. The new plant uses micro-organisms to consume sewage while aeration treatment destroys harmful bacteria.
Drinking-quality water is then pumped into the ocean while biosolids are stored to be used as soil conditioner on nearby farms.
Dr Napthine told The Standard the plant, along with the improved scheme at Dutton Way, would encourage business in the city.
“It’ll be treating waste water and sewage and dividing it into biosolids that can be re-used and recycled and making sure the water component is up to an environmentally-acceptable standard,” Dr Napthine said.
“The most important thing is it provides the waste water capacity for further business growth and residential growth for Portland.”
The plant will service Portland’s 5200 sewage connections.