Work has begun on a $238.5 million upgrade of Western Australia’s largest water resource recovery facility, setting a new benchmark in sustainably converting wastewater into clean water, renewable energy, and other valuable resources.
Commonly known as a wastewater treatment plant, Water Corporation’s Woodman Point Water Resource Recovery Facility in Munster collects and treats 150 million litres of wastewater daily from around 900,000 homes and businesses in Perth’s southern suburbs.
WA Water Minister Simone McGurk stated: “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 Water Resource Recovery Facility 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.”
Each day, the facility processes up to 78 tonnes 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 120 tonnes 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 5,600 tonnes of 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 1,300 tonnes 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 WA 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.