Recycled water win for Broome ratepayers

Published on 11 December 2023

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Picture: Shire CEO Sam Mastrolembo, Kimblerly MP Divina D'Anna, Minister for Water Simone McGurk, and Watercorp Regional Manager Sharon Broad.

Water Minister Simone McGurk visited Broome to officially announce the completion of the wastewater treatment plant upgrades to the Broome North Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF). The expansion was required due to the closure of the Broome South WRRF which without it, the Shire would have incurred significant additional costs per annum on irrigation to public open spaces. 

Shire of Broome CEO Sam Mastrolembo, who attended the opening, thanked the State Government and Water Corporation for subsidising the cost of non-potable water for public spaces and sports grounds. 

The Shire had previously used free treated effluent from the South Broome WRRF to irrigate Haynes Oval, the Broome golf course, BRAC sports grounds, and St Mary's College playing fields. 

The decision to close that facility meant the Shire and Broome Golf Club were faced with having to switch to the town water scheme at approximately $400,000 and 

$800,000 per annum, respectively, which would have significantly burdened the Shire's annual budget. 

But after sustained Lobbying by the Shire over several years, the State Government announced a $9.7 million allocation for the new non-potable water scheme to replace the effluent reuse water scheme. 

Mr Mastrolembo said the agreement is a massive win for the Shire and ratepayers. 

"There's been a Lot achieved in partnership with the State Government during the Last seven years, but this non-­potable water supply coming back into town is by far the biggest achievement we've delivered together." 

Non-potable water is cleaner than the treated effluent previously sourced from the South Broome WRRF. While unsuitable for drinking, it is safe for gardens and Lawns, flushing toilets and cleaning anything unrelated to food consumption and does not produce any odour. 

The upgrades to Broome North WRRF have significantly increased Water Coroporation's capacity to treat all of Broome's wastewater, including during significant rainfall. The town's wastewater diverts to the plant through a new 12km underground pipeline installed by Local Aboriginal­owned contractor Kimberley Civil and Drainage. 

Minister McGurk said the Broome North WRRF is an essential milestone in supporting the town's Long-term economic development. 

"This Water Corporation project has future-proofed Broome's water infrastructure and delivered a sustainable solution to irrigate its green spaces, providing environmental, community and tourism benefits," she said.

The plant also benefits the community by using recycled water to irrigate Rhodes grass hay sold to cattle stations, with the proceeds used to fund Water Corporation Community Grants. 




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