A changing environment

A booming population and climate change are impacting Perth’s water security. The city of 2 million people is one of the fastest-growing cities in Australia, yet it has seen a simultaneous reduction in annual rainfall of around 20 per cent over the past 50 years. This reduction in available surface water has greatly affected groundwater levels and led to long-term drying. As a result, sustainable approaches are needed to guarantee the city’s long-term water security.

Water Corporation identified groundwater replenishment as a priority in its strategic plan Water Forever and following the successful three-year Groundwater Replenishment Trial, constructed the first stage of its scheme.

SUEZ experts and engineering company Clough joined forces to construct the Advanced Water Recycling Plant as part of the second stage of the scheme. This project doubled the plant’s capacity to up to 28 GL/year while maintaining the safety, reliability and efficiency of the operational first stage.

The project benefited from SUEZ’s team of local and international experts in advanced water recycling from conception through to completion.

Leading minds in the field developed market-changing water technology for the world’s driest continent, and paved the way for the future of sustainable drinking water that doesn’t rely on rainfall.


Global expertise

The Clough-SUEZ Joint Venture was tasked with constructing a second Advanced Water Recycling Plant and fitting out four new recharge bores. Specialist drilling experts were engaged to drill the bores and construct a 13km pipeline connecting them with the new plant. Water that is further treated to drinking water standards is recharged through the bores into underground aquifers for storage until it’s ready to be abstracted for use as drinking water.
Drawing on a wide range of global expertise, SUEZ engineers designed a plant that uses a three-stage process to treat secondary treated wastewater using ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet treatments.

The new plant is a duplicate of the original but treats water 5 per cent more efficiently while still meeting strict health guidelines.

On top of these productivity gains, the project team also wanted to future-proof the plant’s operability. The team created a far more user-friendly layout, meaning the plant operators will be able to better operate and maintain this asset thanks to improved access.

In addition, the team was able to satisfy all health and performance criteria within the project timeline, and SUEZ controlled all risk factors from design through to commissioning.  

Above and beyond

A water reuse facility that doesn't rely on rainfall and has the potential to recycle large volumes of water naturally and sustainably is the future of water management.

SUEZ and Clough built on and improved the original plant’s performance, focusing on maximising the plant’s recharge capacity as well as improving safety for operations and maintenance access.

The project has shown that advanced water treatment and recharge is a viable and sustainable option for any forward-thinking global city. The plant is now a baseline for advanced treatment of recycled water. It shows that not only can this kind of sustainable water technology be put into place effectively, but that SUEZ can help cities scale their water infrastructure to manage growth and changing environmental conditions.

The Advanced Water Recycling Plant (Stage 2) won the Australian Water Association (WA) Infrastructure Project Innovation Award (Metro) for 2020. Water Corporation’s overall Groundwater Replenishment Scheme (Stage 2) also won an Australian Engineering Excellence Award for 2020.

The Advanced Water Recycling Plant Stage 2 is robust and of a high standard. It is more efficient than the Stage 1 and features improved operability. The SUEZ team demonstrated impressive attention to detail throughout the project and we are really pleased with the outcome.
Kimberley Siew , Project Manager, Water Corporation of Western Australia