Local News

PFAS Water Treatment Plant Reaches Significant Milestone


Katherine’s pilot PFAS water treatment plant has successfully treated over 1 billion litres of groundwater.

The treatment plant, which has been in operation since October 2017, has ensured drinking water sourced from groundwater has been safely provided to Katherine residents and visitors for almost three years.

Supplied by the Department of Defence, the 1 million litres per day pilot plant uses leading ion exchange technology, which will also be used in the new world first 10 million litres per day treatment plant currently under construction in Katherine.

During its operation the plant has not discharged any waste streams into the environment, which means it is a very safe and reliable system.

ECT2 – Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies - provided the pilot plant and has also been engaged to deliver the new and significantly larger plant designed to meet future water demand over a 30-year planning horizon.

Power and Water, Water Services Manager Assets Skefos Tsoukalis said this was an exciting milestone for all involved and in particular for the Katherine community.

“To continue providing safe drinking water for Katherine residents is a huge responsibility for Power and Water,” he said.

“It has been a very difficult and challenging few years for everyone while we came to terms with the PFAS contamination issue and how it could be managed. It hasn’t been an easy road for the community.”

The Katherine community was praised for being supportive of the compulsory conservation measures introduced to help protect the water supply.

Under these measures, demand was reduced by 20 per cent, about 2,000,000 litres per day.

“We need to keep working together to be water smart to maintain a safe drinking water supply,” Mr Tsoukalis said.

“Katherine residents have become great water efficiency champions, demonstrating tremendous responsibility in valuing this precious resource – thank you for your support and patience, and sharing this obligation to help keep water use down.

“While it’s been a long journey, we can be confident in the long-term solution for Katherine with proven technology and that’s a great achievement.”

The new treatment plant is due to be fully commissioned early next year.