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Desalination plant trials next week

Shane Hopley, Justin Hayman and Murray Nicholls helping to install the new reverse osmosis desalination plant at Bourke waterworks this week. Desalinated bore water will be trialled through the town’s treated water supply next week. Photo TWH

The Bourke desalination plant installed as part of the drought-proofing strategy for Bourke will be commissioned and begin trials early next month.

Bourke Council General Manager Ross Earl said the plant will be operational for four days from May 4th to May 8th when the treated water from Walkden’s and Stoney Rise bores will be used for the town’s filtered water supply - an historic milestone for Bourke after the challenges the town faced when the river levels dropped to critical levels during the drought.

Once commissioned the town will return to the river supply and the desalination plant be mothballed until needed for the next drought.

“With the river flowing and a further rise expected this week it is sometimes easy to forget just how dire the situation was in Bourke, with the town at one stage identified as the most likely to run out of water in the state,” Mr Earl said.

Manager of Water and Waste Services Peter Brown said the plant will play an important part in making sure Bourke’s water supply meet rigorous safety standards and will be ready at the flick of a switch should water quality reach critical levels.

Read more in the printed edition of the Western Herald.

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