Bathurst Water Filtration Plant’s biggest capital works program in 20 years took a step forward yesterday when council launched its $5 million Manganese Removal Project as part of Local Government Week.
Bathurst mayor Gary Rush said removing the manganese is a complex technical process that requires a significant upgrade to the existing plant and its equipment.
Council has worked closely with the NSW Department of Public Works to obtain the best technology to upgrade the facility. Local construction firm Eodo Pty Ltd won the tender to carry out the 18- month construction project to remove manganese from the water network.
Manganese is a naturally occurring element that enters into the system from the water catchment area.
However, when there is a build-up in pipes across the network, discoloured water can occur. Over time, the manganese is deposited on the walls of pipe work where it normally stays unless it is disturbed when high volumes of water are flushed through the pipes.
Cr Rush said until recently, the technology was not available to enable council to remove the manganese at the water filtration plant before it is released into the network.
“This is a high priority for council and will significantly boost the region’s already strong position as a thriving regional city,” he said.
“There is no better example of what local governments do. It is equally significant that a contract of this size, which requires this kind of expertise, has been awarded to a local contractor. It is testimony to the innovation and expertise that we have here in Bathurst.”
Cr Rush said council endeavours to support the local business community wherever it can.
Bruce Goddard of Eodo Pty Ltd said his company is proud to have had a good relationship with council since 1980.
“This is a very valuable contract for us to win,” he said.
“It means we can keep employing local staff and contractors without the need to travel further afield for work.”
Mr Goddard said the company has spent five months on the design, with on-site construction work about to begin.
“It is anticipated the actual construction will take around 15 months,” he said.
Council’s manager of water and waste Russell Deans said the awarding of the contract shows that the quality of contractors in the Bathurst region is as good as or better than those in Sydney.
The Bathurst firm Eodo first carried out work on the water filtration plant in 1990, which included the construction of a weir on the Macquarie River.