Supplying safe water to all communities

How we deliver water to minor centres

Drinking water for the 13 minor urban centres in the NT comes through underground water deposits called aquifers. This water is pumped to the surface using submersible pumps installed below ground in bores.

Once the water reaches the surface it is treated to meet Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and then stored before it is delivered to homes and businesses.

Like all natural resources, water is precious. As our climate changes, so does the rate that the aquifers replenish. We need to work together to conserve water in our major and minor urban centres.

Though the landscape and vast distance always remain a challenge, we are investing in innovation to deliver clean, safe and clear water to our customers in major and minor urban centres.

Wayne Sharp | Acting Senior Water Treatment Engineer, Power and Water

We treat our water to ensure it's safe to drink straight from the tap

Minor centres: Water sourced from groundwater. It is then treated, tested, stored and delivered to homes

Clean water through innovation: A case study of Adelaide River

In 2015, Power and Water commissioned Australia’s first biological filtration plant to supply water to the Adelaide River region. Groundwater near the town contained elevated levels of iron and manganese and the water appeared discoloured and had an unpleasant taste. Today, the filtration plant delivers 1.1 million litres of safe drinking water every day.

Two types of Indigenous bacteria are used in the filtering process, one to remove iron and the other to remove manganese.

The bacteria grows within a layer of sand in a reactor, which then oxidises the dissolved minerals into particles that are captured in the sand, allowing the clean water to pass through.

This innovative biological filtration process produces clean water quickly, without the need for chemical additives.

Overcoming distance to provide clean water to Borroloola

A new treatment plant was built in the community of Borroloola in 2018 to provide safe drinking water to its approximately 900 residents. Power and Water’s innovative and expert teams overcame the challenges of the remote location to build the $6.4 million plant.

The plant was built in container modules which were assembled and tested in Darwin, some 900kms away. The modules were then transported by road train to Borroloola before final integration and commissioning.

A 16-week validation and testing period took place in Borroloola to ensure the water produced by the treatment plant met design specifications and improved the overall mineral balance disinfection of the water before going to local homes and businesses.

The system is designed to supply up to three million litres of improved drinking water per day. The upgrade will secure Borroloola’s water supply system for the next 30 years and also incorporates the ability to service Garawa town camps into the future.