Mayors drink to the future

AS TasWater prepares to bring online its massive new water treatment plant at Bryn Estyn in the Derwent Valley, it’s begun introducing the complex to its customers.

On Monday this week, the mayors and general managers of eight southern Tasmania councils – its primary customers got an up close and personal view of the upgraded facility.

At $243.9 million, it’s the largest single project ever undertaken by TasWater, with the capacity to deliver daily more than 160 million litres of water to in excess of 200,000 people.

“It’s wonderful to see a project of this scope and importance being realised right here,” Derwent Valley Mayor, Michelle Dracoulis said.

“That this essential resource can now be utilised to service the communities of southern Tasmania gives me great pride.”

The treatment plant is built in a large U- shape around the brick and concrete structures of the original 1960s facility, four kilometres upstream from New Norfolk.

Water taken from the Derwent is processed through three water clarifiers, an ozone con- tact tank and eight new filtration units. Ultra violet light, ozone gas and a carbon treatment system are part of a pro- cess that takes out solids and brown tannins.

On Monday’s tour, TasWater’s general manager project delivery Tony Willmott told mayors the plant could cater for future drinking water demand as their municipal populations grow.

“The pure waters of the Derwent are a prominent part of our regional identity. The river is part of who we are,” Mrs Dracoulis said after the tour. “It’s the responsibility of all to protect this system and ensure clean water security for future Tasmanians.”

Sitting in the hillside behind the new works is a million-litre silt retention pond, where sol- ids captured during treatment are pumped to dry out before disposal.

An interim pump station, new power switchyard and roughly 20,000 metres of new pipework much of it a massive 1400 mm in diameter have been added to the site.

Linking and governing the entire operation is a battery of mechanical and electrical systems, not the least of which is a high voltage electric fence that surrounds the plant.

Bryn Estyn sends water down the West Derwent pipeline to gravity-feed Hobart from the hills above. On the other side, the Southern Regional Pipeline takes water to municipalities in the south and east.

TasWater says the project is on track to be tested and commissioned in the next few months. The plant will meet demand for the next 50 years.

Bryn Estyn is the original Derwent Valley farm on which TasWater’s treatment plant is built.

It was settled by a Welsh- man, Lieutenant Henry Lloyd, and the homestead built in the 1840s. Bryn Estyn translates from the Welsh as “long hill”.