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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Public works institute recognises Bega Council water project and leadership

Australia’s peak professional engineering body has recognised the development of Council’s temporary water treatment plant in Brogo at its annual awards.

The Institute of Public Works and Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) presented Council with a Highly Commended award for its innovative delivery of potable water to the shire’s north in difficult circumstances.

Council’s Water and Sewerage Services Manager, Chris Best said the award reflects the capacity of a skilled and dedicated team to keep clean water running when it was needed most.

“One of the less thought about impacts from the Black Summer bushfires was the damaging effect it had on our drinking water catchments,” Mr Best said.

“As the fires swept through the shire’s north, much of the catchment supplying Cobargo, Bermagui, Quaama and the Wallaga Lake area was heavily damaged, leaving the water dirty and unsafe to drink.

“Our medium-term solution was to develop a temporary water treatment plant that used a basic but effective technology called flocculation to separate solids from the water supply.

“While the rapid design and construction of this back-to-basics approach earned us an award, it was the hard work of our operations team that enabled us to keep the water flowing.

“Time spent operating a treatment plant using flocculation technology in multiple flood events gave us an insight into what we needed to build for a permanent solution.

“The new Brogo-Bermagui water treatment plant currently being constructed will be the second in the shire to deliver a three-point treatment process, involving flocculation, filtration, and disinfection. Together, these three treatment stages will put an end to boil water notices in the shire’s north.”

Mr Best’s leadership of the Water and Sewerage Services team was also recognised, with a Highly Commended in the Dave Abbott Award reflecting an innovative approach to finding solutions.

“It’s always nice to be acknowledged in this way, but really this is an award shared among the many people who worked night and day to deliver clean drinking water.

“Despite these awards, there have been times when a temporary solution hasn’t been enough to avoid boil water notices, but with technology, hard work and a skilled team, many have been avoided.”

To learn more about the Brogo water treatment and filtration plant upgrade, go to:

Above: Work underway at the new Brogo water treatment and filtration plant

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