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Wilcannia sewerage upgrade to begin construction

Work is about to get underway to overhaul the Hood and Martin Street sewage pump stations in Wilcannia to protect the beautiful Darling Baaka River as part of the landmark Wilcannia Weir Replacement Project.

The stormwater mitigation works are a key piece of the integrated, system-wide approach for Wilcannia’s water security and wastewater management, delivering a low-maintenance, affordable and reliable solution to protect against effluent overflows in the event of a power failure or blockage.

The NSW Government is installing pipework and two new high-powered diesel pumps that will automatically spring into action if the underground effluent reaches a high level, preventing untreated waste from entering the stormwater system.

Experienced company Pensar won the contract, with the tender advertisement targeted at organisations with significant local workforces and TAFE graduates.

The wider Wilcannia Weir Replacement Project is a joint initiative between the NSW and Australian Governments.

The new weir will be built five kilometres downstream and will include a fishway to support healthier downstream flows, enabling native fish to travel up and down the river, while also improving town supply water through state-of-the-art engineering.

Construction on the stormwater mitigation works is expected to be completed by early 2024.

Quotes attributable to Lisa Hingerty, Acting Executive Director of Development, NSW Department of Planning and Environment - Water:

“It sounds simple, but this upgrade will provide vital protection for the local environment in the short term and the new downstream weir pool in the long term by ensuring sewage doesn’t get into the stormwater drains and end up in the river.

“While we continue to finalise engineering and design work for the new weir, it’s important we ensure other parts of the project aren’t held up any longer which is why getting construction started on the stormwater mitigation works is a huge win for the community.

“Residents can have greater peace of mind knowing local water quality will be safeguarded from contamination now and down the track thanks to this improved sewerage infrastructure.

“The river is the lifeblood of this community and we’re delivering on our promise to provide training and employment opportunities at every milestone by creating jobs for local people.

“The old weir was built in 1942 and is no longer fit for purpose in supplying the town with a reliable water source, particularly during droughts, which is why the NSW and Australian Governments remain fully committed to building a new one.”

Town of Wilcannia.
Upgrade to begin.