Results from the first three months of the Groundwater Replenishment Trial at Beenyup in Western Australia have shown positive results, with all water samples meeting health and environmental guidelines.


The 265 samples were taken from the site after the first three months of the trial, which started in November 2010.


Water Minister Bill Marmion welcomed the results, and said if successful, groundwater replenishment could provide both a new major water source option and result in substantially increased water recycling.


“Put simply, what we are trialling could best be described as an innovative water recycling option where already highly treated wastewater is treated through desalination technology to an even higher level, recharged into the ground, ‘banked’ and taken out at a later date as drinking water,” Mr Marmion said.


“It is possible groundwater replenishment could contribute up to 28 billion litres of water per year to the Integrated Water Supply Scheme - enough to supply 140,000 homes - as a major new water source before the end of this decade.”


Over the next two years, the trial itself will add approximately 3.4 billion litres of water to groundwater supplies.


“These are very challenging times for our water supplies and the State Government is fully supportive of this trial, as the result could be a source option to rank alongside desalination and other possibilities,” the Minister said.


“While we are confident that technically this trial will prove groundwater replenishment is a viable option for the future, it is crucial we have the support of the community. Much effort is being put into ensuring that the community is fully aware of all the details and results of the trial as it unfolds.”


The trial is being overseen by the departments of Health; Water; and Environment and Conservation, and all results are being made publicly available via the Water Corporation’s website and on request.