$250m Derwent Water Supply upgrade opened

THE Derwent Valley will continue to supply drinking water to greater Hobart for generations to come, following the official opening of the $250m upgrade to the Bryn Estyn Water Treatment Plant just outside New Norfolk. Doing the honours last Friday, state premier Jeremy Rockliff said the monumental project had been one of Tasmania’s largest infrastructure upgrades and would ensure a secure water supply for Hobart and surrounding communities.

“The Bryn Estyn Water Treatment Plant upgrade is a step towards future-proofing water supply to greater Hobart for the next half-century,” Mr Rockliff said, noting that the upgraded plant had the capacity to provide 160 million litres of water daily.

Deputy premier and infrastructure minister Michael Ferguson said about 1500 people had been directly employed on the upgrade and an another 500 workers were indirectly supported by the project. “At its peak, about 150 individuals were working on-site, contributing their skills and labour to make Bryn Estyn a reality,” Mr Ferguson said.

“What makes this achievement even more remarkable is about 70 per cent of the contracted work for this project was awarded to Tasmanian companies. This is not just about improving our infrastructure; it’s about boosting our local economy and providing a strong foundation for future growth,” he said.

Mr Ferguson said TasWater had successfully completed the project on time and within budget, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in its early stages. “This achievement showcases the abundant talent within Tasmania’s local workforce and the ability to build world-class infrastructure within the region,” he said.

“The Bryn Estyn Water Treatment Plant upgrade marks a significant step forward in ensuring the availability of safe and reliable drinking water for southern Tasmania. This achievement demonstrates Tasmania’s unwavering dedication to its residents’ wellbeing and sets a shining example for water management projects nationwide.”

In May 2018, the Tasmanian Liberal Government made a commitment to invest $200 million of equity into TasWater over a span of 10 years, and it is this investment that has paved the way for projects like the upgrade to Bryn Estyn.

The original Bryn Estyn water treatment plant was built by the then Hobart Metropolitan Water Board in 1962, with its capacity increased in 1972 and 1992. The water board was eventually renamed Hobart Water, then Southern Water and finally TasWater. The original 1962 “water board” workers’ homes at Bryn Estyn were demolished to make way for the current upgrade.

Pictured: Premier Jeremy Rockliff, left, unveiling a plaque commemorating the completion of the Bryn Estyn water treatment plant upgrade.

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