Article: Arsenic-free water: A major goal for Far North Queensland town
When arsenic levels in the drinking water supply for the Far North Queensland town of Chillagoe were found to exceed recommended levels, it was clear a failsafe solution was paramount. In response, Mareeba Shire Council engaged Amiad Water Systems, a recognised industry leader in the areas of potable water treatment, to design, construct and commission an arsenic filtration plant that would enable the township to enjoy not only a fresh water supply, but also incalculable long-term health benefits.
“Although a naturally occurring element that can be introduced into water through the dissolution of minerals and ores, elevated levels of arsenic consumption through drinking-water has been linked to the development of serious issues such as bladder, kidney and lung cancer,” says Russell Fisher, Process & Project Engineer, Amiad. “With such major health consequences in mind, it was clear we had to design a solution that would remove all aspect of risk.”
With a population of 227, the former mining town of Chillagoe sources its water from a local bore field that registers arsenic levels in the range of 0.010-0.020mg/L, exceeding Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. Design specifications called for the plant to achieve levels of less than 0.005 mg/L. Constructed in 2014 and commissioned in March 2015, the plant was part of the Queensland Government’s Royalties for the Regions funding program, with a focus in installing a new water plant with an arsenic-removal facility.
“To achieve the desired target we proposed a system of Chlorination, Ferric Chloride Dosing, DMI65 Catalytic Media Filtration and Cartridge Filter Polishing,” explains Fisher. “The supplied plant is fully automatic and controlled by an Allen-Bradley PLC (programmable logic controller) with a Schneider PC / Touch Screen loaded with Citect Software, for local and remote operation.”
To view the related case study for arsenic free water.