A quick and proven solution was required to provide the Katherine township with secure and safe drinking water. Defence agreed to provide a treatment system to meet the need. The speed at which the treatment system needed to be fabricated and deployed, the means of transporting the system to Australia, and the evolving needs of PWC represented significant challenges that required innovative solutions. ECT2, Defence and PWC formed a close partnership to finalise design, fabrication, transport, installation and commissioning of the treatment system within four months of PFAS being identified in the drinking water supply.
The emerging nature of PFAS resulted in community members and some regulators expressing concerns regarding the effectiveness of the water treatment system and whether the treatment process would simply solve the issue of low levels of PFAS in the water supply by concentrating PFAS on media which then had to stored due to limitations on disposal or destruction options, particularly in the NT. These concerns were managed though ongoing and close communication with all stakeholders and working with PWC, and Defence where relevant, to provide information to stakeholders, including the community, as well as opportunities to view the treatment system.