New $6m facility

By Southern Riverina News

Finley is expected to get a new water treatment facility, conservatively estimated at more than $6 million, thanks to the promise of $4 million from the NSW Government.

Berrigan Shire Council has received a ‘‘commitment letter’’ for the funding from the government’s Safe and Secure Water program.

The remaining costs, which are yet to be finalised, are expected to be covered by council.

The existing treatment facility, which sits adjacent Finley Lake, was built in 1940 and council has highlighted it is in desperate need of an upgrade.

There have been reports of concrete failures.

The newly built treatment plan is expected to include improvements to automation, and will provide a dissolved air flotation (DAF) system.

Berrigan Shire director of technical services Matt Clarke said council has been working for 12 months to secure funding for a new treatment plant.

‘‘At the moment the water goes through sand filters, but with the changes the water will go through the DAF process which involves floating the solids to the surface of the water and then it gets treated,’’ Mr Clarke said.

‘‘It will be pretty much all automatic.’’

He said the existing plant was past its use by date, and that too justifies automation.

‘‘Finley will join Barooga and Tocumwal in using the DAF system, and there are plans to upgrade the Berrigan water treatment process, which is flagged for review in 2022/23.’’

Mr Clarke said while a timeline had not been confirmed for the Finley plant, he expects work to start next financial year.

‘‘We’re still in discussions with the Department of Primary Industries (which runs the Safe and Secure Water fund) and there’s still bit of paper work to do, but we should be getting stuck into it next year.’’

Mayor Matt Hannan said the funding promise is great news for Finley.

‘‘It’s an extremely important commitment from the government and for the town,’’ Cr Hannan said.

‘‘That facility is about 80 years old and needs to be redeveloped. We’ve committed to part funding it, so that just shows when we work in a partnership we can get things done.

‘‘The water treatment facility is critical infrastructure for Finley because servicing the drinking water is vital for town’s residents.

‘‘Finley’s water treatment plant was the number one priority of projects we needed to fund.’’

An application for funding for the Barooga water treatment facility was also made, but was unsuccessful.

The Barooga project is designed to double its capacity, to cater for the town’s rising population.

Cr Hannan said council would continue to campaign state and federal governments on this project.

‘‘Barooga’s is equally important and we still need to do some work there, because there are issues we need to address,’’ Cr Hannan said.