Newman Water Treatment Plant

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BHP engaged GHD to assist with delivering a long-term potable water supply to the Newman township and nearby Mt Whaleback mining operations.

Newman had an ion exchange treatment plant which had been decommissioned. GHD identified an optimal replacement system, consisting of a temporary containerised brackish water reverse osmosis (BWRO) treatment process.

Multiple options were considered for a permanent plant, including electrodialysis reversal (EDR) and BWRO. The outcome was delivery of a 16.5 ML/d BWRO plant with media filtration pre-treatment.

The project presented numerous technical challenges, including:

  • Limited space presented construction and operability challenges associated with locating the replacement water treatment plant at the same site, while maintaining supply of water to town
  • Identifying a cost effective desalination technology for this location
  • Adapting to a fly in/fly out work pattern for staff during the construction phase

GHD’s extensive background knowledge of this project, technical experience, and understanding of BHP’s requirements, enabled this project to be delivered efficiently. Our approach included:

  • Placing an emphasis on effective communication with BHP and having numerous client workshops to discuss critical matters
  • Keeping the tender document open for tenderers to put forward their preferred process technology, to allow the market to determine value-for-money and technically strong designs
  • Close involvement throughout the project lifecycle, from feasibility stage to proof of completion

Water Treatment & Desalination


All untreated water sources have unique water quality characteristics. So we’ve assembled a team with extensive practical experience in water treatment covering chemistry, biology, hydraulics, process selection, control, residuals handling and plant layout.

Our track record includes plant capacities of 0.1 MLD to over 2500 MLD. We’ve dedicated our efforts to more than 300 treatment plants over the past 60 years. Our services include design of water treatment process solutions as diverse as Dissolved Air Floatation Filtration (DAFF), Ozone/Biological Filtration and Desalination (using Reverse Osmosis or Electrodialysis Reversal).

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