Parkes Shire Council's water projects in running for prestigious engineering awards

Parkes Shire Council is hoping to make a splash with its Parkes Integrated Water Infrastructure Renewal Program in several prestigious engineering award categories.

The program has successfully progressed through to the final round of judging in the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards and the Institute of Public Engineering Australasia Awards.

The $100m renewal of Parkes' urban water supply and sewerage schemes has seen a complete overhaul of the town’s entire urban water management network.

Many residents will be familiar with the more prolific elements of the works, such as the new Water Treatment Plant and the new Sewage Treatment Plant, which were open to the public in March.

The treatment plants provide a number of flow-on benefits to the community, including improved water and wastewater treatment, minimised operational costs, and enhanced environmental benefits.

The Advanced Water Recycling Facility (AWRF) and the new Recycled Water Scheme is another of council’s well-regarded project.

The Recycled Water Scheme creates a new drought-proof water supply for Parkes, which will enable selected parks and sporting fields to be maintained year-round.

The high-tech scheme will help council squeeze the most out of every drop and help reduce the costs of pumping and treating water.

Like the other new treatment plants, the AWRF is supported by solar PV systems to offset the energy requirements and expense of treating water.

The program also included a number of lesser-known projects, like the Lake Endeavour Dam Safety Upgrade, launched in 2015.

The dam wall was reinforced, and high-tech telemetry systems were integrated into an early warning system. Other raw water infrastructure was included in the raft of works.

The Lachlan River Borefield was upgraded with the Bore 8 refurbishment and the Lachlan River Pump Station was formalised in recent refurbishments.

Parkes Shire Council’s Director of Infrastructure, Andrew Francis said that the works have provided a steady stream of benefits to the local community.

“Not only do these works increase the quality and capacity of our water and wastewater management systems, the construction phase has also provided additional employment and skill development opportunities for local contractors,” he said.

“Sixty seven local businesses were engaged on these projects, and at least $25 million was spent within the region.

“Council is really proud of what we have managed to achieve with these projects, in terms of immediate amenity benefits, the local economic stimulation, but also the assets’ long-term legacy that will be enjoyed over generations.”

Parkes Shire Council has two nominations in the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards and three nominations in the Institute of Public Engineering Australasia Awards.

The awards are currently being assessed and winners will be announced later in the year.