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Water Quality Improvement Project

At Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, water management has been a major focus.

Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal Pty Ltd (DBCT P/L) and Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal Management (DBCTM) committed to undertake a Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) to investigate and implement a broad range of initiatives that result in water management enhancements onsite.

The WQIP has been implemented in three phases during the past three years, with an environmental investment of approximately $55 million.

Some of the significant new WQIP infrastructure initiatives that have been completed include:

  • The construction of a new 840 mega litre Rail Loop Dam (RLD) in the DBCT rail loop. Developed as a ‘turkey’s nest’ style dam, the purpose of the RLD is to store excess site water transferred via a gravity fed pipeline from the Quarry Dam (QD) during the wet season. Water can then be pumped back from the RLD when needed for dust suppression purposes in the drier parts of the year. The RLD does not harvest water from Grendon Creek, Lake Barfield, or any other natural water sources.
  • The raising of the existing QD wall by 5 metres, resulting in an additional 170 mega litres of additional water storage capacity.
  • Installation of new high flow transfer pumps to quickly transfer water harvested from the ID up to the QD to quickly lower the ID water level following heavy rainfall events.
  • Expansion of the Industrial Dam (ID) coal recovery infrastructure, which allows for settled coal in the floor of the ID to be periodically removed after the water harvesting and recycling process, resulting in more buffer storage capacity and improved water quality.

One initiative that greatly improves the quality of the water harvested in the ID during rain events is the new flocculant (floc) plant at the ID. Floc is used to encourage coal fines to settle to the bottom of the pits and cells for removal from the water management system.  In rain events, this will help improve the quality of the water if a discharge occurs.

Combined, these projects have considerably reduced the likelihood of future exceedances of total suspended solids from Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, and have demonstrated our commitment to achieving compliance with our environmental licence to operate.