McMahon set to pump up the volume

Construction is about to start on a new pump station at the Darwin River Dam, 70 km south of the Northern Territory capital.

The territory’s water utility, Power and Water, has awarded the design and construction contract to civil contractor, McMahon Services Australia (NT), part of a privately owned company with 14 offices throughout Australia and New Zealand, employing 1000 people.

Up to 100 people are expected to be involved during the design and build phases of the pump station, including sub-contractors. The pump station, according to the NT Government, is part of a $36 million multi-year project to increase pumping capacity and support water supply to the Darwin region.

The Darwin River Dam, now 50 years old, was constructed in 1972 and supplies 85% of the Darwin region’s water while the other 15% is sourced from the McMinns and Howard East borefields. The project has been designed to complement the Manton Dam Return to Service and Adelaide River Off-stream Water Storage projects.

Built in the 1940’s, the Manton Dam was Darwin’s primary water source prior to the Darwin River Dam’s construction and has been used for recreation since the 1980’s, but maintained for potential future water supply.

Power and Water will commence stakeholder engagement in the coming months to round out the environmental assessment referral process for the return to service project. The Manton Dam project will involve a refurbished intake tower, new pumping station and pipelines, and a new water treatment plant.

Image: Darwin River Dam. Source: Power and Water

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is the Editor of Concrete in Australia and at the helm of our magazine for 8 years. She was behind the Institute's weekly news bulletins from 2016-2021 and is now writing our focused news items. Desi has been an engineering news and features journalist/editor across all disciplines since 2013 - part of a 30-year career writing for a wide range of industries.