20th August 2015

Media release

The NSW Division of Resources and Energy has approved, with conditions, an application by Santos for a water management project known as the Leewood Produced Water Treatment and Beneficial Re-use Project.

This project is on Santos' Leewood property 24 kilometres south of Narrabri.

In addition to the standard conditions to ensure there is no significant impact on the environment for this project the Division has included the following conditions:

  • A Water Treatment Plan submitted and approved by the Division in consultation with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and the Department of Primary Industries prior to the operation of the water treatment plant.
  • An Irrigation Management Plan submitted to and approved prior to undertaking the proposed irrigation. This plan is to be developed in accordance with the EPA's Use of Effluent by Irrigation Guidelines (2003).
  • An additional groundwater monitoring bore installed directly north of the irrigation area to monitor any groundwater impacts in this area.
  • A Brine Disposal Management Plan submitted to and approved by the Division within six months of the date of this approval.

The Leewood Project involves building and operating a facility to treat produced water extracted from gas exploration activities. The REF for the water treatment plant includes:

  • a reverse osmosis plant and brine concentrator;
  • associated pipework to transfer water and bring around the facility;
  • treated water storage; and
  • an irrigation system.

Treated water will be reused for irrigation purposes on the Leewood property, dust suppression, drilling, construction activities and firefighting.

As part of the assessment the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Department of Planning and Environment (DPE), Department of Primary Industries (including DPI Water) and NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) were consulted.

The documents associated with the approval will be published on the Division of Resources and Energy's DIGS database.