Funding flows in for water 

PORT Stephens's reputation as the Hunter's largest supplier of drinking water has been further cemented after Hunter Water announced a $40.1 million injection into the Port's water and sewer network.

It comes as part of Hunter Water's $300 million infrastructure program for the next four years, which has just been given approval by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW.

Grahamstown Dam is the Hunter's main drinking water supply dam and the $40.1 million injection will pave the way for further development of both Port Stephens and the Hunter.

It will ensure that essential infrastructure is in place to improve reliability and cope with population increase and demand.

Port Stephens MP Craig Baumann had been pushing for the funding and said it was essential for the area.

"The community can't grow and develop without this infrastructure," he said.

Hunter Water managing director Kim Wood echoed the importance of the project and also the connection of Williamtown RAAF Base to the sewer system, which is currently in progress.

"We are in one of the highest growth areas," he said

"The JSF [Joint Strike Fighters], the airport expansion - it can't happen without this."

Mr Baumann said that the infrastructure was also needed to accommodate growth from the Kings Hill development.

Of the $40.1 million allocated, $5 million will go towards the Grahamstown Hunter Water Treatment Plant, the lower Hunter's largest water treatment plant, which provides water to 225,000 residents.

The plant also provides up to 257 million litres of water per day.

The money will be used to upgrade the alum and fluoride dosing to ensure water reaches residents free from potential pollutants.

A further $3.5 million will fund an electrical upgrade to ensure pumps are up to date and working correctly.

Other money will be spent on upgrading the Raymond Terrace wastewater storage ponds ($5 million), constructing a new pipe between Williamtown and Fern Bay ($1.8 million) and installing a new UV disinfection system at the Karuah Waste Water Treatment Works ($1.4 million).

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