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PFAS Investigation &
Management Program

Katherine Water Management

Katherine Management Activities

Katherine Town Water


The Katherine town water supply is primarily sourced from the Katherine River, supplemented with treated groundwater.

Defence is undertaking an environmental investigation to understand the nature and extent of PFAS at RAAF Base Tindal and nearby areas. During the course of this investigation PFAS was detected in Katherine’s ground water. Since ground water comprises only a small proportion of Katherine’s town water supply, Northern Territory and federal health authorities have confirmed that the town water is safe to drink.

As a precaution, Defence has introduced a range of water management measures. These measures will ensure that the Katherine town water remains safe to drink.

Water Treatment Plants

Katherine Water Corporation
Treatment Plant

Defence, in collaboration with NT Power and Water Corporation, installed a groundwater treatment plant in Katherine to supplement peak demands and improve security of the current supply. The plant became fully operational in November 2017 and has supplied treated water through Katherine's reticulated water system continuously since then.

The plant filters PFAS from bore water before it is blended with water from the Katherine River at the NT Power and Water Corporation’s water treatment plant to supplement the town water supply. The Katherine town water supply is usually a mixture of Katherine River water (90%) and bore water (10%). Around 1 million litres of bore water is being treated every day, with the final blend of treated bore water and river water carefully monitored by NT Power and Water Corporation to ensure that PFAS levels in the Katherine water supply continue to remain below the health based guidance values.

Further information on the Power and Water Corporation PFAS water testing can be found on the Northern Territory Power and Water Website.

To secure the long-term water supply for Katherine, Defence has agreed to provide funding to NT Power and Water Corporation for a new PFAS treatment plant capable of supplying all of Katherine’s water needs by delivering up to 10 million litres per day. It is expected this treatment plant will be completed by NT Power and Water Corporation by the end of 2019.

2019 Water Sampling Results

The Water Sampling Summaries track the PFAS concentrations against the limits defined by the relevant adopted drinking water screening criteria. They include results for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonic acid (6:2 FTS) and the sum of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS).

The water quality data is drawn from water samples on both untreated and treated water. The summaries of water sampling results can be downloaded below.

2017 - 2018 Water Sampling Results

The Water Sampling Summaries track the PFAS concentrations against the limits defined by the relevant adopted drinking water screening criteria. They include results for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonic acid (6:2 FTS) and the sum of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS).

The water quality data is drawn from water samples on both untreated and treated water. The summaries of water sampling results can be downloaded below.

Fire Training Area Water Treatment Plant

Fire Station Area water treatment plant
Fire Training Area water treatment plant

Since February 2019, a water treatment plant has been operating at the RAAF Base Tindal Fire Training Area. The plant treats around one million litres of groundwater each day and re-injects treated water into the underground aquifer.

The plant was developed by Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies (ECT2). More information about the treatment technology is available on the ECT2 website.

Water Sampling Results

The Water Sampling Summaries track the PFAS concentrations against the limits defined by the relevant adopted drinking water screening criteria. They include results for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonic acid (6:2 FTS) and the sum of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS).

The water quality data is drawn from water samples on both untreated and treated water. The summaries of water sampling results can be downloaded below.

Fire Station Area Water Treatment Plant

Fire Station Area water treatment plant
Fire Station Area water treatment plant

In April 2019 Defence completed commissioning of a water treatment plant at the RAAF Base Tindal Fire Station Area.

The plant is now fully operational and treats extracted groundwater before re-injecting it into the underground aquifer.

The plant was developed by Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies (ECT2). More information about the treatment technology is available on the ECT2 website.

Water Sampling Results

The Water Sampling Summaries track the PFAS concentrations against the limits defined by the relevant adopted drinking water screening criteria. They include results for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonic acid (6:2 FTS) and the sum of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS).

The water quality data is drawn from water samples on both untreated and treated water. The summaries of water sampling results can be downloaded below.

Rainwater Tanks


Defence is funding the purchase and installation of rainwater tanks for eligible property owners in Katherine. To be eligible you must be located in the Investigation Area, not be connected to town water and rely on bore water for consumption. To find out more about this initiative please download the factsheet or contact the investigation information line.

Compulsory Water Conservation Measures


NT Power and Water has introduced compulsory water conservation measures to help reduce Katherine’s reliance on bore water.

More information is available on the NT Power and Water Website.