ater nfrastructure cience & ngineering

Water Quality for Industrial Water Use

15 March 2015

The National Water Initiative (2004) and the State Water Strategy (2003) developed a strategic target for “fit-for-purpose” water use in industrial and mining operations. That is, water uses that can accept non-potable water quality should utilise recycled water or ‘poorer water quality’ sources where achievable.

However fit-for-purpose water quality in agricultural, industrial and mining uses often requires fresh water in terms of water salinity (or Total Dissolved Solids, TDS) but can tolerate other water contaminants.

Examples of typical salinity water quality requirements for industries in the Pilbara are included below.


Hematite iron ore cannot accept seawater dust suppression: the chloride content forms hydrochloric acid (HCl) in the steel blast furnaces’ combustion process and reduces the furnace life. Using saline water on iron ore stockpile dust suppression reduces the product value.

Unlike the WA Goldfields hypersaline groundwaters, the Pilbara’s inland groundwaters are typically fresh water – the problem is feasibility of infrastructure to cover the 500km from available water sources to the coastal industry.