Woolworths Moorebank – PFAS Water Treatment Plant

Moorebank, NSW

Richard Crookes Construction

May 2022 – June 2022

The Woolworths Moorebank Regional Distribution Centre (MoRDC) project involves building a new 71,790m2 automated warehouse facility, which is expected to be operational in 2024. However, due to the previous land use at the Woolworths Moorebank site, the sub-grade was contaminated with trace per- and poly-fluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals. During heavy rain events, the stormwater runoff became contaminated with PFAS, which was required to be captured and held in various holding ponds to prevent it from contaminating the surrounding rivers and creeks.

To ensure that the holding ponds could retain future rain events, Richard Crookes Construction (RCC) engaged SciDev to design, build and operate a water treatment plant (WTP). The purpose of this WTP was to treat the captured contaminated water and discharge it safely into the environment.


  • The water treatment plant, with a nameplate capacity of 400kL/day, treated 14.1ML of surface water run-off and enabled the safe discharge of treated water, meeting strict environmental regulations.
  • Long periods of heavy rain occurred during the construction of the Woolworths Moorebank distribution centre. As a result, on-site water storage was at risk of uncontrolled discharge. To mitigate against this, the WTP was mobilised and fully operational within four business days.
  • The treatment process consisted of four major steps: Clarification, Physical Filtration, Adsorption and Discharge.
  • The WTP treated total PFAS to below the concentrations required by the Site-Wide Environmental Protection Licence. Each sample was sent to a NATA accredited lab to analyse the discharge water for PFAS concentrations under the conditions of the EPL.
  • The project has benefited from this ability to treat larger volumes than initially expected.