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For many decades South Australians relied on using unfiltered water from the River Murray. However, SA Water now provides 98% of the population with high quality filtered water which meets or exceeds standards set by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. A key factor in this achievement was the start of a program in the 1970s to construct a series of major water filtration plants which would ensure the State’s water supply met high water quality standards.

Hope Valley Water Treatment Plant

Hope Valley was the first of the six metropolitan water filtration plants to be constructed and was completed in 1977. At the time, the plant won a Civic Trust Award for civil design, a South Australian Engineering Award and an award for excellence in engineering from the Institution of Engineers Australia.

The Hope Valley Water Filtration Plant sources its water from the Hope Valley Reservoir which is in turn receives water from the Millbrook and Kangaroo Creek Reservoirs.

Hill Water Treatment Plant

Anstey Hill was the second of Adelaide’s water filtration plants to be commissioned and was completed in 1980.

It treats water from the Mannum-Adelaide pipeline and the Millbrook Reservoir and supplies suburbs to the north-east of Adelaide.

Filtration Plant

The Barossa Filtration Plant was the third filtration plant to be built in Adelaide and was completed in 1982.

It treats water from the Barossa and South Para Reservoirs and supplies the metropolitan suburbs of Gawler, Virginia, Elizabeth, Salisbury, Parafield and Para Hills West as well as outer metropolitan areas such as Two Wells, Hamley Bridge, Owen, Cockatoo Valley etc.

Little Para Water Treatment Plant

Little Para was the fourth of six filtration plants built to serve metropolitan Adelaide and was completed in 1984.

Little Para filtration plant sources its water from the Little Para reservoir. The reservoir is located on the Northern Adelaide plains and receives natural inflows from the Little Para River Catchment and the Gould Creek Catchment, and can be supplemented with water from the Mannum-Adelaide pipeline. Filtered water is supplied to about 80,000 people located in Elizabeth, Salisbury and Para Hills.

Valley Water Treatment Plant

Happy Valley is by far the largest of the six Adelaide filtration plants and was commissioned in two stages in 1989 and 1991. 

The Happy Valley Water Filtration Plant treats water from the Happy Valley reservoir which is fed directly from the Onkaparinga River Catchment or indirectly by water transferred from the River Murray (via Mt Bold Reservoir). Treated water from the Adelaide Desalination Plant is also introduced into the Happy Valley system. This blend of conventionally treated and desalinated water is then supplied to the network via the Happy Valley filtered water storage tanks.

The Happy Valley water distribution network is widely interconnected with the networks of other metropolitan water treatment plants. Recent completion of the North South Interconnection project means water can be transferred further north, providing flexibility of supply. The Happy Valley water distribution network is widely interconnected with the networks of other metropolitan water treatment plants.

Myponga Water Treatment Plant

Myponga was the sixth and final plant in a long term project to bring filtered water to metropolitan Adelaide and was completed in 1993.

Unlike the other metro plants, Myponga receives no water from the River Murray, but instead treats water collected in a natural catchment. As a result its source water is of a predictable quality- high in colour and organics and low in turbidity. This, and the small size of the plant, allowed the use of a different filtration process called dissolved air flotation.

The Myponga water filtration plant supplies the southern most areas including Victor Harbor, Hindmarsh Island, Yankalilla and Willunga.

Water Treatment Plant

The Morgan Filtration Plant was built to provide high quality water to upper Spencer Gulf cities of Whyalla, Port Pirie and Port Augusta and was completed in 1986.

The plant was the first to provide filtered water outside the metropolitan area and also serves Clare, Burra, Jamestown, Peterborough, Wallaroo and Iron Knob. As well, the plant meets part of the demand from Yorke Peninsula in conjunction with the Swan Reach plant.

The plant takes water directly from the River Murray where it produces filtered water that is then transported via the Morgan-Whyalla Pipeline.

Middle River
Water Treatment Plant

In 1998, the Middle River Filtration Plant on Kangaroo Island finally resolved the problem of poor quality water for a large area of the Island. Located along the pipeline from the Middle River Reservoir, the plant can produce up to three million litres of filtered water every day and was an important development supporting the Island’s tourism and gourmet food industries.

Mount Pleasant Water Treatment Plant

Mount Pleasant treats River Murray water using two treatment streams. One stream uses Magnetic Ion Exchange MIEX® pre-treatment followed by membrane filtration and the other stream uses the conventional process. This plant was commissioned in 2001 as a demonstration and research site with the view to developing the process and applications further. SA Water, CSIRO and Orica (formerly ICI) developed this MIEX® technology for the improved removal of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) from the source waters.

TRILITY Water Treatment Plants

Trility operates and maintains 10 water treatment plants as part of a build, own, operate contract with SA Water. The plants; located at Summit Storage, Swan Reach, Renmark, Berri, Loxton, Waikerie, Mannum, Murray Bridge, Tailem Bend and Barmera, supply water to major pipelines and larger population centres receiving River Murray water. The water is treated to a high quality using conventional water treatment processes.

Smaller Riverland Water Treatment Plants

As part of a water quality improvement program of the Murrayland and Riverland regions, 10 water treatment plants (ranging from 0.5 megalitres per day to 2.2 megalitres per day capacity) were built- Swan Reach Town, Cadell, Moorook, Blanchetown, Cowirra, Mypolonga, Palmer, Kanmantoo and Glossop in 2007 and Woolpunda in 2009. The plants were operated by United Group Infrastructure (UGI) under a build, own, operate contract. At the completion of this contract in February 2013, SA Water took over operation of all plants. The plants utilise advanced water treatment techniques including membrane filtration and granular activated carbon.


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