Year in review

Year in review

River Murray flood response

In October 2022, with heavy rain falling in the Murray-Darling Basin catchment and flooding in New South Wales and Victoria, we began preparing for a high flow event. An event on this scale hadn’t occurred since 1956.

The River Murray flood was declared a major emergency on 21 November 2022. In addition to keeping our people safe, protecting our assets and maintaining essential water and wastewater services for our customers, we contributed to the statewide government response.

There was strong support from our major framework partners, key contractors, lead suppliers, other government agencies, local governments and local landholders throughout the event.

Incident response approach

Our flood response was led by a coordinated business-wide Incident Management Team, with 3 clear objectives:

  1. Keep our people, customers and communities safe.
  1. Protect our water and wastewater assets to prevent or mitigate damage.
  1. Maintain the highest levels of service possible, for the largest number of customers possible.

A coordinated and planned approach to the event saw services maintained for more than 100,000 customers in the river zone, and more than 45 different systems and major assets assessed for risk and protected.

Community engagement and support

Comprehensive engagement was undertaken with communities along the river. This included direct communication with affected customers, proactively preparing them for disruptions to their water and wastewater services, as well as involvement in government community information sessions.

Customer engagement was a particular focus in Mannum. A risk assessment identified the potential for flooding to impact the low-lying areas of Mannum’s wastewater network.

Our Field Services team proactively disconnected 127 sewerage customers to protect individual residences and businesses and ensure the town’s sewerage network continued to operate.

The Engagement team contacted every impacted customer directly through door knocking, phone calls and letters, and worked with them to understand their plans and provide practical support, mindful that some properties were occupied by residents, and some were holiday houses.

Alternative services, including drinking water, temporary showers and portaloos, were provided at our Mannum depot for customers who remained in their homes.

Bill support was provided to customers who were proactively disconnected from the Mannum wastewater network. Their sewerage charge was waived for the billing quarter in which their service was temporarily disconnected (October to December 2022). Their full bill – water and wastewater – was waived for the following quarter (January to March 2023) in recognition of flood impacts.

Support for the state government response 

Throughout the flood we worked closely with other government agencies and emergency service organisations.

Gerard and Narrung, 2 Aboriginal communities directly impacted by the floods, were supported. We liaised directly with community leaders, local government, and state government agencies to assess infrastructure risks against river level projections and ensure alternatives were available if the flood disrupted drinking water and wastewater systems.

In collaboration with the State Emergency Service and private water carters, we supported supply

of emergency drinking water to vulnerable households that usually relied on private supplies.

Through the Engineering Functional Support Group, we contributed to the State Emergency Centre, Zone Emergency Support Team and Incident Management Team, coordinating engineering advice and providing practical assistance in preparing levee specifications, monitoring levees and responding to levee failures. We also provided clay for emergency levees constructed by local governments along the river, and donated surplus sandbags to protect large private levees in the lower River Murray.

Special sampling, testing and analysis services were provided by our team to support decision-making in the Riverland, the lower lakes, and southern beaches, as well as for SA Health. We also provided boating support for electricity utilities to move around the flooded landscape.


We used innovative approaches to tackle major issues like protecting our assets, ensuring service continuity, and maintaining drinking water quality.

During the River Murray response we:

* protected a crucial Murray Bridge wastewater disposal pipeline from very strong river flows by using a barge, supported by divers, to lower concrete mattresses across it.

* protected high-voltage cables using rubber wrap and floating debris booms and additional parallel pumping systems to make sure the Murray Bridge to Onkaparinga pipeline could keep operating.

* monitored source water quality by intensive river sampling and drone surveys, gathering intelligence from up-river interstate utilities, optimising treatment plants, strategically switching water storages, and introducing additional chlorination plants into our networks to maintain high levels of drinking water quality across South Australia.

* participated in the first-ever Australian deployment of DefenCell, a new technology using lightweight geotextile cells that facilitate rapid roll-out. This was delivered in partnership with the State Emergency Service, which sourced the material for use in several locations as part of the broader government flood response.

Lessons learnt 

During the recovery phase we completed a thorough review to identify lessons that will help us prepare for future events.

The flood has highlighted the great value of capable and committed people, a strong customer focus, a culture of trust and empowerment, business-wide cooperation, collaboration and teamwork, clear priorities and objectives. It has also underlined the importance of robust assets and resilient services, effective customer and stakeholder engagement, and integrated systems that support effective decision-making.

Lessons learnt have identified actions including updates to our business continuity planning, fatigue management systems, asset design standards and incident management practices. In addition, Engineering Functional Support Group has received a Commonwealth grant to lead a statewide technical review of flood defence measures including DefenCell, levees and sandbagging.

Driving customer outcomes

We provide our customers with safe, smart, reliable and affordable water services. To achieve this, we maintain trust, ensure water quality and asset reliability, and provide continuity of service by preventing or minimising temporary service interruptions. We deploy connected and intelligent assets to make smart decisions and operate efficiently so our services remain affordable.

Water price increase less than the Consumer Price Index

As part of our ongoing commitment to keep water and sewerage prices as low and stable as possible, our Board and the South Australian Government approved 2022-23 price adjustments capped at 3.2 per cent on average – nearly 2 per cent less than the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

From 1 July 2022 the average metropolitan residential customer’s combined water and sewerage bill increased annually by $34, compared to $54 if price adjustments reflected full CPI of 5.1 per cent. Businesses saw an average increase of $130 compared with $208.

In the Bureau of Meteorology’s National Performance Report, which analyses and compares the performance of water utilities across the country, the ranking of our annual residential combined water and sewerage bill (based on 200 kilolitres) sits third cheapest of the 15 comparably-sized utilities across Australia.

Sustaining and expanding our networks

Our continued focus to improve and maintain our water and wastewater pipe networks saw us invest $91.4 million in our water pipe network and infrastructure, and $17.4 million in our wastewater pipe network and infrastructure.

In 2022-23 we installed 64.9 kilometres of new water mains, with 19.8 kilometres laid in metropolitan Adelaide and 45.1 kilometres in country areas of the state, through our water main management program.

As part of our 4-year, $155 million water main management program, new water mains were installed throughout the state, including:

* 6,000 metres in Lyndhurst

* 5,380 metres in Port Pirie East

* 4,530 metres in Merghiny

* 4,120 metres in Reeves Plain

* 1,260 metres in Wandana

* 2,000 metres in West Beach

* 1,118 metres in Sellicks Beach

* 822 metres in Two Wells

* 805 metres in Cumberland Park

* 600 metres in Prospect.

Main break numbers down

Across our network, we recorded the lowest number of water main leaks and breaks since 2014. This is due to a wetter than average end to 2022 and continued investment in maintaining our water network.

In 2022-23, 3,486 water main leaks and breaks were reported across our

27,000 kilometre network, compared with 3,627 in 2021-22.

Meeting our customer service standards

Performance measures and service standards set by our economic regulator, the Essential Services Commission of South Australia, guide how we measure our success in delivering what our customers and the community expect.

In 2022-23, we achieved 96 per cent customer satisfaction against a target of 93 per cent. Of the 225,101 phone calls we received during the year, 86 per cent were answered by our Customer Care Centre, based in SA Water House, within our target timeframe of 50 seconds, ahead of our 85 per cent target.

Other notable achievements include:




First contact resolution



Water quality responsiveness (metropolitan Adelaide)



Water quality responsiveness (regional South Australia)



Connection application responsiveness



Water event responsiveness (high priority) metro



Water event responsiveness (high priority) regional



Sewer event responsiveness metro



Sewer event responsiveness regional



We met 21 of the 22 customer service standards. Our response to sewer overflow clean-ups in metropolitan Adelaide was at 95 per cent, just short of the 98 per cent target. This was primarily due to customers requesting partial or whole clean-ups at a different time of day to better suit them, or where work was hampered due to access or safety issues.

Smart maintenance gets a boost

Our Smart Maintenance program is introducing technology to provide real-time monitoring, helping us to proactively maintain our assets and better inform maintenance decisions. This year, the Diagnostic and Prognostic Maintenance (DPM) project installed technology at 21 major pump stations.

DPM collects real-time machine vibration and temperature data from our pump sets using advanced digital technology. The data is then analysed using artificial intelligence to give us critical information via our new smart infrastructure dashboard. We began using the dashboard in May. It displays:

* current and historical asset condition

* forecasted performance that considers asset health condition and operational requirements

* tracking details for autogenerated work orders to address faults identified early

* maintenance history and performance reports

* increased data analytics to improve maintenance decision-making.

When fully implemented this automation will see fewer breakdowns, extend the life of our assets, ensure greater pump availability, and ultimately lower our operational costs.

Unflushables are flushed out of our sewers

Communication and media activity from July to October 2022 about what not to flush or rinse resulted in a significant reduction in ‘unflushables’, such as wet wipes and cooking fats and oils, entering the state’s sewers.

The message to change flushing and rinsing habits provided practical tips and the impact continued after the communication activity finished. Between August 2022 and February 2023, there was a 40 per cent reduction in sewer blockages caused by items that should not be flushed or rinsed.

The overall rate of sewer blockages dropped to a 2-year low helping reduce the number of overflows inside customer properties. This was supported by a targeted sewer cleaning program with proactive maintenance to help reduce blockages and overflows in hotspot suburbs such as Athelstone, Blackwood and Rostrevor.

Sustainable sewers for Tea Tree Gully 

On 1 July 2022 we welcomed all residents connected to the Tea Tree Gully Community Wastewater Management System as our customers, with management and operation of the system transferring to us from the City of Tea Tree Gully Council, and sewerage fees and charges coming into effect for all 4,700 properties.

In August 2022, we completed construction at our pilot sites on Glenere Drive, Dawson Drive, Angas Court and North East Road in Modbury, and connected more than 60 households and businesses to our network. Construction continued for stage one of the program which will connect approximately 500 properties in Modbury North, St Agnes and Banksia Park.

Walls are up in Green Patch water tank build

Work on our new 32-million-litre concrete water tank in Green Patch, near Port Lincoln, reached a major milestone in 2022-23, with all 112 panels craned into place to form the 88-metre-wide structure.

With the structure now in place, installation has begun to seal the inside of the tank so the quality of drinking water is protected once the tank is filled and in opera

Warren Reservoir dam valve refurbishment

Refurbishment work on the intake and scour valves at Warren Reservoir began with a 5-week drawdown of the water level. It was lowered to zero per cent so that crews could safely access the base of the dam wall.

The project included the safe relocation of about 4.5 tonnes of the reservoir’s native fish and turtles to the nearby South Para Reservoir, including species like bony bream, Murray cod, golden perch and silver perch.

Port Lincoln Wastewater Treatment Plant upgraded 

In June 2023, work was completed on the Port Lincoln Wastewater Treatment Plant as part of our $400,000 investment to enhance sewage treatment and the plant’s overall performance for the ongoing supply of around 100 million litres of recycled water each year.

Floating aerators in one of the plant’s treatment basins and seals along the basin were rehabilitated to improve the efficiency of the biological process that breaks down nutrients in sewage.

Queensbury upgrade to keep sewer odour at bay

Work began in October on a $1.6 million upgrade of our wastewater pump station in Queensbury to improve odour control and support ongoing residential growth. The Queensbury pump station pumps more than 15 million litres of sewage each day to the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant where it’s treated for reuse and return to the environment.

Upgrade for Whyalla’s Recycled Water Plant

An upgrade to our recycled water plant in Whyalla was complete in October 2022. The project was part of our $200,000 investment to enhance sewage treatment and the plant’s overall performance.

More than 1,300 diffusers in the plant’s treatment basins were replaced, improving the efficiency of the biological process that breaks down nutrients in sewage. The basins, capable of holding around 1.3 million litres of sewage, underwent an extensive clean as part of the upgrade.

Whyalla Recycled Water Plant currently supplies around 2.5 million litres of recycled water a day. It is used by the local council to help irrigate and green Whyalla’s ovals, parks and golf course.

Accessible information for customers

As part of our 2020-22 Disability, Access and Inclusion Plan and our Wider World program, we produced and published 7 accessible Easy Read documents for customers with low literacy or limited English skills.

The 7 documents, available at, our front counter in SA Water House, and via our Customer Assist team and financial counsellors, focused on topics our customers identified as important to understand. The documents cover:

  1. - how to understand and pay your water bill
  1. - how to find water leaks and read your meter
  1. - how to save water at your home
  2. - support for paying your bill
  1. - water prices for homes
  1. - how to keep sewers healthy
  1. - our Disability Access and Inclusion Plan
  1. Bacterial DNA testing first for the Australian Water Quality Centre
  1. The Australian Water Quality Centre (AWQC) became the first laboratory in Australia to apply accredited molecular testing technology specifically to optimise water quality management.
  1. Attaining full National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation for its bacterial DNA molecular analysis, the AWQC’s DNA testing method enables us to characterise entire microbial communities. This has revealed a diversity of microorganisms we have not been able to see before because they were so difficult to isolate using traditional methods. This has significant benefits for improving public health, water quality research and operational decision-making.
  1. In addition, the AWQC improved the customer experience by implementing a TouchPoint digital phone system. Calls to AWQC are now routed directly to the AWQC, bypassing our Customer Care Centre. The new TouchPoint system provides: an improved caller experience, fast, efficient call handling and transfer and a livestream dashboard displaying call statistics for easy, centralised administration and reporting.
  1. Drones support water quality monitoring
  1. In a first for our business, the use of a drone was trialled as a safe and effective way to take water samples, particularly from hard to access locations such as some parts of the River Murray.
  1. Water sampling is part of our ongoing, comprehensive water quality monitoring program, with 70,678 water samples collected during 2022-23, and is a crucial step to make sure safe, clean drinking water is provided across South Australia.
  1. The drones can collect a single 2-litre water sample or 4 individual 250 millilitre samples. They can be remotely operated from the shore or riverbank to reduce risks associated with on-water operations, and are programmed with GPS to streamline sampling and make it more consistent.

Smart metered hydrant trial

In 2022-23, we began a trial of smart metered hydrants throughout the state. Fitted with GPS technology, the hydrants:

  1. - are easy to locate if missing
  1. - are geofence-enabled to provide greater clarity about meters or fireplugs that are unavailable for customers due to maintenance work
  1. - can provide alerts and information when fireplugs have been used incorrectly
  1. - can determine how much water has been extracted from a main which can help us respond to water quality complaints in a specific area.

An online customer portal is now available through our website for individual customers to monitor their metered hydrant water use.

Improving digital services

Digital services available for our customers and our people continue to be improved and automated to provide better customer interactions and enable better self-service.

Our projects have:

  1. - helped customers to select and manage their preferred communication channels
  1. - allowed eBill customers to be notified earlier if their water use is higher through a high water use notice. This also enables a more efficient turnaround time for leak detection
  1. - helped reservoir reserve visitors to easily purchase permits, and reservoir rangers to quickly verify them, through a new online fishing permits system
  1. - improved security by introducing multi-factor authentication for payment refunds in mySAWater
  1. - helped our team better use and manage over 14,000 assets through a new digital media asset tool
  1. - reduced manual workload and saved time (96%) by automating direct debit dishonours
  1. - consolidated ‘Supply by measure’ customer accounts to accurately and consistently calculate bills aligned to customers with the same land use
  1. - helped our customers to better learn about and track connection requests for drinking water, recycled water, sewerage, and water for fire services with a self service digital offering.

In May, we reached 300,000 customers registered to receive eBills.

Research builds capability

Undertaking research helps us meet the changing needs of our business, builds the knowledge and capability of our people, and ensures we are prepared for challenges in the future. In 2022-23, key research focused on:

  1. - identifying options to control the unwanted growth of aquatic plants in the pumps supplying the Virginia Pipeline Scheme that cause on-going challenges for our customers and damage to our infrastructure
  1. - developing a more efficient DNA-based tool for identifying the sources of faecal contamination in our source waters. This research enables us to better identify hazards in our source waters and take appropriate steps to manage catchments or treatment processes
  1. Services for Cape Jaffa Marina customers
  1. In October 2022, following a formal direction from the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water, we entered into an agreement with the Cape Jaffa Anchorage Essential Services to operate and maintain the non-drinking water and wastewater services for the Cape Jaffa Anchorage Marina. The agreement saw us temporarily operating these services from 31 October 2022, to ensure continued services for marina customers.

Procurement excellence certification

In March 2023, our Supply Chain team achieved Procurement Excellence Programme certification from the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), a professional body working for procurement and supply professions around the world.

Our procurement capabilities were assessed against 98 criteria across 5 separate topics. This award places us in an elite group of just 20 Australian organisations, and we are only the second Australian water utility to achieve certification. This achievement demonstrates our procurement function is world-leading and robust, providing effective governance for supply assurance and compliance.

Keeping our systems and data safe and secure

In 2022-23, we appointed a General Manager Technology as well as a Chief Information Security Officer, strengthening our innovative use of solutions and technology, while ensuring we have safe and secure systems and data. Our investment in cyber security continues to be a priority and we constantly respond to the changing cyber threats and sophisticated cyber attacks we see in Australia and in the water industry.

We continue to strengthen our security and build resilient systems and processes. To understand the rapidly changing threats we face and be able to respond quickly, we established our Cyber Security Operations Centre in August, enabling us to respond quickly to cyber threats. The centre:

  1. - triages alerts and cyber incidents raised by our users and cyber security tools
  1. - identifies weaknesses and vulnerabilities in our applications and supporting infrastructure, and works collaboratively to pre-emptively resolve issues
  1. - identifies trends and cyber threats that may impact our systems or people and apply remediations/mitigations to reduce cyber risks for our business.  

    Our Adelaide Service Delivery partnership

    Our Adelaide Service Delivery partnership with Service Stream and SUEZ continued into its second year.

    In 2022-23, our Metro Field Operations Service Provider, Service Stream has:

  1. - completed 101,872 work orders, the majority of which related to customer calls, while achieving 7 out of 7 customer service standards set by the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (including best endeavours)
  1. - improved customer satisfaction and outcomes in conjunction with our teams through optimised delivery solutions, such as non-dig-up sewer repairs and preventative sewer maintenance techniques that support longer term asset solutions
  1. - delivered services for our customers with an average customer satisfaction score of 95 per cent
  1. - taken on the operation and maintenance of a community Wastewater Management System in Tea Tree Gully and developed a targeted maintenance program improving service level outcomes for our new customers resulting in a 50 per cent reduction in the number of overflows on this network
  1. - supported our capital delivery teams in delivering several projects in regional areas, including water main relay projects in Port Pirie, Moonta and Kadina, and metropolitan relay works in Enfield and Warradale
  1. - supported the rapid mobilisation of the 2022 Adelaide 500 race event by ensuring our water and wastewater networks were ready for increased customer demand
  1. - supported our regional teams to prepare and respond to the unprecedented River Murray flood
  1. - significantly increased data collection from the field, enhancing analysis and reporting of field performance

Through our production and treatment alliance, SUEZ has:

delivered an innovative software suite called AQUADVANCED® for all metro water and wastewater treatment plants to improve the way we operate and maintain our assets to increase efficiency, performance, and reduce risk

  • successfully managed record-breaking winter inflows to our metropolitan wastewater treatment plants, while achieving regulatory compliance targets
  • delivered and supported a significant number of capital projects, including a new ultraviolet treatment system at Happy Valley Water Treatment Plant, replaced ultra-filtration membranes at Christies Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), and upgraded infrastructure at Bolivar WWTP to ensure it is future ready for wastewater systems growth
  • produced 23,500 megalitres of recycled water for customers and for reuse at our metropolitan wastewater treatment plants, contributing positively to environmental impacts
  • managed significant River Murray flood-related impacts ensuring our customers continued to receive high quality, reliable and safe drinking water
  • collaborated with local land care, biodiversity groups and community members, with vegetation plantings at Christies Beach, Glenelg and Aldinga water treatment plants
  • delivered energy self-sufficiency at Bolivar WWTP through production of energy from biogas

Water for the future

Our production and treatment activities ensure the water we provide is fit for our customers to use, and to be recycled or returned to the environment. We harvest, store, treat, distribute and reuse water to provide fit-for purpose water services to our customers to stimulate economic growth and meet customer needs.

Creating a resilient water future 

In 2022-23, we began leading a cross-government project that is developing a Resilient Water Futures Strategy. A collaborative, integrated approach to water management for Greater Adelaide will inform a strategy due to be delivered to the South Australian Government in June 2024. This year, the project has achieved milestones including:

  • development of a robust stakeholder consultation and governance program
  • co-development of a vision and strategic priorities for a secure and resilient water future for Greater Adelaide
  • a complete system assessment of all water sources and demands and determined the scale of current and future water challenges.

Extensive community engagement was undertaken to understand ideas, values and preferences about water security, service levels and water management options including:

  • input from our Customer Challenge Group – which helped define our options evaluation criteria
  • adaptive Planning Forums – with more than 70 water sector delegates collaboratively developing the adaptive plan
  • First Nations' roundtables – working in partnership with Kaurna, Peramangk, Ngarrindjeri and Ngadjuri representatives to embed First Nations' knowledge and values in our water management and planning

Desalination for remote communities 

A new solar-powered, small-scale reverse osmosis desalination plant was completed in August at Kaltjiti in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, replacing the existing water treatment plant.

Delivering high-quality drinking water to the remote Aboriginal community, the plant can produce up to 120,000 litres of water each day. It is fitted with 38 kilowatts of solar panels and additional battery storage, helping to harness the region’s traditionally warm and sunny weather to reduce carbon emissions and our reliance on power from the local grid.

In Oodnadatta, a new small-scale reverse osmosis desalination facility was complete, sourcing water from the Great Artesian Basin.

Planning and works continued for new drinking water supplies to Marree and Marla.

Water security for Eyre Peninsula 

In April 2023, the state government accepted our Board’s recommendation of Billy Lights Point as the site for a desalination plant on Eyre Peninsula. The plant will provide a new reliable, climate-independent source of drinking water, to reduce the pressure on existing groundwater sources and the River Murray.

Key stakeholder engagement activities were undertaken in 2022-23 giving the Eyre Peninsula community an opportunity to provide feedback, including community information sessions, and presentations to local councils, other government bodies and local schools.

Community Marine Science Forums were held to provide the community with an understanding of the science undertaken by the South Australian Research and Development Institute to inform the decision to recommend Billy Lights Point as the preferred site.

A Project Information Centre was established in central Port Lincoln to provide local residents with an ongoing connection with the project team so they could ask questions and seek information related to the project.

Delivering climate independent water on Kangaroo Island 

Construction was completed in May on the structure of Penneshaw’s new seawater desalination plant, with building work also commencing on the internal fit out and the plant’s retaining wall.

In addition, more than 11 kilometres of a 19.3 kilometre pipeline was completed between Cygnet River and Haines which will transport water produced at the plant. We also built a 75-metre causeway to complete 75 of 190 metres of marine trenching for the pipeline.

The pipeline to bring seawater from the ocean to the new plant was 90 per cent complete as at the end of June 2023. In addition, public consultation on the plant’s landscaping plan was complete and officially endorsed by Kangaroo Island Council.

Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme review 

The Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS) provides recycled water from Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Northern Adelaide Plains for agri-food production use.

A review of the scheme was undertaken to inform future approaches to drive scheme take-up and economic growth in the region. The review assessed the current and future demand for NAIS recycled water in the region, stakeholder perceptions of the NAIS pricing and service delivery, and potential opportunities to help NAIS further facilitate economic growth.

After engagement with our customers and stakeholders to ensure their views were represented, a draft NAIS report was released for public consultation in April 2023. The report has since been updated with additional feedback from the consultation process and presented to government for its consideration.

Healthy communities

We support and promote the health and wellbeing of an active, thriving South Australia. This is achieved by building sustainable and liveable communities. We share new ways of using water effectively and efficiently to create comfortable green spaces that support wellbeing. Through actions to achieve reconciliation, we support stronger Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by helping to create economic opportunities.

Delivering our Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan 

Our Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan 2020-23 is part of our commitment to reconciliation and its actions target key impact areas.

Achievements in 2022-23 include:

  • increased support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses through direct employment for various capital projects as well as encouraging our major contractors and partners to set supplier diversity targets and procurement policies
  • spending more than $8 million with Aboriginal-owned businesses, comprising a direct spend of $1.06 million and indirect spend of $7.2 million, overall exceeding our target for this year by almost $200,000, and representing almost 1 per cent of our annual forecast procurement spend
  • providing our people with continuous opportunities to deepen their understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures, customs, and perspectives through mandatory reinforced cultural awareness training
  • supporting initiatives to improve liveability in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through our Reconciliation Partnerships Program, Purku-itya (the Kaurna word meaning ‘for community’).

Recreation at our reservoir reserves

In 2022-23 our 11 reservoir reserves welcomed 417,959 visitors. Since public access began in 2019, we have recorded more than one million visitors.

Our program to open reservoir reserves was recognised with 5 awards in 2022-23:

  1. Environmental Excellence Award from the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) South Australia’s 2022 Awards for Excellence.
  1. The Social and Community Infrastructure Award, also from the UDIA South Australia.
  1. Social and Community Infrastructure Award at the 2023 UDIA national awards.
  1. Organisational Excellence Award at the 2022 Australian Water Association South Australian awards.
  1. Community Based Initiative of the Year at the 2022 national Parks and Leisure Australia Awards of Excellence.

The Reservoir Volunteer program continued, and we partnered directly with 93 community members at reservoir reserves on conservation activities such as revegetation and bush care, fish stocking, and community events at Myponga, Happy Valley, Mount Bold, Hope Valley, Warren, South Para and Barossa reservoir reserves.

In December 2022, we supported the Williamstown Action Group’s Santa Dash Fun Run as part of our Reservoir Partnership Program.

Greening our communities 

This year, we helped transform our land holdings and land around our infrastructure into greener spaces to support thriving communities.

In July 2022, a garden was established at the Port Pirie depot, featuring a variety of local flora carefully selected for their visual appeal and adaptation to the local environment. The garden includes more than 200 seedlings local to the region.

A greening project for Port Pirie was initiated and a Memorandum of Administrative Agreement was signed with the Department for Environment and Water outlining the agreed greening Port Pirie scope of work. We also undertook site surveys and soil sampling to inform final greening designs for this project. Research and greening initiatives have been shared with the Port Pirie Council which is leading the project. Our work for the Port Pirie greening program was recognised with an Australian Institute of Landscape Architects South Australian Landscape Architecture Award.

In May 2023, we partnered with the City of Charles Sturt by leasing our vacant land and transforming a disused pump station building in St Clair for the use of a new community garden.

Wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 

Our Research and Science teams continued to work with South Australian and interstate health regulators to conduct wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2. As the amount of clinical testing and self-reporting decreased, we continued to support SA Health to monitor wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 in Adelaide and key regional locations. Testing was also expanded to include variant testing, working with the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute to analyse wastewater samples and identify the COVID-19 variants circulating in the community.

Community education, events and engagement 

This year, 4,417 students and their teachers participated in our education program The Well, with a quarter of these students coming from regional schools.

Our Community Education team gave a range of presentations and tours, and held an open day at the Adelaide Desalination Plant. Community groups that participated in presentations included a recently arrived migrant group and people from low socio-economic communities. Migrants and a group of customers who are blind also toured the Adelaide Desalination Plant.

A new education program was developed and piloted in schools on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands.

In 2022-23, our Quench Benches and vintage caravan Miss Isla delivered clean drinking water at 158 community events including NAIDOC Week Family Day, WOMADelaide, the Adelaide 500 and the Christmas Pageant.

Our work to promote reusable drink bottles – Bring Your Own Bottle (BYOB) – encourages our community to avoid single use plastic bottles of water by bringing reusable bottles to fill with tap water when out and about. We continued our BYOB focus at community events this year and promoted our BYOB app which maps drinking fountains and bottle filling stations across South Australia.

Through our Water Talks website, more than 60,000 people learned about and engaged on a range of projects underway across the state including:

  • Tea Tree Gully Sustainable Sewers
  • Mount Bold Dam safety upgrade
  • Eyre Peninsula desalination project
  • Kangaroo Island’s new seawater desalination plant project
  • our planning for 2024-28

Artwork on infrastructure 

Five sites had artwork completed this year: the Minlacowie and Wool Bay Tanks, the River Torrens outlet wall, and the Loxton and Swan Reach pump houses. Artwork is part of our commitment to improving the visual amenity of our infrastructure in metropolitan and regional communities throughout South Australia. The mural on the Minlacowie tank has provided a talking point for ongoing conversations on the value of the Narungga people’s knowledge, experience and contribution to the region.

  • Major faults

  • Underway

  • Polkinghorns Rd
  • Arthurton
  • 18/06/2020
  • Water Supply On
  • 18/06/2020 03:05 PM - We are attending to an incident in Arthurton with no interruption to the water supply. The safety of our crews and customers comes first, and we always aim to minimise inconvenience by restoring services as quickly as we can. Reference Number WO: 07505663.
  • See all major faults

  • Scheduled works

  • Underway
  • Spruance Rd
  • Elizabeth East
  • 11/06/2021
  • Temporary Supply Interruption
  • Estimated start time and water supply off: 15/06/2021 09:00 AM
    Estimated restore time and water supply back on: 15/06/2021 04:00 PM

    We’re improving your services and undertaking maintenance work in Elizabeth East. Sometimes our crews need to temporarily interrupt the water supply to our customers and/or manage traffic while they are working. Temporary traffic management may remain in place until reinstatement of the impacted road is complete. We always aim to minimise inconvenience by restoring services as safely and quickly as we can.

  • See all scheduled works