Metropolitan Adelaide water supply

Metropolitan Adelaide water supply

The Adelaide water supply network is complex and draws from a range of sources including reservoirs, the River Murray and the Adelaide Desalination Plant. SA Water has played a role in managing the Adelaide Water Supply network since 1856. Read more about our history.

North South Interconnection System (NSIS)

A major step forward for metropolitan Adelaide has been the North South Interconnection System (NSIS). This system allows us to move large volumes of water between the northern and southern water supply systems.

The system included the construction of new pipelines north, east, west and south of the Adelaide CBD.

This short video explains how the North South Interconnection System works:

Before interconnection, Adelaide's water system was in two parts

Before the NSIS was in place, Adelaide consisted of two major water system. People in the southern suburbs relied on one system (the Murray Bridge – Onkaparinga – Happy Valley system). People in the northern suburbs relied on another (the Mannum – Adelaide – Hope Valley system). They were split roughly at the River Torrens.

By connecting the two systems, we made your water supply more flexible

The NSIS gives Adelaide a more flexible water system and also makes sure we can get water to people in times of drought. If supplies in the northern system are low, we are now able to move more water into that area.

Water movement throughout the system

Much of Adelaide's water supply is gravity-fed. This means that where water moves to a lower point, we let gravity do the hard work.

Where water needs to move across flat land, uphill or over long distances, we use pumping stations to push it along. We have about 60 pumping stations in the network. They are built at strategic points of the network to reduce the amount of energy needed to move the water.

Consistent pressure is achieved by Pressure Reducing Valves (PRVs)

Keeping a consistent and steady water pressure is important if your water supply is going to be reliable. Even with the use of pumping stations, there are still a range of things that can impact on how quickly the water moves. These include how much water is being used and how many connections are on the main.

Pressure Reducing Valves assist in controlling leaks and pipe bursts, as well as easing pressure problems across the pipe network.

We maintain about 50 PRV stations across metropolitan Adelaide.


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  • Major faults

  • Underway

  • Multiple streets
  • Goolwa
  • 19/10/2017
  • Water Quality
  • SA Water customers in Goolwa and surrounding areas, including Goolwa Beach, Goolwa South, Goolwa North and Hindmarsh Island may currently be experiencing discoloured or milky water coming out of their taps.

    This water remains safe to drink.

    During recent planned maintenance in the area, some existing sediment in the local water supply network has been stirred up, resulting in the discoloured water.

    We are working hard to resolve the issue, and we are flushing out the discoloured water. Given the size of the water network in the area, this may take some time. At this stage, we are hoping water supply will return to normal by Friday afternoon.

    We will continue to monitor the situation, and provide updates on our website and Facebook page.

    For further information or any questions, please contact us on 1300 SA WATER.

  • See all major faults

  • Scheduled works

  • Underway
  • Thomas St
  • Croydon
  • 23/10/2017
  • Supply Interruption
  • Estimated start time (water off): 23/10/2017 09:00 AM
    Estimated restore time (water back on): 23/10/2017 03:00 PM

    We’re committed to improving your services and are undertaking maintenance work in Croydon. Water supply in the surrounding area may be impacted during the above times. Traffic restrictions may also apply.


  • See all scheduled works