Construction kicks off on Marla desalination


Construction kicks off on Marla desalination

Construction is now underway on a desalination plant for Marla in South Australia’s far north-west, as part of efforts by SA Water to improve water services for local customers.

Crews have begun earthworks at the Plover Street site set to house the containerised desalination facility, water evaporation basin, and 539,000 litre-capacity water storage tank.

SA Water’s Senior Manager of Infrastructure, Planning and Strategy Dr Daniel Hoefel said Marla’s new tap water is expected to start flowing by the end of 2023.

“With the best part of two years spent undertaking the significant planning, community engagement, engineering assessments and environmental approvals required for this project, getting to where we are now is an important milestone,” Daniel said.

“The initial on-site activities will focus on the earthworks as well as construction on the water evaporation basin which will house saline by-product created as part of the desalination process.

“The plant itself will be able to produce up to 87,000 litres of clean, safe drinking water each day and is currently being fabricated inside a small shipping container designed to protect the infrastructure from the extreme weather often experienced in the region.

“Drawing water from the Great Artesian Basin, the new plant uses reverse osmosis to remove salt and other impurities before the resulting drinking water is piped to our customer’s taps.

“We are excited to work together with the Marla community on delivering this project, and the positive economic and social benefits this upgrade will provide for our local customers.”

SA Water’s existing water network in Marla is designated as non-drinking with appropriate precautions and advice in place, and until upgrades are complete, residents will continue to source their own drinking water from private rainwater tanks, water carting, bottled products, and localised desalination units.

Marla is one of three outback towns receiving upgrades to their SA Water drinking supply, with similar desalination plants to be delivered in Oodnadatta and Maree throughout the utility’s current 2020-2024 regulatory period.

“We continue to make significant progress at each site, with Oodnadatta’s water storage tank now constructed ahead of the anticipated first flush of drinking water later this year,” Daniel said.





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