From lake to tap Mount Gambier icon quenches thirst

13-10-2017

From lake to tap Mount Gambier icon quenches thirst

Did you know the natural filter power of Mount Gambier’s limestone helps raw water from the Blue Lake turn into the safe, clean water that comes out of your tap in less than 15 minutes?

Mount Gambier’s water supply comes from the city’s iconic Blue Lake, a volcanic crater filled with groundwater, as well as two local boreholes.

Last year, the Blue Lake supplied the city’s 26,000 residents with almost 3,137 million litres water, contributing to the 75,797 million litres of drinking water SA Water produced for country South Australia.

Following this year's winter rains, the volume of the lake is just above its 10-year average.

SA Water’s Senior Manager Customer Field Services, Colin Bell, said the height above sea level of groundwater in the Blue Lake had been used to monitor its level and volume since 1882.

"With the groundwater currently 11.7 metres above sea level, the Blue Lake will continue to supply Mount Gambier with a secure water supply as we move towards summer," Colin said.

To further bolster the city's water supply security, SA Water is currently drilling a new, 250 metre deep borehole south east of the city.

The new bore will replace an old borehole which connects to an underground aquifer, separate to the groundwater system feeding the Blue Lake.

Mount Gambier’s water supply system is one of 31 across the state to source water from underground aquifers, but unlike other locations, there is no treatment plant needed to clean the city’s water.

Instead, the region’s limestone naturally filters and cleanses the groundwater, allowing SA Water to complete the final disinfection process in around 10 minutes.

The city’s drinking water supply is then stored in tanks that efficiently use the power of gravity to pipe it into homes and businesses across Mount Gambier and the neighbouring towns of Yahl, Moorak, Compton, Glenburnie, Worrolong, OB Flat and Suttontown.

The automated processes used to treat the water are operated under the watchful eye of SA Water’s multi-skilled team of 23 local water experts who oversee production, as well as the region’s water and sewerage networks.

"A reliable supply of safe, clean water is vital for community health and wellbeing, and is the corporation’s top priority," Colin said.

“We take pride in making sure our customers have safe, clean and clear drinking water every time they turn on the tap.

“The region’s limestone aquifers are highly effective natural filters and compliment the chlorine disinfection process used to sanitise water from the Blue Lake and bores.

“Chlorine is widely used for disinfecting drinking water around the world to ensure public health, and we have been using it to treat water at Mount Gambier since 1971.

“Fluoride is also added, at the recommendation of SA Health, as it is a proven way to improve dental health.

SA Water’s comprehensive water testing regime ensures quality is maintained throughout the production process and that water provided to customers complies with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

“Customers are at the heart of everything we do, and managing and monitoring the processes to deliver safe drinking water is a major focus of our work at Mount Gambier and across the state.

“Our expert employees collect and analyse more than 250,000 water samples each year from a variety of locations, from catchment to tap,” he said.

Water samples are tested by scientists in the field, and in SA Water’s world-leading laboratories in Adelaide.

Up-to-date water quality results are published at sawater.com.au where customers can find detailed information about what’s in their water by postcode or suburb.

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For media enquiries, please call or email SA Water’s media team:

Phone: (08) 7424 2477
Mobile: 0477 300 197 (24/7)
Email: media@sawater.com.au

For all other SA Water-related enquiries, please call our Customer Care Centre on 1300 SA WATER (1300 729 283).

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