SA Water has hosted potential future engineers, environmental officers and project managers at the Murray Bridge Wastewater Treatment Plant worksite, with year sevens from Unity College being given a behind the scenes tour and insight into the project.
Construction of the new treatment plant has been underway for around five months, and is on track to finish in early 2020.
SA Water’s General Manager of Asset Operations and Delivery Mark Gobbie said an active construction site provides the students an interesting and new experience and can also get them thinking about potential related career opportunities.
“There are a lot of people involved in planning, designing and then constructing a treatment plant this size, and we really want to showcase this during the school visit,” Mark said.
“By showing the students around the Murray Bridge site and giving them the opportunity to sit down with several members of our team and our contractor John Holland, they can ask questions and learn about different aspects of construction and the wastewater industry.
“We’re especially invested in encouraging younger generations to consider studying and then working in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
“STEM is an area traditionally seen as under-represented by women in the workforce, and growing a diverse workforce and improving our gender balance is a priority for SA Water, so another objective for us is to plant the idea of a future STEM career with girls in primary school.
“Right from the early planning stages of this project, we’ve made working with the local community a priority, so this school visit is also very much a continuation of our close involvement with people living and working in Murray Bridge.”
As part of the $52 million upgrade to Murray Bridge’s sewer network, a variety of work is being undertaken simultaneously across several sites in and around the regional centre.
“The new wastewater treatment plant in Brinkley is the key element of the project, and it’s really starting to take shape, with all bulk earthworks complete and concrete foundations laid,” Mark said.
“Our current focus at this site is constructing the walls of various parts of the plant, such as storages and infrastructure involved in wastewater treatment. More than 500 solar panels will also soon be installed, which will eventually help to power the treatment facility.
“Elsewhere in Murray Bridge, we’re begun installing an 18 kilometre pipeline – including a section which runs past Unity College.
“We will continue pipe laying work over the next four months, as well as preparations to connect this new main into our existing wastewater network which includes four new pump stations currently under construction.
“Some of this work will be quite visible to the community, and our contractor is making every effort to minimise construction impacts, including using water carts and street sweepers, where necessary, to manage dust.
“We ask anybody travelling near our worksites to take care and be mindful of any changed traffic conditions, which are in place for the safety of our workers and local residents.”
Compared to the existing wastewater treatment plant, the new facility will be better placed to support future growth and demand in Murray Bridge, through increased capacity, and enhanced treatment processes and odour control facilities.
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