When you turn on your kitchen tap, have you ever wondered how a dry place like the Flinders Ranges has a safe, clean and reliable supply of drinking water?
You might be surprised to learn that the region’s mains water starts out as either river water from the Murray, or salty groundwater from bores.
Through modern treatment processes, SA Water transforms river and bore water into the safe, clean water that comes out of your tap, in around 90 minutes.
Supply to major cities and towns in the region, such as Port Augusta and Quorn, is produced by SA Water’s treatment plant in Morgan, which produces around 40 per cent of country South Australia’s drinking water.
Morgan’s water is pumped through a 379 km pipeline to Whyalla, to support towns from the mid-north, right around to the far west coast.
Hawker is an exception, with its residents and businesses getting their water from the township’s desalination plant, which opened in 2014 and produced over 47 million litres for the town last year.
SA Water’s Senior Manager of Production and Treatment, Lisa Hannant, said that regardless of the source, both technology and people play a vital role in ensuring a reliable supply.
“Our teams take pride in making sure our customers have safe, clean and clear drinking water every time they turn on the tap, and perform important monitoring, quality control and trouble-shooting work,” Lisa said.
“Raw water from the River Murray typically contains suspended dirt, organic material and microorganisms, so it must go through a number of processes to clean and treat it.
“Highly advanced filtration systems then cleanse the water of any fine particles, before it is disinfected.
Hawker’s desalination plant and uses reverse osmosis technology to treat the brackish groundwater that is naturally high in salt, iron and manganese.
“A natural product called Greensand filters out the iron and manganese which could otherwise stain laundry and household fixtures such as baths and sinks.
“In both treatment processes, either chlorine or chloramine is added as a final step to kill microorganisms and ensure the water is safe to drink.
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 at all of our facilities 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,” she 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.
For media enquiries, please call or email SA Water’s media team:
Phone: (08) 7424 2477
Mobile: 0477 300 197 (24/7)
For all other SA Water-related enquiries, please call our Customer Care Centre on 1300 SA WATER (1300 729 283).