Work has begun to upgrade SA Water’s Pinnaroo Water Treatment Plant in the state’s Murray Mallee region.
The project aims to increase and better manage the plant’s capacity to match predicted local population growth, further enhancing drinking water security for the 700 or so people it supplies.
SA Water’s Senior Manager of Production and Treatment Lisa Hannant said the main component of works is construction of a new 500,000 litre water storage tank.
“At the moment, there is no on-site storage, so the treatment plant and associated pumps continuously operate to instantaneously supply the distribution network at a flow rate equal to customer demand,” Lisa said.
“Installing a tank at the treatment plant site will reduce pressure on the pumps and other related infrastructure by allowing them to be rested, and therefore better maintained over time.
“It will also enable our operators to have more control of the rate of water coming out of the plant, which makes it easier to manage water quality.”
The Pinnaroo Water Treatment Plant sources water from three local bores, which draw from a confined aquifer in the town, known as the Murray Group Formation.
“As is the case with groundwater in many areas of South Australia, water from the Pinnaroo aquifer contains naturally-occurring elevated levels of iron. Although the presence of iron doesn’t pose any health risks, it can make the water discoloured,” Lisa said.
“The treatment process at our Pinnaroo facility includes a special iron removal method, which involves adding chlorine to the water to convert the iron to a solid, fine particle form, which is then removed from the water through filtration.
“Pinnaroo is one of eleven iron removal plants managed by SA Water across the state.”
Three pumps and 100 metres of new pipework mostly within the treatment plant site will also be constructed as part of the upgrade.
“We’re committed to minimising any impacts to the community during construction, such as dust or noise caused by increased vehicle activity and the use of heavy machinery,” Lisa said.
“For the safety of the community and our contractors, there will be changed traffic conditions near the treatment plant entrance on Tower Road while works are taking place.
“When a temporary water disruption is required, we will where possible, time it for lower periods of demand like overnight, and provide advance notice to affected customers.”
The project is expected to be complete in mid-2020.
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