In a rare sight, one of Whyalla’s enormous 12-metre-high water storage tanks currently sits empty of its 56 million-litre capacity as SA Water carries out important maintenance to ensure the ongoing security and quality of water supply for local customers.
Beginning earlier this year, restorations to the 77 metre-diametre tank forms part of SA Water’s $89 million investment to refurbish 111 water storages around South Australia between 2016 and 2020.
SA Water’s General Manager Asset Operations and Delivery Mark Gobbie said the project is similar to a refurbishment of town’s other identical tank completed in 2018.
"The two large storages in Whyalla are important in supplying water to thousands of customers in the area including the large steelworks operations, so it's vital they are able to keep delivering safe, clean drinking water for years to come," Mark said.
"The tanks are also among our largest currently operating in South Australia and each have a capacity of around 22 Olympic swimming pools, so it is certainly quite an amazing sight to see such large piece of infrastructure completely empty.
"We anticipate this refurbishment will be completed in the coming months when the tank can be re-filled with clean, safe drinking water and be back operating as normal."
Approximately 50 people are working to deliver this tank's refurbishment in a timely manner, with works including internal concrete rehabilitation, new overflow pipework, new external concrete drains, as well as new roof beams and almost 5,000m2 of roof re-sheeting.
"Due to the enormous size and scale of the tanks, a 100 tonne crane is being used to lift and fit the new roof sheeting panels into place," Mark said.
"Having been built more than 50 years ago, ticking-off some basic maintenance and repair work will help secure the tank's future reliability in distributing water supply safely throughout network and to customer taps.
"While the tank remains offline, our customers can rest assured that having the existing tank in operation means there is no impact to water supply as part of this refurbishment."
SA Water's tank rehabilitation and renewal program helps secure the reliability of water storage tanks across South Australia and help maintain water supply for its customers around the water network.
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