Rockpool at Kangaroo Island

Construction is progressing on Penneshaw’s new seawater desalination plant, with work now underway to install the next 20km of a large underground pipeline on Kangaroo Island.

This section of water main forms part of a total 50km being laid, which will deliver safe, clean water to new and existing SA Water customers from the new desalination facility once operational from mid-2024.

SA Water Senior Manager of Capital Delivery, Peter Seltsikas, said installation of this pipeline stage is expected to be complete in 2023, with work progressively being undertaken from the Haines area towards the Playford Highway in Cygnet River.

“As the main pipe connecting the new plant in Penneshaw to hundreds of residential and business customers, this is a terrific milestone towards progressing the delivery of an important project for the Island,” Mr Seltsikas said.

“Taking place over several months, construction crews will progressively lay the large trunk main between Arronmore Road and Playford Highway, before heading south-east towards American River.

“With 50 fireplugs and 16 valves, the new section of ductile iron cement-lined pipeline will connect to the 14km of main recently installed between Haines and Pelican Lagoon.”

SA Water has made the decision to replace the entire length of pipeline installed between Penneshaw and Pelican Lagoon, with this work scheduled to begin in 2023 and take several months to complete. These works will be carried out parallel to the stage two pipeline installation.

“Through the stage one pipe testing phase, we identified faults that impacted our confidence in being able to deliver a high quality and reliable water service for our customers,” Mr Seltsikas said.

“This first 15km of PVC pipeline will be replaced with ductile iron cement-lined water main – the same material being laid as part of stage two.

“Costs associated with these additional works are reflected within our increased investment for the project, as shared with the community earlier this year.

“We know this is the right step but understand the inconvenience this additional construction may cause for people travelling through the area, and are committed to reducing impacts where possible – as well as updating the community as works progress.

“For the safety of our crews and commuters, traffic management will be in place in and around our worksites for both stages of the pipeline work.”

With a water production capacity of approximately two million litres each day, Penneshaw’s new desalination plant will work in tandem with the existing nearby desalination facility to increase the security of Kangaroo Island’s drinking water supply for future generations.

“Pleasingly, the desalination plant site on Hog Bay Road also continues to take shape, with the building’s structural framework – including supporting beams for the curved roof structure – now complete and ready for cladding,” Mr Seltsikas said.

“Construction crews will also continue with further concreting work over coming weeks.”

Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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