Commissioning of SA Water’s $5.75M desalination plant at Hawker in the Flinders Ranges has begun.

This includes performance and equipment testing, flushing of water mains and water sampling to ensure appropriate water quality standards are met.

Work on the reverse osmosis plant began earlier this year and is scheduled for official completion in the next few months.

SA Water’s Senior Manager of Stakeholder Engagement, Steve Dangerfield, says construction of the plant followed extensive discussion and consultation with the local community.

“We worked with key stakeholders especially with the Flinders Ranges Council to identify a desalination solution that was suitable for a remote location, and could also be delivered efficiently and within budget,” he says.

“The quality of water currently supplied to Hawker complies with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (2011), but we acknowledge that the local community regards it as too saline for drinking purposes.”

“Once operational, the desalination plant will significantly reduce the salinity level of the town’s groundwater supply and provide a sustainable long term solution that meets the needs of residents, businesses and tourists.

“The plant will be capable of supplying up to 440 kilolitres of treated drinking water a day to approximately 200 SA Water customers in the town,” Steve says.

“During the commissioning phase, some people may experience a slight discolouration of their water supply, depending on the current condition of their pipes.

“The water will however remain safe for consumption and general use during this time, and our customers will notice a substantial improvement in the taste.

“Planned water outages are not expected during commissioning, however if a supply interruption is to occur, customers will be notified in advance.”

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