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SA Water has earmarked major regional towns including Crystal Brook, Kadina, Kingscote and Murray Bridge to receive new water mains in the next 12 months under its $155 million investment in water infrastructure improvements.

More than 30,000m of pipe will be replaced throughout regional South Australia this financial year, with the upgrades an important component of SA Water’s four-year, $1.6 billion capital program.

SA Water’s General Manager Asset Operations and Delivery, Amanda Lewry, said its continued emphasis on upgrading and replacing water mains will ensure the long-term reliability of essential water services.

“A reliable supply of water is central to protecting public health and underpins economic growth, and by investing in our water network, we’re enhancing the delivery of services that support the prosperity of our communities and businesses,” Ms Lewry said.

“Our upgrades across regional areas such as the Mid North and Yorke Peninsula are only a few of many in the pipeline for this year and we look forward to continuing our investment in communities right across the state.”

Reticulated water mains, which connect larger distribution mains to customers’ service pipes, traditionally have a lifespan of approximately 100 years and range from 80mm to 375mm in diameter.

Cast iron and fibro-cement water mains are now replaced with PVC pipes, due to their greater flexibility and resistance to ground movement.

“South Australia’s climate and environmental factors like soil movement can make it challenging to prevent leaks and breaks from occurring, but we’re adopting modern materials and practices to limit their frequency and impact,” Ms Lewry said.

“Our program also includes the installation of an additional 250 network valves in regional areas to help minimise the number of customers affected when parts of the network are isolated for repairs.

“As work progresses at pace, we will ensure local residents are kept informed of work and any temporary interruptions to their water supply that are necessary when we move their connections over to their new water main.”

Depending on the length of water main replaced, each upgrade takes an average of five weeks to complete, with works typically occurring between Monday to Friday from 7am to 5pm.

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