SA Water will undergo maintenance works in support of greater reliability and durability for Mount Gambier’s underground sewer and water supply network.

The utility will implement cathodic protection at targeted areas of the network, a specialised technique using metal rods (anodes) to channel electrically induced corrosion away from pipe infrastructure.

SA Water’s Acting General Manager of Sustainable Infrastructure, Nima Gorjian, said effective corrosion control is essential to pipe preventive maintenance, and cathodic protection is one of the best methods for preventing corrosion on a metal surface.

“Underground metal pipes are affected by moisture in the surrounding soils, which can lead to an electrochemical reaction, a.k.a. rust,” Mr Gorjian said.

“Cathodic protection can counteract this by shielding the pipes, along with the water inside.

“Each year, we use this method across parts of our state-wide water main network, where metal pipes are installed, always ensuring to avoid stormwater drainage, maintaining distance from other metallic structures to prevent electrical interference and finding suitable soil resistivity to suit the design of the system.

“We’re currently undertaking this work in Mount Gambier, focusing on areas of the local network our crews have identified as being susceptible to corrosion after undertaking a condition assessment.

“This vital process will help maintain the integrity and longevity of the pipes, helping to ensure Mount Gambier’s pipe network remains safe and reliable for many more years to come.”

Works to install the cathodic protection systems are expected to occur Monday to Saturday between 7am and 5pm, with some Sunday or nightworks as required.

The maintenance project is expected to be completed in early 2023.

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