Main water line in the trench

SA Water will conduct pipeline upgrades to over 40km of regional water mains in its 2022-23 regional program, realising the utility’s $155 million water main management program.

Regional centres including Whyalla, Tanunda and Yankalilla will benefit from the upgrade program, alongside smaller towns such as Hamley Bridge and Curramulka.

SA Water’s General Manager of Sustainable Infrastructure, Amanda Lewry said, this year’s program builds on the 60km’s of water main that were replaced across country areas of the state during 2021-22.

“Our ongoing program of works aims to maintain the structural integrity of the water network, including helping to reduce the potential for water main leaks and breaks,” Ms Lewry said.

“Water main breaks can happen as a result of several reasons, including the age of the pipe, condition of the soil, temperature of the ground and pressure changes.

“While it isn’t possible to completely prevent a water main leak or break, our management program is a proactive way of reducing the frequency of these incidents and mitigating any impact to customers.

“A comprehensive prioritisation system helps to identify which water mains need replacing, based on factors including likelihood of future breaks and the potential impact of a break on customers and commuters.

“The 2022-23 regional program also includes the installation of network valves, to help minimise the number of properties affected when water is temporarily disrupted during any pipe repairs.

Water mains have long service lives of up to around 100 years, helping to maintain a reliable supply of drinking water for regional and metropolitan communities well into the future.

“Investing in a reliable water network supports the needs of current residents as well as future population growth, benefitting the local economy and protecting public health,” Ms Lewry said.

As each water main replacement is planned and carried out, SA Water will ensure local residents are given advance notice of any temporary water supply interruptions, which can be necessary when their connection is moved over to a new water main.

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