SA Water’s Myponga Water Treatment Plant is changing its disinfection methods, which is expected to improve both the quality and taste of the township’s tap water.

From 8 October 2018, the vital final disinfection process applied to cleaned and filtered drinking water sourced from the Myponga Reservoir for the local town network will change from chlorine to chloramine.

The same change will roll-out over the following 24 months to all customers along the Fleurieu Peninsula and Southern Vales who receive safe, clean drinking water from the Myponga Water Treatment Plant.

SA Water’s Senior Manager Water Expertise, Dr Daniel Hoefel, said the change to chloramine would overcome water quality challenges presented by the source water and long pipelines in this regional network, as well as producing a taste preferred by customers.

“Rain over the Myponga catchment collects very high amounts of natural organic matter as it runs into the storage, creating dissolved organic carbon that reacts with the chlorine added to protect public health, and produces by-products including trihalomethanes,” Dr Hoefel said.

“Levels of trihalomethanes in some parts of Myponga’s long network have exceeded recommended guidelines from time to time, and while SA Health has always confirmed the water is safe to drink, we want to achieve the guideline 100 per cent of the time.”

SA Health has been consulted on the change to disinfection processes throughout the planning stages, and supports the initiative.

“Water supply from Myponga has grown and matured along with the Fleurieu’s population, starting as an unfiltered raw water supply in 1962 when the dam was finished, and dramatically improving when the treatment plant came online to filter water in 1993,” Dr Hoefel said.

“This is the latest of continual upgrades since the Myponga Water Treatment Plant was first built, to improve the drinking water supply delivered to our customers in the region.”

Dr Hoefel hopes Myponga residents will notice the largely ‘behind-the-scenes’ change on their palates.

“Many of our customers tell us they detect a residual note of chlorine, which is used to disinfect the water and kill any pathogens,” Dr Hoefel said.

“Changing to chloramine ensures the water remains clean and safe to drink, but with a slightly different – improved – flavour profile.

“Chloramine is widely used across other regional water networks, including at the Morgan Water Treatment Plant which has won best tasting tap water in South Australia for the last two years, and is a perennial favourite during our blind water taste tests.

“We’ve road-tested chloraminated Myponga water with a specialist water tasting panel who preferred it to the current chlorine treated reservoir water, so we’re confident our customers will notice an improvement too.”

Myponga residents will be invited to try the new chloraminated water ahead of the changeover at a series of community drop-in sessions being held in Myponga in coming weeks.

“We’ll be spending the next few months before the changeover, working with our customers to explain how the change will take place, and making sure they’re prepared for the big day.

“We’re excited about our latest improvement coming to Myponga’s water and can’t wait for our customers to try it.”

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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