The Kanpi Aboriginal community, an Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands community, has recently been connected to the local supply network to receive safe, clean drinking water.

The Kanpi community is the third APY Lands community in South Australia, to receive water treated through the remote Murputja Desalination Plant

The neighbouring communities of Nyapari and Murputja were connected in late 2019, with the construction of additional pipework recently completed to bring the water to Kanpi. 

The installation of remaining property connections and dual reticulation pipework in Kanpi is expected to be complete by the end of July 2020.

SA Water’s General Manager of Customers, Strategy and Innovation, Anna Jackson, said crews from its contractor Fusco Constructions have had to work a little differently to continue the project over the past few months, due to various restrictions brought in to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into South Australia’s remote areas.

“The majority of Aboriginal communities we provide water and wastewater services have been declared designated areas under the Biosecurity Act 2015, meaning all travel to and work in these communities must meet strict requirements, with approval sought from the relevant local authority,” Ms Jackson said.

“As an essential service, our work has been allowed to continue, but while on the ground, we are making sure to maintain strict hygiene and social distancing measures as best we can, as well as not entering any communal areas within the communities.

“We know this is critical to the success of the protection measures and to give the communities confidence we’re doing what we can to safeguard their health.

“The remoteness of our infrastructure in the APY Lands means our crews and contractors already need to be flexible and self-sufficient in how we work, and that has really helped in meeting this new challenge.

“Just like in the city, by continuing with essential works like what’s underway in Kanpi, we’re not only keeping the water and wastewater services going, we’re also doing our part in supporting the economy, by keeping people in work.”

The solar and battery powered 60 kilolitre capacity Murputja Desalination Plant treats water sourced from local bores, before it’s piped through a total of around 12km of pipeline into homes and businesses across the three local communities.

SA Water manages water supplies and/or wastewater disposal systems in 13 Aboriginal communities and government facilities in the APY Lands – Indulkana, Mimili, Kaltjiti (Fregon), Umuwa, Pukatja (Ernabella), Yunyarinyi (Kenmore Park), Amata, Pipalyatjara, Kalka, Kanpi, Nyapari, Murputja and Watinuma.

Included in these operations are 62 bores (15 of which are solar-powered), five desalination plants and one wastewater treatment plant.

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