A much needed upgrade to the Pinnaroo Water Treatment Plant in South Australia’s Murray Mallee region is underway with new pumps and water storage tank being installed as part of the project.

The project aims to increase and better manage the plant’s capacity to match predicted local population growth, further enhancing drinking water security for the 700 or so people it supplies.

Three pumps and 100m of new pipework, mostly within the treatment plant site, will be constructed as part of the upgrade.

The project will also include the construction of a new 500,000L water storage tank.

SA Water’s Senior Manager of Production and Treatment, Lisa Hannant, said the installation of a tank at the treatment plant site will reduce pressure on the pumps and other related infrastructure by allowing them to be rested, and therefore better maintained over time.

“It will also enable our operators to have more control of the rate of water coming out of the plant, which makes it easier to manage water quality,” Ms Hannant said.

“At the moment, there is no onsite storage, so the treatment plant and associated pumps continuously operate to instantaneously supply the distribution network at a flow rate equal to customer demand.”

The Pinnaroo Water Treatment Plant sources water from three local bores, which draw from a confined aquifer in the town, known as the Murray Group Formation.

“As is the case with groundwater in many areas of South Australia, water from the Pinnaroo aquifer contains naturally-occurring elevated levels of iron. Although the presence of iron doesn’t pose any health risks, it can make the water discoloured,” Ms Hannant said.

“The treatment process at our Pinnaroo facility includes a special iron removal method, which involves adding chlorine to the water to convert the iron to a solid, fine particle form, which is then removed from the water through filtration.

“Pinnaroo is one of eleven iron removal plants managed by SA Water across the state.”

The project is expected to be complete in mid 2020.

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