Isolation valves have been installed along the main water pipe that supplies residents of Murray Bridge, South Australia, to provide a more reliable water supply and limit impact on the community during any future required works.

Four isolation valves were installed at targeted points along the water main below Adelaide Road, with works undertaken to minimise construction impacts and an alternative supply of drinking water arranged for water-dependent businesses.

The upgrade comes after a major leak in late February 2019.

SA Water’s General Manager of Asset Operations and Delivery, Mark Gobbie, said valves are used to isolate a section of main, so water can be drained from this part of the network to allow pipe repairs or replacement to be undertaken safely, without impacting the water supply of large numbers of customers.

“Having more of these valves in our network means smaller areas and fewer properties that may need to have their water temporarily disrupted during works,” Mr Gobbie said.

“When our large supply main to Murray Bridge experienced a leak earlier this year, it threatened to interrupt supply to the whole town. Fortunately, quick-thinking by our local teams meant only parts of the local network had low pressure, before repairs were complete and water services fully restored.

“This pipe has been repaired, but the addition of one new and three replacement valves will help significantly reduce the extent of impact on our customers’ water supply, should a leak or break occur in the area again.

“Although these pieces of equipment are only 100mm and 400mm in diameter, they’ll make a big difference in ensuring our network continues to operate effectively.”

The valves will also prepare the network for a water main replacement along the Bridge Street bridge, proposed for 2020.

“This will be quite a complex job, and as with all SA Water works, safety of our crew and the community is paramount, so isolating this part of the network will be essential,” Mr Gobbie said.

“The valves will however reduce the number of properties requiring a temporary supply interruption, while we cut over from the old to new pipe.”

The planned water main replacement aims to increase capacity to ensure drinking water demand can continue to be met, and improve water pressure to customers supplied from this part of the network.

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