Tank maintenance completed

JOB DONE: SA Water Treatment Process Officer Liam Tothill at the recently refurbished Whyalla tank
JOB DONE: SA Water Treatment Process Officer Liam Tothill at the recently refurbished Whyalla tank

Up to 56 million litres of high-quality drinking water is once again on the move to Whyalla customers via one of South Australia's largest water storage tanks, following refurbishments completed by SA Water.

Maintenance to one of the town's 12-metre-high, 77 metre-diametre tanks has been taking place since early 2019, which in recent months sat drained of its normal capacity to allow crews safe access inside the structure.

Carried out as part of SA Water's $89 million investment in refurbishing more than 100 tanks across the state between 2016 and 2020, SA Water's Treatment Process Officer Liam Tothill said the project ensures water security and quality for customers in Whyalla well into the future.

"This has been a significant project for Whyalla's water network, with more than 50 people working to replace around 5000 m2 of roof sheeting, install new roof beams and replace the tank's overflow pipes, concrete drains and other general rehabilitation works inside the structure," Liam said.

"Repairing a tank of this size also requires large machinery, with the construction crew needing a huge 100- tonne crane to help lift the new roof structure in place.

"It was a unique experience to see the storage completely drained so we could access and inspect the inside of the structure, but the tank's water levels are now back to normal.

"Most people in the town may not have even realised the project was being undertaken, a result of the team's careful planning that ensured Whyalla's normal water supply operations were not impacted."

Whyalla's two near-identical water storage tanks were constructed around 50 years ago and are among the largest in SA Water's statewide network, with the structures having a combined storage capacity of more than 40 Olympic swimming pools.

"Thousands of local customers, including the steelworks, rely on the tanks to deliver safe, clean drinking water everyday to their taps, and we're excited to see these important works done to benefit the local water network for years to come," Liam said.

SA Water's tank rehabilitation and renewal program helps secure the reliability of water supply for its customers around the state.