Kangaroo Island's new seawater desalination plant

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Updated desalination plant information

New desalination plant location and design

The new desalination plant site is being prepared as per the Development Application granted on 16 February 2022. The approved Development Application provided flexibility in design and siting of the desalination plant as conceptual plans evolve through to final design, within a defined boundary on the site near Hog Bay Road. The refinement from concept to detailed design has resulted in the following changes:

  1. The distance to the furthest edge of the site has been refined to approximately 195 metres resulting in an adjustment to the southern boundary of the plant site of approximately 10 metres. This means the built forms are moved approximately 50 meters south of the originally proposed location. This design balances geotechnical constraints with cost and constructability considerations, while enabling the building footprint to be retained and not to push further north towards neighbouring residents and remains within the site envelope shown in the Development Application.
  1. The floor level of the finished desalination plant will be at approximately 62.7 metres above sea level. The DA noted the elevation would be within approximately 1 metre of the original 61.15 metre elevation.

The plant will still be cut into the natural curve of the hill and the elevation is within the scope provided in the Development Application. This results in a difference of 3.4 metres between the highest point on Hog Bay Road and the final finished floor level of the plant building, which is consistent with the side elevation shown to Council recently, which noted a difference of up to 4 metres.

Additional hard and soft landscaping will provide additional screening.

Noise and acoustic treatments

Noise modelling undertaken to date predicts that noise output during operation will be minimal and will comply with the requirements of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

The desalination plant building will be lined with acoustic insultation that is deemed ‘fit for purpose’ by an acoustic treatment specialist. They have considered all factors related to the plant, including machinery, proximity to residential areas, existing noise modelling and predicted noise outputs. Details of the acoustic treatments will be shared when they have been finalised.

The noise output from the dry well pump will also need to comply with the EPA noise limits for this area and noise attenuation measures will be implemented to ensure that compliance is achieved.

Professional noise monitoring will be completed once the desalination plant is in operation to ensure it complies with all requirements, and to inform any remediation in the event of a non-compliance.

Maintaining the marine environment

The marine infrastructure for the new desalination plant will be built adjacent to the existing Penneshaw Desalination Plant’s infrastructure which has been in place for more than 20 years, with no evidence of impact on marine life in the area.

As a result of the new infrastructure being designed in line with contemporary practices and more modern technologies, it is expected that there will continue to be no detrimental impact to marine life in this location.

Ongoing monitoring of the marine environment to meet criteria set by the EPA is a condition of the Development Application, as well as the facility’s operational licences.

Landscaping, fencing and lighting

Excess soil has been deposited adjacent to our desalination plant site with permission of Kangaroo Island Council and they will determine the ultimate use of this area.

As detailed in the Development Application, a landscaping plan will be developed in conjunction with Council and the local community, to reduce the visual impact for the surrounding area.

Security fencing plans will be available on the completion of detailed design and will be shared with the local community.

To enable local input into the facility’s final design, an eight-person working group comprised of local residents and community representatives, was formed and has assisted with key selections for building and fencing materials and colours, and landscape design and screening vegetation.

Construction

John Holland Guidera O'Connor (JHGO) Joint Venture, who are our construction partner, has provided us with a copy of their Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), which can be found here.


The project in a nutshell

We are constructing a new seawater desalination plant and distribution network on Kangaroo Island.

This plant will provide additional water security for the island, improve water quality management to ensure ongoing compliance to Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and expand the network to new customer areas with first water from the plant targeted to be delivered to residents in American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown by the end of 2022.

The new desalination plant will also provide an additional climate independent drinking water supply, boost economic activity, and improve bushfire resilience.

Water produced from the new plant will supplement the existing Penneshaw facility and the Middle River Reservoir, supplying the Island through a connected drinking water network.

A new pipeline will have capacity to service residents in Baudin Beach, Island Beach, Sapphiretown and American River. Our engagement with these communities will explore opportunities and interest in connecting to this new drinking water supply with consultation informing where any new drinking water networks are laid.

To aid firefighting capabilities, we plan to install fire plugs every two kilometres along the trunk main and every 400 metres along the new pipelines in the new communities we aim to supply as part of this project. These fire plugs will allow access by the Country Fire Service for firefighting purposes.

The new desalination plant will produce as much as 80% of the Island’s current water requirements. This will allow for growth and an expected increase in demand.

Updated desalination plant information

New desalination plant location and design

The new desalination plant site is being prepared as per the Development Application granted on 16 February 2022. The approved Development Application provided flexibility in design and siting of the desalination plant as conceptual plans evolve through to final design, within a defined boundary on the site near Hog Bay Road. The refinement from concept to detailed design has resulted in the following changes:

  1. The distance to the furthest edge of the site has been refined to approximately 195 metres resulting in an adjustment to the southern boundary of the plant site of approximately 10 metres. This means the built forms are moved approximately 50 meters south of the originally proposed location. This design balances geotechnical constraints with cost and constructability considerations, while enabling the building footprint to be retained and not to push further north towards neighbouring residents and remains within the site envelope shown in the Development Application.
  1. The floor level of the finished desalination plant will be at approximately 62.7 metres above sea level. The DA noted the elevation would be within approximately 1 metre of the original 61.15 metre elevation.

The plant will still be cut into the natural curve of the hill and the elevation is within the scope provided in the Development Application. This results in a difference of 3.4 metres between the highest point on Hog Bay Road and the final finished floor level of the plant building, which is consistent with the side elevation shown to Council recently, which noted a difference of up to 4 metres.

Additional hard and soft landscaping will provide additional screening.

Noise and acoustic treatments

Noise modelling undertaken to date predicts that noise output during operation will be minimal and will comply with the requirements of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

The desalination plant building will be lined with acoustic insultation that is deemed ‘fit for purpose’ by an acoustic treatment specialist. They have considered all factors related to the plant, including machinery, proximity to residential areas, existing noise modelling and predicted noise outputs. Details of the acoustic treatments will be shared when they have been finalised.

The noise output from the dry well pump will also need to comply with the EPA noise limits for this area and noise attenuation measures will be implemented to ensure that compliance is achieved.

Professional noise monitoring will be completed once the desalination plant is in operation to ensure it complies with all requirements, and to inform any remediation in the event of a non-compliance.

Maintaining the marine environment

The marine infrastructure for the new desalination plant will be built adjacent to the existing Penneshaw Desalination Plant’s infrastructure which has been in place for more than 20 years, with no evidence of impact on marine life in the area.

As a result of the new infrastructure being designed in line with contemporary practices and more modern technologies, it is expected that there will continue to be no detrimental impact to marine life in this location.

Ongoing monitoring of the marine environment to meet criteria set by the EPA is a condition of the Development Application, as well as the facility’s operational licences.

Landscaping, fencing and lighting

Excess soil has been deposited adjacent to our desalination plant site with permission of Kangaroo Island Council and they will determine the ultimate use of this area.

As detailed in the Development Application, a landscaping plan will be developed in conjunction with Council and the local community, to reduce the visual impact for the surrounding area.

Security fencing plans will be available on the completion of detailed design and will be shared with the local community.

To enable local input into the facility’s final design, an eight-person working group comprised of local residents and community representatives, was formed and has assisted with key selections for building and fencing materials and colours, and landscape design and screening vegetation.

Construction

John Holland Guidera O'Connor (JHGO) Joint Venture, who are our construction partner, has provided us with a copy of their Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), which can be found here.


The project in a nutshell

We are constructing a new seawater desalination plant and distribution network on Kangaroo Island.

This plant will provide additional water security for the island, improve water quality management to ensure ongoing compliance to Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and expand the network to new customer areas with first water from the plant targeted to be delivered to residents in American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown by the end of 2022.

The new desalination plant will also provide an additional climate independent drinking water supply, boost economic activity, and improve bushfire resilience.

Water produced from the new plant will supplement the existing Penneshaw facility and the Middle River Reservoir, supplying the Island through a connected drinking water network.

A new pipeline will have capacity to service residents in Baudin Beach, Island Beach, Sapphiretown and American River. Our engagement with these communities will explore opportunities and interest in connecting to this new drinking water supply with consultation informing where any new drinking water networks are laid.

To aid firefighting capabilities, we plan to install fire plugs every two kilometres along the trunk main and every 400 metres along the new pipelines in the new communities we aim to supply as part of this project. These fire plugs will allow access by the Country Fire Service for firefighting purposes.

The new desalination plant will produce as much as 80% of the Island’s current water requirements. This will allow for growth and an expected increase in demand.

  • Desalination plant powerline to go underground

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    In response to community feedback, we will alter the design of a powerline extension to the site of the new desalination plant on Kangaroo Island, with the infrastructure to now be installed underground.

    Required to power the plant being built near Hog Bay Road in Penneshaw, the connection to the existing nearby electricity network involves the installation of around 150 metres of new cables.

    The revised plans will see the new connection placed below ground along William Walkers Way before coming above ground at an existing stobie pole location on Bates Way.

    A combination of overhead and underground powerlines was included in our initial Development Application for the project, which was submitted to the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) late last year and approved by the relevant Minister in February.

    While there was an opportunity for the public to provide comment during SCAP’s independent review process, we have since heard direct from some members of the Penneshaw community around concerns with the visual impacts of above ground powerlines at the site.

    In late April, we asked the community to share their thoughts on this part of the design, and we received around 50 responses through this process.

    We assessed this feedback and determined that changing from overhead to underground was feasible and clearly the option most supported by the local community.

    Instead of installing three new Stobie poles, cables will now go underground and two or three existing poles on Bates Way will be replaced to ensure they can support the above to underground transition equipment.

    With the powerline change now adopted into project plans, we will work with SA Power Networks on a detailed design and schedule for the new configuration.

    As with any project changes after construction has commenced, there are impacts to the cost and timeline for delivery.

    Together with changes to positioning of the desalination plant on the site, this will impact the expected date of first water.

  • Clarifying key points

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    Some recent community conversation about Kangaroo Island’s new desalination plant has misrepresented key pieces of information.

    Here are key points to clarify statements you might have seen or heard:

    • The location and concept design of the desalination plant was shared for community feedback in more than 10 drop-in sessions and presentations held across the Island in August and September 2021.
    • The State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) conducted their independent review process – which included public consultation and considered submissions from some local community members – and recommended the Development Application for approval by the Minister, which was granted on 16 February 2022. You can read the full Development Application (Submission and Response) and SCAP’s Decision Notification Form with the conditions of approval that must be met.
    • In response to community feedback, the facility’s design was repositioned within the identified site, excavated into the hill and some tall equipment was reconfigured from vertical to horizontal. These design amendments remain our commitment and conditions of the Development Approval that must be met.
    • To minimise potential impact on residents in the area, the facility will – as a minimum – comply with noise limits stipulated by the Environment Protection Authority for this zone, which range between 40 and 45 decibels. For context, this decibel range is the equivalent of a personal computer cooling fan, light rain or a quiet library. This remains our commitment and a condition of the Development Approval.
    • To enable local input into the facility’s final design, we formed an eight person working group who have come together three times over the last six months and made key selections for building and fencing materials and colours, and landscape design and screening vegetation. Our commitments to the working group and decisions we have collaborated on, remain unchanged.
    • A new barrier will be installed along Hog Bay Road to improve road safety outcomes and provide separation from the new facility.
    • Island freight companies were consulted and received our commitment they will still be able to continue using some of the site as an informal parking area both during and after construction of the new facility.
    • While our water storage site at the corner of Hog Bay and Charing Cross Roads is reflected in local planning guides, the area shown is larger than the land we own. An expansion on this site is not feasible as it would require land acquisition and native vegetation clearance, be closer to the nearest residence, and have higher bushfire and environmental risks.
    • The new facility will meet current projected water demand on the Island, and while some allowance is made for potential future expansion, there are no identified plans. Any future expansion would constitute new development and would be subject to the development approval and consultation processes of the time.


    If you would like more information contact our team at kinewdesal@sawater.com.au so you can get the facts first hand.

  • Connecting new customers along Hog Bay Road and Arronmore Road

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    To keep our costs as low as possible for new water connections installed directly off the trunk main along Hog Bay Road and Arronmore Road, we will provide individual 20mm water meters in a shared manifold arrangement where possible. A manifold arrangement allows between two and four individual meters to be co-located and reduces the overall installation cost.

    We will locate the manifold connection and water meters adjacent to driveways and close to boundaries which in some cases will be in the road verge requiring an underground box to protect the meters from damage. It is unlikely we will be able to locate meters in preferred locations for all customers.

    We are pleased to advise the cost for a 20mm meter connection as part of a manifold along Hog Bay Road and Arronmore Road will be capped at $3050 per property for connections applied for before 28 February 2022.

    You will be responsible for private pipework requirements, including any Council permits for construction in road verge, from the meter to your property.

    To apply for a new connection along Hog Bay Road and Arronmore Road, please follow this link to complete an application.

    Any connection requests for a larger water meter to accommodate business purposes or an individual connection outside of a shared manifold arrangement will need to be reviewed to ensure there is sufficient capacity to be shared across the entire network and may incur additional costs.

    It is recommended that you seek professional advice from a plumber around your specific circumstances to ensure internal pipelines and/or other suitable storage and pumps (if required) is incorporated to meet your ongoing needs. Getting water from the meter to your tank or your home will be your responsibility.

    Water supply from the new connection will not be available until the new trunk main and desalination plant is completed and commissioned. We will let you know when water is available.

  • Connecting new customers in American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown

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    supporting image

    Opportunities to connect to the proposed new reticulated water mains network in American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown is a critical part of this project.

    Connections for new customers in American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown will be available at a reduced fee which can be achieved by undertaking connections to properties at the same time as laying the mains in your community.

    We are pleased to advise the cost of a standard 20mm meter connection for new customers in American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown has been reduced to $1650 per property, connected during construction of the new reticulation networks.

    A fact sheet that outlines details including the cost to connect and our statewide water pricing and an Intent to Connect document. The fact sheet can be found in the Documents section of this page.

Page last updated: 15 Jun 2022, 09:15 AM