Kangaroo Island's new seawater desalination plant

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For new connection applications along the new trunk main, please follow this link - Connecting new customers along Hog Bay Road and Arranmore Road

For new connection applications for American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown property owners, please follow this link - Connecting new customers in American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown




In partnership with the Australian and South Australian Governments, we are constructing a new seawater desalination plant and distribution network on Kangaroo Island, at a cost of $64.9 million.

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 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 2 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.

Our experience with desalination plants

We operate nine desalination plants across South Australia including seawater desalination plants at Lonsdale in Adelaide and the existing plant at Penneshaw.

Our desalination plants improve security of drinking water supplies for our customers. They give us the ability to supply water regardless of climate impacts and ensure drinking water is still available even in times of drought.

How desalination plants work

Our desalination plants use a technology called reverse osmosis. The process removes up to 99 per cent of the impurities and salt in the water. Once the impurities - mainly salt - are removed, the water is treated to ensure it is safe to.

The new desalination plant location

The proposed project site is approximately two kilometres west of the Penneshaw township, within the road reserve of Hog Bay Road, Kangaroo Head near the intersection of William Walkers Way.

The location comprises approximately 8000 square metres of road reserve. This road reserve is adjacent to agricultural land and is approximately 400 metres from the coastline and 165 meters from the nearest residential property located to the north. A new access road is proposed with an entry and exit point from Desal Drive. Ancillary infrastructure will be located either on land already owned by us or on land adjacent to the existing plant, or within Desal Drive.

Current status - Pipeline construction

Stage 1 of the construction and installation of the new trunk main pipeline, connecting the existing Penneshaw facility and the Middle River-Kingscote network, has begun. This section extends from Pelican Lagoon, along Hog Bay Road, to our earth bank storage site near the corner of Charing Cross Road and Hog Bay Road.

To ensure the safety of motorists, the community and our work crew, traffic management including reduced speed will be in place during works. Please allow extra time if you need to travel through these areas.


Design development of Stage 2 of the pipeline, which extends from the Middle River water main on Playford Highway near the Kangaroo Island Airport along Arronmore Road and Hog Bay Road to Pelican Lagoon, is progressing well. Work on Stage 2 is expected to commence in early 2022.

Development Application

A Development Application has been submitted to seek approval to construct the new desalination plant and supporting marine and terrestrial infrastructure. The Development Application provides a detailed description of the project and the project site, as well as detail of the benefit and rationale of the project.

A flythrough of the concept design of the desalination site can be found below.

This reflects what has been submitted as part of our Development Application, and is subject to further design development as the project progresses.

How to get involved

Over the duration of the project, we will facilitate a number of discussions that will provide you with project updates and information, opportunities to discuss the project with us and connection opportunities for the communities of American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown and along the pipeline connecting the existing Penneshaw facility and the Middle River-Kingscote network.

Next steps

Construction will be undertaken in stages. Construction of the first section of pipe along Hog Bay Road has commenced. This is being constructed from Pelican Lagoon to our earth bank storage site on the corner of Hog Bay Road and Charing Cross Road. Work to construct the remaining section, connecting with the existing Middle-River-Kingscote network, will start in early 2022.

The construction of the desalination plant and associated marine works is expected to start in early 2022 with reticulation mains for the communities of American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown constructed from mid-2022.

With our target of first water through the desalination plant by the end of 2022, this includes providing water to new connections in these four communities. We will engage with these communities on opportunities to connect to this new, safe, clean affordable drinking water network.


For new connection applications along the new trunk main, please follow this link - Connecting new customers along Hog Bay Road and Arranmore Road

For new connection applications for American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown property owners, please follow this link - Connecting new customers in American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown




In partnership with the Australian and South Australian Governments, we are constructing a new seawater desalination plant and distribution network on Kangaroo Island, at a cost of $64.9 million.

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 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 2 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.

Our experience with desalination plants

We operate nine desalination plants across South Australia including seawater desalination plants at Lonsdale in Adelaide and the existing plant at Penneshaw.

Our desalination plants improve security of drinking water supplies for our customers. They give us the ability to supply water regardless of climate impacts and ensure drinking water is still available even in times of drought.

How desalination plants work

Our desalination plants use a technology called reverse osmosis. The process removes up to 99 per cent of the impurities and salt in the water. Once the impurities - mainly salt - are removed, the water is treated to ensure it is safe to.

The new desalination plant location

The proposed project site is approximately two kilometres west of the Penneshaw township, within the road reserve of Hog Bay Road, Kangaroo Head near the intersection of William Walkers Way.

The location comprises approximately 8000 square metres of road reserve. This road reserve is adjacent to agricultural land and is approximately 400 metres from the coastline and 165 meters from the nearest residential property located to the north. A new access road is proposed with an entry and exit point from Desal Drive. Ancillary infrastructure will be located either on land already owned by us or on land adjacent to the existing plant, or within Desal Drive.

Current status - Pipeline construction

Stage 1 of the construction and installation of the new trunk main pipeline, connecting the existing Penneshaw facility and the Middle River-Kingscote network, has begun. This section extends from Pelican Lagoon, along Hog Bay Road, to our earth bank storage site near the corner of Charing Cross Road and Hog Bay Road.

To ensure the safety of motorists, the community and our work crew, traffic management including reduced speed will be in place during works. Please allow extra time if you need to travel through these areas.


Design development of Stage 2 of the pipeline, which extends from the Middle River water main on Playford Highway near the Kangaroo Island Airport along Arronmore Road and Hog Bay Road to Pelican Lagoon, is progressing well. Work on Stage 2 is expected to commence in early 2022.

Development Application

A Development Application has been submitted to seek approval to construct the new desalination plant and supporting marine and terrestrial infrastructure. The Development Application provides a detailed description of the project and the project site, as well as detail of the benefit and rationale of the project.

A flythrough of the concept design of the desalination site can be found below.

This reflects what has been submitted as part of our Development Application, and is subject to further design development as the project progresses.

How to get involved

Over the duration of the project, we will facilitate a number of discussions that will provide you with project updates and information, opportunities to discuss the project with us and connection opportunities for the communities of American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown and along the pipeline connecting the existing Penneshaw facility and the Middle River-Kingscote network.

Next steps

Construction will be undertaken in stages. Construction of the first section of pipe along Hog Bay Road has commenced. This is being constructed from Pelican Lagoon to our earth bank storage site on the corner of Hog Bay Road and Charing Cross Road. Work to construct the remaining section, connecting with the existing Middle-River-Kingscote network, will start in early 2022.

The construction of the desalination plant and associated marine works is expected to start in early 2022 with reticulation mains for the communities of American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown constructed from mid-2022.

With our target of first water through the desalination plant by the end of 2022, this includes providing water to new connections in these four communities. We will engage with these communities on opportunities to connect to this new, safe, clean affordable drinking water network.

Ask the project team a question

We are working together with the Kangaroo Island community as we start planning to construct a new 2 megalitre per day seawater desalination plant to be built in the vicinity of the existing plant at Penneshaw.  The new desalination plant will supplement the existing Penneshaw facility and the Middle River Reservoir, supplying Kangaroo Island through a connected pipeline network.

Local community members are invited to join to ask us questions and tell us what's most important to them

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  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Just to clarify, I understand the pipeline will be underground, but will it be layed under the road itself or along side of the road? Cheers

    Kiholidays asked 9 months ago

    Hi KIholidays

    Thanks for the follow up question. 

    Optimally the pipeline would be laid in the road verge, however where laying in the road verge has any impact upon the native vegetation in the area, the pipeline will be laid within the road itself.

    We are looking to minimise our impact on the local native vegetation and have undertaken assessments along the route. These assessments will be fed into the design process that will then identify where exactly, across the entire route, where the pipe needs to be laid.

    Cheers

    Aaron - SA Water

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    Hi, Will the pipeline be layed under the road or along side?

    Kiholidays asked 9 months ago

    Hi Kiholidays

    The pipe that connects the new desalination plant in Penneshaw to the Middle River-Kingscote network will be an underground pipeline, just as the reticulation networks in Baudin Beach, Island Beach, Sapphiretown and American River will be.

    Kind regards

    Aaron - SA Water

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    Hi there, I note that the project includes a pipeline connecting the Penneshaw supply with the Kingscote-Middle River supply. While Baudin Beach, Island Beach, Sapphiretown and American River are named, the route of the pipeline suggests it will pass Nepean Bay - has any thought been given about whether the pipeline will be able to supply the community at Nepean Bay in the future?

    Daniel Garland asked about 1 year ago

    Hi Daniel.

    Thanks for your question. At this stage, the scope of the project is to look to provide new connections to property owners in Baudin Beach, Island Beach, Sapphiretown and American River. Engagement with these communities will look to explore opportunities and interest in connecting to this new, safe and affordable drinking water supply. 

    We are also talking with neighbours of the new pipeline, connecting the new desalination plant to the Middle River-Kingscote network. 

    We are open to discuss connection opportunities with property owners in Nepean Bay and would suggest to anyone who is keen to discuss this, to make contact with me via email - aaron.glossop@sawater.com.au or via the project email kinewdesal@sawater.com.au.

    Kind regards

    Aaron Glossop

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    I live on Cape Willoughby Rd, opposite the golf course... is it possible for my cottage to be connected to mains water? Thank you

    Karen Robb asked about 1 year ago

    Hi Karen

    Thanks for your question. At this stage, the scope of the project is to look to provide new connections to property owners in Baudin Beach, Island Beach, Sapphiretown and American River. Engagement with these communities will look to explore opportunities and interest in connecting to this new, safe and affordable drinking water supply.

    Any new connection within the Penneshaw reticulated network will require a standard connection request through our new connections team.  Please refer to our standard connections policy - Standard (sawater.com.au) for all you need to know.

    Kind regards

    Aaron Glossop

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    Your website under the heading of “Charges if you are Not connected to the Water Network States and I quote “If your property is ABLE to be connected to a water main,you are billed a rating on abuttal charge.This charge applies even if you are not connected”. This implies to me that if a water main is running past my house and I elect not to be connected I will be charged. What will that charge be?.

    George Bateman asked about 1 year ago

    Hi George

    Thanks for your question.

    The 2020-21 annual charge for the supply of our safe, reliable and affordable water to your home is $67.85 per quarter, $271.40 per year. 

    As the mains network is designed to meet the water service needs of each property for your benefit and future owners, this charge applies whether your property is connected to the network or not.

    With statewide pricing in place across South Australia, all residential customers pay the same price for water, regardless of where they live. 

    Drinking water prices across South Australia include:

    1. a fixed charge for water supply
    2. variable water use price – the more you use, the more you pay.


    Kind regards

    Aaron Glossop

    SA Water

Page last updated: 29 December 2021, 17:08