Works underway to reduce salt levels on the Pike floodplain
Date posted: 21 September 2017
Riverland locals may notice bore drilling on the highlands around the Pike floodplain as preparations are made for a new groundwater management project.
Production wells will be drilled along a 15 kilometre stretch between Stanitzki Road and Sturt Highway so a pipeline can be installed to better manage salt on the Pike floodplain.
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) program leader Glenn Shimmin said salt is a natural part of the River Murray system but reducing the salt levels across the Pike floodplain will help the area’s environmental recovery.
“The initiative - known as a Groundwater Management Scheme - has been in the works for more than ten years. It will help revitalise the floodplain and contribute to the goals in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan,” Dr Shimmin said.
“The production wells will be joined together by a pipeline in early 2018 to pump the highly saline groundwater - which is nearly two times saltier than the sea (around 70,000 EC) - away from the Pike River and floodplain to the Noora Basin.
“This will stop about 80 tonnes of salt a day from entering the Pike floodplain and the River Murray.
“The scheme complements other major works on the Pike by helping to freshen 4,000 hectares of floodplain soils to support vegetation health.”
Pike River Land Management Group member and local landowner Bruce Hewett said the Groundwater Management Scheme is a great development for the area and a major step towards the community’s vision of restoring the floodplain.
The production well drilling will be completed in November and pipeline installation is expected to start in December, subject to tender. This phase of the Groundwater Management Scheme is expected to be completed late in 2018.
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