SA Water – Port Lincoln water storage

SA Water’s new water tank has been brought online to support long-term water security for the growing town of Port Lincoln, on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. Concept assisted in the build which was the fastest construction of its kind for SA Water, being delivered in a fraction of the time taken for water tank construction.

SA Water tasked its capital delivery partners of its water north portfolio, the McConnell Dowell Diona joint venture, with increasing the water storage at the Port Lincoln Summit Storage from 9ML up to 19ML by building a 10ML storage solution before the end of the summer 2021.

In the search for an innovative permanent solution, the water north team approached Concept Environmental Services (Concept) whose water tank design promised a 75% time saving over historical methods.

Concept Design

The Concept design utilises a tilt-up method with pre-cast, 6m tall concrete panels that are manufactured off site, allowing for extensive quality assurance testing on each panel. The panels are then transported to site and craned into place in a process that is significantly safer for workers than cast-in-situ construction.

“Using pre-constructed panels, quality can be optimised with full control over quality aspects to maximise the life of a tank,” said SA Water’s Construction Technical Manager Kym Bowden.

Early works began in September 2020 and panel manufacture began almost immediately, at the same time civil works were completed on the compacted earth pad required to receive the tank.

The bulk of construction commenced mid-November 2020 and the 76 pre-cast panels were installed by the end of the month. Auxiliary equipment and piping were then installed before the Christmas break and finally the system was lined and roofed with an innovative material, approved for contact with drinking water and sealed against contamination.

Overcoming Delays

The system was fully operational early February 2021, overcoming a state-wide COVID-19 lockdown, high winds, and rain delays to meet the tight deadline. “The six-metre-high tank was impressive to watch being constructed,” said Stephen Mellier, SA Water Senior Project Manager.

Daniel Graetz, the water north Area Manager for the project said, “the team remained resilient and focused on the end goal of having the tank online by mid-summer for SA Water’s Eyre Peninsula customers.”

The water tank has a 50-year design life and will be maintained via Concept’s safety inspection program, which will serve to extend the warranty for the life of the asset.

“This project represents a step change for the water industry. Utilities are seeking more secure water storage solutions delivered on tight timelines for the benefit of their customers, as Australia’s water needs change. The new water tank represents a significant contribution to the industry in this respect.” Paul Avey, Concept CEO.For more information on this and other Concept projects please contact