The Langhorne and Currency Creek’s pipeline system is working better now than it did when it was first constructed in 2009.
The pipeline services 100 irrigators and was a farm-saving water supply for many properties during severe drought in 2009/10.
The pipeline upgrades were made possible through two grants under the South Australian River Murray Sustainability Program (SARMS).
“Our system is now working more efficiently than when it was brand new,” said Creeks Pipeline Company General Manager, Mike Reynolds
“This year  will be our ninth irrigation season and since the completion of our upgrades, we have seen up to a 20% increase in the system’s efficiency.”
The company estimates they are now saving around 100 ML a year.
The project consisted of four major works, including a boosting station that addresses water pressure issues along the 110km length of the pipeline.
“It works perfectly, better than expected,” Mr Reynolds said.
“Management of water pressure now allows us to save money on power costs with more consistent water delivery at lower pressure, even in quieter winter periods when less pressure is required.”
The second part of the upgrade is the introduction of a gas chlorination system that cleans any growth inside the pipes, limiting the amount of friction and enabling consistent flow of water.
“The implementation of a radio-based telemetry system can now tell us in real time how much water is being delivered and where,” he said.
“At the time, we thought this part of the project was in the ‘nice to have’ category but now we see the incredible benefits of having accurate and timely data to fine tune the whole network.”
The most recent project, fitting hand-in-hand with the earlier project, includes the replacement of leaking pipes and the ceramic coating of nine major pumps to further lessen friction within the system.
“The benefit of the overall project has been immense as we have been able to keep running costs down and that is a big thing for this grower-owned company,” he said.
“The SARMS program has been brilliant because it’s not just about buying back water, it’s a smart program that has enabled us to run our system a whole lot smarter.”
SARMS is contributing to the South Australian Government’s commitment and implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. The Irrigation Industry Improvement (3IP) grants program is supporting the sustainability of South Australian River Murray communities through investment in irrigation efficiency, water returns and irrigation industry assistance.