WHILE the bushfire-damaged Middle River Water Treatment Plant is being repaired, residents and visitors on Kangaroo Island are being advised to limit mains water use to essential needs only, to help preserve storage levels in the network until further notice.
The Middle River Water Treatment Plant is the only source of drinking water supply for people in Kingscote, Parndana and surrounding areas, with no connection to the separate Penneshaw water network.
SA Water said it has put in place the following interim measures:
* Drinking water is now being pumped into the network which supplies Parndana, Brownlow, Emu Bay, Kohinoor Hill and small parts of Kingscote. SA Health has confirmed this water is safe to drink, be aware it does have poor taste, is discoloured and may stain clothes if used for washing.
* Alternative drinking water will be available for collection at the Western KI Lions Park at the corner of Jubilee Avenue and Wheaton Street in Parndana, between 8am-9pm tomorrow, with bottled water and a large bladder to fill water containers from on site.
* The SA Water Community Support team will also deliver bottled water to residents in the Parndana township.
* From 7am today, until further notice, raw water for stock is available to access via a standpipe at the intersection of Playford Highway and Hog Bay Road in Kingscote.
* Tankers will continue to transport water from Penneshaw into the Kingscote storage tank.
SA Water said it was also sourcing mobile filtration plants to bring to the Island, which will treat water from the Middle River Reservoir to go back into the network.
"Our initial estimates are that repairs to the Middle River Water Treatment Plant could take several weeks to complete," it said.
- Details: sawater.com.au or call 1300 SA WATER for urgent assistance.
SA Power Networks has also despatched additional operational management, asset inspectors and field crews and equipment to KI to assist local crews in what will be a lengthy task to restore power to all customers on the island.
About 600 customers are without power due to the extensive damage to the distribution network from bushfire activity.
"Our priority is to inspect assets, make them safe and then repair and reconnect customers who can be safely reconnected," it said.
"We have used a helicopter to assist with aerial patrols of high voltage (11kV and 19kV) power lines.
"They have patrolled only a portion of the lines impacted but already report at least 12 kilometers of lines down due to bushfire damage.
"We now have wider access to the fire grounds. We anticipate that when we undertake ground patrols we will find significant damage to essential equipment including transformers, service lines and customer installations."
SAPN expected there to be an extended outage for customers.
"Our key priority is to restore mains supply to SA Water's Middle River facility," it said.
"We will not be able to provide an estimate of restoration to customers until we have completed our inspections and assessment of damage."
SA Power Networks will continue to directly advise customers via SMS and social media as well as mainstream media of its progress.
Telstra advise some mobile and landline services in some areas on KI have been interrupted as a result of the devastating bushfires.
Telstra was working as quickly as possible to restore affected services and minimise the inconvenience to the community. Calls from satellite phones are not impacted.
"If your phone is not working and you need emergency assistance (medical, fire or police), please go to the Kingscote Hospital where phone services are available," it said.
"If you have phone service, in an emergency, please ring Triple Zero or for non-urgent Police Assistance, call 131 444.
"If you are in an affected area please consider checking on the welfare of vulnerable, elderly or infirm neighbours."
Anyone wanting to assist is urged to please donate to the KI Mayoral Fund at: BSB 105 094 ACC 035680540
For fire updates visit the CFS website (www.cfs.sa.gov.au) or phone the Bushfire Information Hotline on 1800 362 361.