Local News

Waste Not, Want Not - SA Water's Pitch to Irrigators

Peter Oborn David Eggers Laura Greaves 2

SA Water is calling for ideas for the use of Adelaide Hills waste water from prospective users.

It follows a successful first crop of premium Rockit apples at Joyson Orchards using recycled water, just four years after investing in a 6 hectare, 17,000 tree expansion.

For the orchard's harvest, SA Water supplied climate-independent recycled water from their nearby Gumeracha Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The Adelaide Hills orchard is expecting to harvest 100 tonnes of Rockit apples that will go towards satisfying a high national demand, including distribution through supermarket chain Woolworths in mid-2019, with next year’s harvest expected to triple in quantity. 

Joyson Orchards’ Director Mark Joyce said it was exciting to see the fruits of their labour and collaboration with SA Water deliver results,

“The new orchard is quite unique as we used and adapted existing vineyard infrastructure into industry-leading growing techniques, with direct drip feed irrigation,

“Water availability in managing primary production is paramount – especially in our state – and having a reliable climate-independent water source has drought-proofed our property, securing our future," said Mr Joyce.

More than 30 million litres of recycled water from SA Water’s treatment plant has been supplied to Joyson Orchards so far this financial year, with the resulting growth creating two more full-time jobs and up to 45 seasonal positions.

SA Water General Manager Customer Delivery Kerry Rowlands said the Joyson Orchards story showed how smart thinking about water can grow South Australia’s economy,

“The critical step in their development was securing a reliable source of additional water – using recycled water provides great economic and environmental value,

“Recycled water has a higher level of nutrients which is great for horticultural application, and it’s widely used by fruit and vegetable growers across the Northern Adelaide Plains to grow food for domestic and international markets," said Ms Rowlands.

SA Water is currently calling on ideas from prospective users of high quality recycled water from its Hahndorf Wastewater Treatment Plant, to expand use in the Adelaide Hills and support increased irrigation opportunities.

Image: Supplied, SA Water - From left: Joyson Orchards’ Business Manager Peter Oborn, with SA Water’s Manager of Business Relations David Eggers and Business Relations Consultant Laura Greaves at the orchard’s apple plantation in Gumeracha