SA Water Pump Station 33 transformed into Ngarrindjeri artwork

SA Water has officially opened one of the best-looking and most thoughtful pieces of infrastructure you'll find.

SA Water’s David Ryan and the Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation’s Clyde Rigney senior celebrate the opening of Nankeri Tapatawangk. Photo: SA Water.

It could have been left a concrete box; instead, a collaboration between artists, school students, Ngarrindjeri and SA Water has transformed a corner at Swanport into something more.

Nankeri Tapatawangk, or “place of good water”, is the poetic name given to a site which was originally called Pump Station 33.

The pumping station, which helps waste water from Murray Bridge get out to a new treatment plant at Brinkley, is now surrounded by an interpretive garden full of native plants and two sculptured emu eggs, and is itself artfully decorated to represent the relationship between the traditional owners of the area and the River Murray.

The project was officially opened on Friday by SA Water chief executive David Ryan, Murray Bridge Mayor Brenton Lewis and John Holland’s Glenn Crisp, with help from the Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation’s Sean Weetra, Kyla McHughes and Clyde Rigney senior.

Afterwards, landscape architect Paul Herzich, vegetation specialist Shaun Kennedy and project managers Wes Johnston and Chas Allen offered tours and information.

An SA Water spokesman said the garden featured 40 different native plants, including 10 threatened species, and had been shaped to resemble the River Murray’s journey through the Lower Lakes to the Coorong and the sea.

Nine kilometres of drip-tube irrigation was installed to water the garden using recycled water from the Brinkley plant.

Every drop of water treated at Brinkley is reused, mostly on the Department of Defence’s Murray Bridge Training Area and a neighbouring farm.

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