Murray Bridge council may sell, outsource operations of community wastewater management systems at Riverglen, Woodlane

For sale or management lease: The water treatment plant at Woodlane. Photo: Rural City of Murray Bridge.
For sale or management lease: The water treatment plant at Woodlane. Photo: Rural City of Murray Bridge.

The Murray Bridge council is considering whether to sell off the systems it uses to provide drinking water to residents of Riverglen and Woodlane.

Keeping them in public hands, but outsourcing their operation to a private company, is another possibility.

The options came up for consideration after talks with the Adelaide Hills and Onkaparinga councils, which are also looking to divest themselves of similar systems.

The three councils received several expressions of interest in their water-related assets, which would be offered for sale or management as a package.

Any change would affect about 60 households at Riverglen and dozens more at Woodlane, neither of which is connected to the main SA Water network.

Corporate services general manager Anthony Brown said there were several reasons it made sense for the council to find someone else to maintain the water management systems.

Operating the systems was not the council's core business, so it was hard to justify its employment of the specialist staff who were needed.

In addition, the risks associated with providing potable water were high, and would be more easily managed by an industry operator.

The council is now seeking feedback from residents.

An online survey asks them to rank the priorities most important to them if a new operator took over: a low water price, good customer service, continued reliability, a high sale price for the council's assets, or the reduction of risk to the council.

About a dozen people attended a public meeting held at Riverglen Marina on Tuesday night.

Another meeting will be held at Mypolonga Hall at 6.30pm next Tuesday.

Riverglen's water supply came under some scrutiny a year ago when council staff discovered residents were using more than twice as much water as the treatment plant there could handle each year.