SA Water pump station on Jervois Road, Murray Bridge South will echo River Murray, Ngarrindjeri culture

No, it's not a castle being built on the corner of Jervois and Swanport Road.

It's a pump station, and it's going to get a lot more colourful by the time it's finished.

SA Water is overseeing the construction, part of a new network of pumps and pipes which will carry Murray Bridge's sewage from the site of its present treatment plant near the marina to a new one at Brinkley.

Work on the $52 million project has been progressing for a year, and is expected to be complete in the first half of next year.

Acting chief executive Mark Gobbie said SA Water had recognised that pump station 33 needed to be visually appealing and its grounds useable by the community, given its prominent location.

In consultation with the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority, Aboriginal architect and artist Paul Herzich came up with a design which would reflect important features of the traditional owners' country, including the River Murray.

A path leading through the property will form the shape of the river - including the Murray Mouth, Coorong, Lower Lakes and Long Island - when viewed from the air, and will eventually become part of the Murray Coorong Trail.

Blue and brown cladding on the pump station, built of concrete and steel, will also reflect the river and the Ngarrindjeri creation story.

A sculpture depicting eggs from a kungari, or black swan, a ngatji or totem animal to the Ngarrindjeri, will capture the attention of passers-by.

Native vegetation and educational signage will also be used to teach people about Ngarrindjeri culture and the importance of water within it.

Rather than building the simplest structure for the lowest cost, project manager Wes Johnston said, construction contractors John Holland wanted to work with SA Water and the council to create something lasting.

"It's going to be a great project and a fantastic legacy for the community," he said.

"It shows what people can do when we work together."

Council assets and infrastructure general manager Heather Barclay said the pump station, and the council's plans for Swanport Road, would revitalise an area she described as a "desert" at present.

"It's about giving visitors a nice entrance, but also giving local people a community space where they can move between the shops and the school or this and that," she said.

Pumps, filters, inlet screens, ultraviolet and sludge handling systems will soon be installed at the new wastewater treatment plant at Brinkley, as will 500 solar panels which will power it.

It will be able to process 5.6 million litres of wastewater per day, more than double the capacity of the old one, and will be much less smelly.

It should be able to cope with Murray Bridge's needs until 2060.

The old plant will be gradually decommissioned after the new one begins operating.

It had been processing the sewage produced by 14,000 people on the western side of the River Murray, but was only designed for 12,000 when it was built in 1970.

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