Improving pipelines in South Australia

SA Water

SA Water flowed through 2023 with a surge of activity, channelling progress and success through water pipeline projects across the state.

Tailem Bend to Keith Pipeline receives upgrade

The Tailem Bend to Keith Pipeline will receive a major upgrade as part of SA Water’s $5.8 million investment in securing reliable water services for customers.

The 139km pipeline, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year, delivers water produced at the Tailem Bend Water Treatment Plant to 3000 homes and businesses.

Four 3.5-tonne valves will be replaced as part of the upgrades, with a further three new valves and bypass pipeline planned for installation.

SA Water senior manager of capital delivery Peter Seltsikas said the upgrades will ensure water supply continues in the event of planned maintenance shutdowns.

“The pipeline’s valves are critical to its operation, as they enable sections to be temporarily isolated if we need to perform maintenance or replace a piece of pipe,” Seltsikas said.

The Tailem Bend to Keith Pipeline project is expected to complete by mid-2024.

New pipeline for Tanunda

SA Water has begun work on a new pipeline at Tanunda, South Australia (SA), which will continue supply of drinking water to local residents and businesses.

Around 150m of new water main will be installed beneath Julius Street, limiting the impact of leaks on the community.

The new pipe is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is known for its flexibility.

“Water mains have an approximate lifespan of up to 100 years and the installation of this pipe will help to ensure a secure supply of clean, safe drinking water to local customers well into the future,” SA Water general manager of sustainable infrastructure Amanda Lewry said.

The announcement follows a series of pipeline upgrades in SA, including at Finger Point Beach in Port Macdonnell and Monarto.

Pipeline work begins at Port Macdonnell

Construction has begun on a temporary bypass pipeline at Finger Point Beach in Port Macdonnell to enable maintenance on an outfall pipe.

The outfall pipe safely dischargers treated wastewater from SA Water’s nearby treatment plant.

Recent inspections of the pipe found minor cracks and leaks, with the bypass infrastructure ensuring the plant can continue to operate during works.

“Like wastewater treatment plants operated around the world, our Finger Point plant safely discharges highly cleaned and thoroughly treated wastewater 100 metres off the beach via the outfall pipe, which is located under seawater and encased in concrete,” SA Water senior manager of capital delivery Peter Seltsikas said.

“The plant plays a critical role in protecting public health by taking wastewater away from Mount Gambier for treatment, and taking the pipe offline for this work requires a temporary bypass to keep the facility operational.”

Once the bypass has finished, SA Water operators will switch the flow to the new pipework to maintain services, while work is done on the pipe to prepare for repairs.

Major water main work begins at Monarto

 Major work in Monarto has started, with more than 7000m of new water main being laid in the area over the next 12 months.

The work is part of SA Water’s $3.9 million investment in upgrading capacity within the local water network.

The project also includes an upgrade to SA Water’s pump station in White Hill, along with construction of a new chlorine booster station.

Seltsikas said the new upgrades along Monarto Road and areas of Monarto Safari Park will support further business and residential growth.

“As our regions develop and grow, it’s our role to invest in evolving our infrastructure’s capacity to keep them in step with the changing demands from businesses and households,” Seltsikas said.

The works follow a series of recent upgrades within South Australia including at Alford and Port Vincent.

Water main upgrade starts at Alford

SA Water has started to install around 1220m of new water main at Alford, as part of its efforts to improve water services for regional South Australia.

Seltsikas said the pipe is being laid beneath Bute Road and is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is known to have better flexibility and more resistance to soil movement.

“Our water main replacement program is one of the ways we are proactively working to limit the frequency and impact of leaks and breaks, which are often caused by soil movement and other environmental factors,” he said.

“Water mains have an approximate lifespan of up to 100 years and the installation of this pipe will help to ensure a secure supply of clean, safe drinking water to local customers well into the future.

“These works are part of an ongoing drive to ensure South Australian communities, like here in Alford, continue to have access to reliable water services.”

First announced in 2022, the water main replacement program aims to deliver around 47,000 metres as part of SA Water’s $155 million management program.

Water main breaks continue downward trend

New data from SA Water has shown water main leaks and breaks in South Australia are at their lowest number in six years.

Statistics up until 31 December 2023 has shown 3536 water main leaks and breaks were reported across SA Water’s 27km network, compared to 3726 recorded in 2022.

These figures include major breaks to minor pipe leaks, damp patches, and trickles on the road.

This was the lowest rate since 2017, according to SA Water senior manager of infrastructure planning and strategy Daniel Hoefel.

“To see a continued reduction in faults across our water network over recent years is a positive outcome for our customers and the wider community,” Hoefel said.

“Reactive clay soils and the impact on our underground pipes remains the largest cause of network faults, as the weather transitions from dry and hot to wet conditions.”

Hoefel also noted that the water utility continues to improve upon its network.

“We have also continued to reduce network failures through ongoing investment, with the placement of hundreds of pressure sensors to address water pressure-related faults before they impact the community and installing around 69km of new pipe across metropolitan and regional areas in 2023,” he said.

Subscribe to The Australian Pipeliner for the latest project and industry news.

Send this to a friend