Water main project innovation

Wednesday 22 June, 2022

A bursting pipe is usually something water engineers at Tamworth Regional Council do not want to see happen, but pipe bursting is now an innovative approach being used locally on a water main construction project for the first time.

Tamworth Regional Council Manager Water and Environmental Operations, Dan Coe, said engaging a contractor which uses “pipe-bursting” technology will mean the work is completed much quicker than if traditional “open trench” construction was used.

“It’s an approach we will using for water main construction in Griffin Avenue, North Tamworth and Rawson Avenue, East Tamworth and it will reduce the time it takes to complete the work,” he said. “The big win is that the period of time when residents and drivers may be impacted will be shortened considerably – it’s not a process we have used here before on water mains but we know there will be a big benefit for the community.”

Pipe busting is a method where the existing pipe is opened and the fragments forced outward into surrounding soil by a busting tool. At the same time, a new product pipe is pulled into the void.

Council is investing more than $600,000 in the Griffin Avenue and Rawson Avenue water main replacement works. It is also replacing a section of water main in Flinders Street, Westdale, however traditional open-trench style construction will be used because the alignment of the pipe needs to be adjusted at the same time to facilitate future road works. The work represents an investment of $291,710 in renewing water mains.

The three projects are part of Council’s Strategic Asset Renewal Program where water mains are identified for replacement due to their age, capacity issues, internal condition and/or increasing failure incidents.

Each year, Council sets aside a total of $2,305,000 for water main renewal works in its water capital works program as part of its strategy to plan for the future through sound asset management.

Work started at the Macquarie Street end of Griffin Avenue on Monday 20 June and will continue along to reach Darling Street on Friday. Drivers in Darline Street can expect to see changed traffic conditions on Friday while the works are in progress and are asked to take extra care and follow construction signage directions.

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