SA Water Murraylands upgrade reaches milestone

Monday, 04 September, 2023

SA Water Murraylands upgrade reaches milestone

SA Water’s suite of upgrades to augment water across the Murraylands has achieved a milestone, with more than half of the 7000 metres of new water main now in the ground.

Over two months, crews have been working through sections of Monarto Safari Park to lay pipes to duplicate four existing water mains, increasing the capacity of the region’s water supply network.

This has culminated in the task of installing a section of one of the pipes underneath the Melbourne to Adelaide rail corridor, with specialised drilling equipment required to bore beneath the track.

Peter Seltsikas, SA Water Senior Manager of Capital Delivery, said a different pipe material will be used under the railway track to help preserve the structural integrity of the main and protect surrounding infrastructure. SA Water has been working closely with the Australian Rail Track Corporation to safely facilitate crews using heavy machinery on either side of the corridor.

According to Seltsikas, crews have been operating a horizontal directional drill to bore a 60-metre-long tunnel under the track for the pipe, which will be pulled through via a trench on the other side at the fringes of Monarto Safari Park.

The pipes being used are high-density poly pipes due to increased flexibility to withstand ground movement and their ability to be welded together and pulled through the tunnel.

This is beneficial as it minimises the risk of a leak on this section of the pipe, which could affect the rail infrastructure. It will also be encased in a slightly larger pipe to prevent damage to the track in the event of a leak.

The pipe will sit at a maximum depth of five metres below the raised track before it connects into PVC pipes, as the alignment travels south and reaches Old Princes Highway.

The project also includes an upgrade to SA Water’s pump station in White Hill to support the increased flow of water, along with construction of a new booster pump station at Monarto.

“Designs for this work are well underway, with construction expected to commence in early 2024 once we’ve completed laying our new pipes,” Seltsikas said.

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