‘Keyhole’ surgery fixing pipes in the Hunter

Hunter Water is using ‘keyhole’ surgery to fix water mains throughout the Lower Hunter.

Crews have been busy restoring water mains across the region and four projects are being done using innovative European technology. Damaged or degraded pipes for those projects are being fixed with an internal lining, essentially a pipe within a pipe.

The new technology minimises the disruption to water users and is ideal in sensitive and difficult-to-access areas.

Hunter Water Managing Director, Darren Cleary, said the organisation is constantly improving how it assesses and manages the condition of infrastructure across its network of more than 10,000 kilometres of water and sewer mains.

“There are many factors that can affect the pipes’ longevity, including their material, construction method, the weather, ground conditions and movement, not to mention vehicle traffic.

“While condition assessment of any underground assets is not a perfect science, it is evolving with technological advancements, and we are progressively trialling smart sensors and advanced analytical programs to help our ability to prioritise our investment.”

“Once we determine the need to restore a pipe, lining technology is a less invasive means of breathing new life into our pipes and it minimises the disruption for the community.”

“We can line a specific section of pipe using access pits, instead of digging a trench all the way along the length of the pipe.”

“In some ways, it could be likened to keyhole surgery,” said Darren Cleary.

Hunter Water has used the technology to complete several projects throughout Lake Macquarie. In Teralba, a water main under William Street, between the railway bridge and Short Street, is
now back online. Over in Cardiff, crews have completed improvements to a water main under Macquarie Road, near the busy Munibung Road intersection.

Work to remediate and reline a water main that runs adjacent to the railway line between Mary Street and Lake Road, Argenton, has also recently been completed while a water main relining will soon start at Glendale.

Image credit: Hunter Water