Queensland Urban Utilities has announced Brisbane’s oldest sewer pipe will receive a $130 million upgrade in one of the most unique sewer projects ever undertaken in Australia.

The historic S1 Main Sewer, which turns 100 this year, will be rehabilitated in conjunction with the Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade to minimise the impact on traffic and the community.

Queensland Urban Utilities Chief Executive Officer, Louise Dudley, said it will be a challenging project due to the age, size and depth of the pipe.

“The S1 Main Sewer carries 60 per cent of the city’s sewage, spans 1.5m in diameter and is buried eight storeys beneath the ground.”

Ms. Dudley said that the latest trenchless technology will be used to reline the old concrete pipe with a new pipe made from polyethylene.

“It makes sense for Council and Queensland Urban Utilities to join forces on this project to minimise the impact of the sewer and road works on this busy corridor”.

The project will involve relining a 5.7km section of the sewer from James St in Fortitude Valley to the Eagle Farm pump station in Bunya St.

It will take place in several phases, with the first starting in early March between Hunt St and Riverview Terrace, before the Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade begins.

“These essential works will extend the operational life of the pipe by at least another 50 years,” Ms Dudley said.

“This is the next chapter in the S1 Main Sewer’s interesting history. Built by miners using traditional tunnelling methods, the pipe took three years to build and was a feat of engineering in its day.”

S1 Main Sewer facts

  • The S1 Main Sewer services around 750,000 people and carries 60 per cent of Brisbane’s sewage.
  • The total length of the S1 Main Sewer is 12km, stretching from Toowong to the Eagle Farm pump station.
  • The sewer will be relined from James Street in Fortitude Valley to the Eagle Farm pump station in Bunya St in several phases:

Phase 1 – a 1.3km section of pipe along Kingsford Smith Drive between Hunt St and Riverview Tce. Work is due to start in March 2015 and finish mid-2016, before the Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade begins.

Phase 2 – a 1.9km section of pipe between Riverview Tce and Theodore St. Work will be carried out during the Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade.

Phases 3 & 4 – will be carried out separate to the Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade.

  • Before the relining work begins, five maintenance holes along Kingsford Smith Drive will be improved.
  • The sewer relining is due to be completed by 2019.

Laura Harvey is a fifteen-year veteran of trade publishing in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Currently she’s the Editor of Utility’s sister publication, Energy. During her time in the publishing sector, Laura has seen significant changes to the way the sector operates. What has remained constant throughout her career, whether she’s working on a magazine, a blog post, a video or an event, is her focus on connecting audiences with quality, engaging and thought-provoking content.

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