A water utility and contractor have received the Infrastructure Project Innovation Award for their collaborative pipeline renewal project in the 2022 Victorian Water Awards.
Water utility GWMWater and pipeline infrastructure solutions provider Interflow have received the award for their collaborative pipeline renewal project in Mt Cole.
The Infrastructure Project Innovation Award recognises significant and innovative infrastructure projects within the water industry that drive prosperity and sustainability.
GWMWater partnered with Interflow to renew the Mt Cole pipeline; restoring a core water asset to optimum condition to ensure a safe and reliable water supply for Ararat.
The rehabilitated section of the pipeline is now able to deliver up to half of Ararat’s raw water supply from the Mt Cole Reservoir and will be an integral part of the East Grampians Rural Water Supply Project.
The Mt Cole Reservoir is situated high in the Mt Cole National Park, water flows under gravity, avoiding the energy costs of pumping.
The project involved relining the pipeline with a record-breaking installation of 1.4km of Primus Line; a high-pressure, flexible, Kevlar-reinforced liner, in a single pull – the longest to date in Australia and one of the longest globally.
GWMWater Managing Director, Mark Williams, said despite maintenance works and other measures to ensure there were minimal impacts to customers, finding a long-term solution to renew the pipeline was critical.
“The first 1.4km of the Mt. Cole pipeline, which runs through the Mt Cole State Forest from Mt Cole Reservoir to private property, was experiencing an increasing rate of failures in recent years,” Mr Williams said.
“The pipeline’s rugged location posed many challenges for the project as vehicle access was only possible at the top and bottom of the line.
“Replacing the pipeline with traditional construction methods would require significant interference with environmentally and culturally sensitive areas. Some parts of the terrain were so remote that equipment needed to be helicoptered in.”
The Mt Cole storage and pipeline are critical assets in the broader GWMWater water network.
The rehabilitation of the pipeline has enabled Lake Fyans, Mt Cole and the Mt William headworks to be the primary sources of supply for the planned East Grampians Rural Pipeline Supply Project.
“Water corporations in rural and remote areas are often presented with unique challenges compared to our metro counterparts, and so we have to think outside the box in terms of project solutions,” Mr Williams said.
“This was a project that several teams across our organisation were involved in and we thank them for their hard work.
“This project demonstrates that there are viable options for rehabilitating pressure pipelines in even the most challenging conditions.”
Feature Image: GWMWater partnered with Interflow to renew the Mt Cole pipeline. Photo: GWMWater.