by Bundaberg Regional Council

Bundaberg Regional Council has been taking work underground to reline a number of depreciated sewer mains located below main roads throughout the region.

Paul Viljoen, Program Manager at Bundaberg Regional Council, said the program, which was completed in May 2020, focused on older or “at risk” sewer pipes.

“The highest consequences and therefore the greatest risks are normally associated with large high-flow sewer mains and locations near roads, rivers, creeks or stormwater,” Mr Viljoen said.

“Most of the sewer mains that were relined are between 50 to 70 years old.”

Mr Viljoen explained that sewer relining was the renewal (replacement) of sewer pipe by inserting a new pipe inside the existing aged or damaged pipe.

“The benefits of sewer relining are being able to install a new pipe in the same place without having to dig up the original pipe,” Mr Viljoen said.

“As the process happens from within, it eliminates the need to interrupt the service and has little impact or interference with traffic and residences.

“The resulting new pipe is much stronger than the original, is expected to have a longer life and is constructed without joints which removes weak points where tree roots and groundwater could eventually penetrate the pipe.”

Mr Viljoen said sewer relining was important in keeping pipes maintained and services operating as per normal.

“If we didn’t reline, this would eventually result in failure of the sewer main, loss of service, discharge of sewage and a much greater expense to fix the problem,” Mr Viljoen said.

“Typically, once the sewer collapses it requires council to excavate the pipe and replace it.”

Mr Viljoen said that plans were already in place for future work.

“Planning and scheduling for 2021 started in the first half of 2020, with a rolling five-year program being developed,” Mr Viljoen said.

“Water Services have established an associated program of proactive cleaning, survey and condition assessing our entire sewerage system to identify and quantify any defects in the network.

“The information gained from this survey will be used to identify, cost and establish a rolling program of relining work for the future.”

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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