Adelaide CBD

A cast-iron water main constructed in 1956, located through the middle of the Adelaide Central Market, has been decommissioned as part of the site’s redevelopment.

The water main ran between separate pipes on Gouger Street and Grote Street, and supplied two connections to the market complex for firefighting purposes.

SA Water’s Senior Manager of Capital Delivery, Peter Seltsikas, said the Central Market Arcade’s redevelopment provided an opportunity to disconnect this main from service and remove the risk of potential disruption.

“Our water mains are typically constructed beneath roads to deliver safe, clean drinking water to homes and businesses across Adelaide,” Mr Seltsikas said.

“However, in this rare case the pipe ran the length of the market. 

“This inherently carries a greater risk of disruption to the community and traders if the pipe experiences a leak or break, however, until now it’s been required to maintain a critical supply of water to the Central Market Arcade.

“The site’s redevelopment enabled our network planners to assess if it could be permanently isolated from the wider network to remove this risk, and replaced by a new fire service connection from one of the water mains beneath Gouger or Grote Street.

“As part of decommissioning the pipe, our crews relocated one of the existing connections to maintain a fire service to the site and cut out the branch, which connects the pipe to our water main on Gouger Street, to stop the flow of water, before capping it at both ends.

“Once the developer is ready, they will apply to connect their new fire service to our network and this will likely result in a connection to one of our larger 200mm diameter pipes.”

Between 2020 and 2024, SA Water will invest $155 million in its water main management program, including the upgrade of water mains across Adelaide.

Mr Seltsikas said the utility is expecting to upgrade around 20,000 metres of metropolitan pipe this financial year.

“Vital to improving our services is maintaining the system that delivers it, to reduce the frequency of water main leaks and breaks and their potential impact on our customers,” Mr Seltsikas said.

“Our annual upgrade program ensures we’re sustaining our infrastructure for long-term network reliability and to date this year, it’s resulted in the installation of new pipes in suburbs such as Ingle Farm and Prospect, along with a major upgrade of the pipes beneath Tapleys Hill Road in West Beach.”

Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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