Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) is making use of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) on a number of projects across its South East Queensland network.

The water utility is currently undertaking more than $175 million dollars’ worth of major water and sewerage projects in its service area.

The works include a new trunk sewer main, two new cross-river pipelines, and an upgrade to the city’s oldest and largest sewer pipe.

QUU is in the final stages of installing a $6.5 million trunk water main connecting the Beaudesert Water Treatment Plant to the Bromelton State Development Area (SDA).

When completed, the pipe will run almost 7km along Beaudesert Boonah Road, Bromelton, providing an essential water service to the new hub.

Queensland Urban Utilities spokesperson, Michelle Cull, said the last important piece of the puzzle involved installing 530m of pipe under the Logan River.

“Using horizontal directional drilling, we’ve tunnelled to depths of more than 30m beneath the riverbed and then pulled the pipe back through the bored hole,” she said.

“It’s an exciting milestone, especially after the construction site, including the drilling rig, was inundated from Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

Scenic Rim Regional Council and Queensland Urban Utilities are each contributing around $1.6m to the project, while the State Government is contributing around $3.3 m from its ‘Building our Regions’ (BoR) program.

The water pipe will feed the 15,000 hectare SDA site, which will soon be home to a new $30m regional rail freight terminal, currently under construction.

Scenic Rim Regional Council Mayor, Cr Greg Christensen, said access to water infrastructure will provide a vital catalyst for the activation of the SDA.

“It’s a case of build it and they will come. Water supply is a key ingredient to kick start development of the local area, job creation and economic growth,” he said.

“The Bromelton SDA is set to become an economic engine for new employment and business opportunity in the Scenic Rim and wider South East Queensland.

“We are talking about the creation of literally thousands of new jobs over the coming decades.”

Forward focus

Queensland Urban Utilities plans 30 years into the future to ensure the right infrastructure goes in the ground at the right time.

Ms Cull said water and sewerage is an essential service that more than 1.4 million people relied on every day.

“With all the cranes across the city, it’s easy to see the skyline changing right before your eyes. That’s not the case for the water and sewerage network,” she said.

“It’s a hidden service, but as projects like these demonstrate, a lot goes on behind the scenes to deliver fresh, clean drinking water to your tap and allow you to flush and forget.

“These works increase the resilience and reliability of our water and sewerage network and ensure we’re catering for South East Queensland’s growing population.”

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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