Ageing pressure pipelines come to life with innovative trenchless technology, Primus Line

Kilometres of ageing water and pressure sewer pipelines across Australia and New Zealand are in need of renewal. Until recently, some of the more challenging pipelines have left asset owners scratching their heads and in need of a practical, affordable, long-term solution.

Primus Line, a flexible liner reinforced with aramid fabric, is getting buzz for all the right reasons. The tried and tested lining technology provides a practical, high-quality lining solution for ageing pressure pipelines that is both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

Fergus Meyer is a Project Manager at Interflow, a leading provider of pipeline infrastructure solutions, and understands the challenges many asset owners face when tackling the problem of ageing infrastructure.

“A lot of projects have been sitting in ‘too hard’ baskets for years, waiting for the right technology and delivery partner to come along,” he said. “Environmental constraints, budget limitations and delivery risk are all factors that can stop a project getting off the ground.”

“The key is engaging suppliers early and coming up with solutions together. So is keeping an open mind to alternate proposals at the time of tender. This can really open the door to affordable, and eco-friendly solutions, like Primus Line.”

Interflow has partnered with Primus Line to provide the innovative system to the Australia and New Zealand market. Leveraging their five-year exclusivity agreement, the two companies have made a significant impact throughout the year, rehabilitating some of Australia and New Zealand’s most challenging pressure pipelines.

Primus Line in action

Earlier this year, Interflow was given the challenge of rehabilitating a deteriorating section of steel water pipe supplying the remote mining town of Paraburdoo. The pipeline runs through an area of environmental and cultural significance, so a non-invasive solution was needed. Using Primus Line, Interflow relined a kilometre of watermain in a single pull, meaning no digging or disturbance along the alignment.

The project took just over a week and only a single truck was needed to transport the spool of liner and associated fittings – a significant benefit when the nearest major city is 1,500km away.

More recently, Interflow used Primus Line to rehabilitate and recommission two out of service sewer mains in Sydney’s Inner West. Limited access to the alignment and the presence of both vertical and horizontal bends ruled out conventional solutions like slip lining and pipe bursting.

Primus Line handles bends up to 45 degrees with ease making it the ideal candidate for the job. Interflow returned the two mains to service with minimal disruption to the busy residential and commercial community.

One of Interflow’s more challenging projects this year involved 1.4km of pipeline that transports raw water from a dam to a nearby town. Located deep within a State park and traversing steep and rocky terrain, replacing the pipeline would have been a costly exercise with unacceptable risk to the environment.

The rugged location left little access to the alignment of the pipe. Having access only to the ends of the line, Primus Line was installed in one continuous pull. This marked the longest single pull of Primus Line in Australia to date and opens the opportunity for longer pulls of a similar nature in the future. The project was recently recognised as the winner of an Infrastructure Project Innovation award from the Australian Water Association in Victoria.

Ready to support your future needs

It is estimated that New Zealand will need to spend up to $185 billion over the next 30 years to upgrade its water infrastructure. Part of the aim of the Three Waters Reform Programme proposed by the New Zealand Government is to consolidate that spend under four publicly owned water authorities and unlock opportunities for savings.

Following the success of this project, New Zealand now has a golden opportunity to consider its infrastructure needs on a larger scale and leverage technologies like Primus Line to reduce the cost and time associated with rehabilitation works.

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