Trenchless technology saves time and money

The City of Newcastle has been using the latest innovation in trenchless construction technology to help maintain Newcastle’s 526km network of drains.

Infrastructure Services Manager, John Johnston, said that for the past few years Council has been expanding its use of trenchless technology to rehabilitate many of the City’s ageing stormwater pipes.

“We now have the ability to fix underground pipes without any excavation. It is cost-effective and the biggest advantage is that it has minimal disturbance to surface infrastructure, such as our roads, buildings, utilities and trees.”

“Over the last year we have repaired 777 metres of pipe using trenchless technology, saving approximately $528,000 when compared to the use of conventional open trenching methods,” said Mr Johnston.

Trenchless technology involves the insertion of a resin-impregnated fabric tube into an ageing pipe, which is then pulled through the pipe and expanded using air pressure. When the tube is exposed to heat the resin sets and the new drain liner has a 100-year design life.

Mr Johnston noted that, “A continuous rolling four to five percent audit of the City’s drainage network has been undertaken since 2005, to identify the condition of the pits, pipes and culverts, and this information is used to develop our ongoing maintenance program.

“It is much easier to repair a small issue than reconstruct an entire road because a drain has failed underneath it.”