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Challenging installation of large diameter HDPE pipe by directional drilling provides a comprehensive water management solution and an improved environmental outcome [PE]

 

# 2012 Barcelona

Large diameter polyethylene pipe played an important role in ensuring water supply security to the Shortland region near Newcastle in NSW Australia. After 85 years of operation, the pipe owner, Hunter Water, decided to replace 7.4 km of above ground 900mm metal pipe that had been prone to flood damage and regularly required shutdowns for maintenance. The benefits of the project not only included improved water security for the community but also protection of the environment, in particular valuable wetland surrounds. The major job challenge involved finding an underground solution to replace the old pipe bridge across the river. In achieving this, aesthetics of the wetlands area and recreational access would be enhanced. The solution was a 300m long section of 1000mmSDR11 Polyethylene pipe installed using Horizontal Direction Drilling (HDD) under the river. PE100 pipe was chosen for this section as it was the only material offering the flexibility and abuse resistance to withstand the demanding HDD installation. It was one of the first times a pipe of this size and length has been installed in Australia using this technology. HDD was considered a better option than alternative installation as it was faster, safer and less intrusive in addition to being less disruptive to the local environment.

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