Muswellbrook Shire Council receives award for innovation in infrastructure

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Some of the team involved in the project, from left, Adam Ingram, Kugan Thiru, Gavin McKenzie, Sam Boag, Paul Shearman, Darrell Lewis, Steve McDonald and Shaun Guilfoyle holding the award.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Some of the team involved in the project, from left, Adam Ingram, Kugan Thiru, Gavin McKenzie, Sam Boag, Paul Shearman, Darrell Lewis, Steve McDonald and Shaun Guilfoyle holding the award.

THE plaudits continue to flow in for Muswellbrook Shire Council.

Following the recent Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) NSW Division Excellence Awards, council’s Water and Waste section of the community infrastructure department received a Highly Commended in the category: New and Improved Techniques in Asset Management.

In 2016, Muswellbrook Water and Waste developed and implemented a water main condition assessment program that aimed to establish a replacement and/or rehabilitation initiative using actual field-based condition assessment information.  

Each segment was assessed to pinpoint where water main replacements were necessary and where various rehabilitation techniques would be more cost effective over the life cycle.

Muswellbrook’s water network is quite aged, especially in the CBD area of town.

The main objectives were to reduce construction costs and minimise disruption to commercial businesses.

Other aims were to extend the service life of the water main assets in order to gain maximum utilisation out of each water main and to minimise the water losses and water quality issues that occur due to aging water mains. 

 In February 2017, Water and Waste engaged a specialised contractor, Abergeldie, to complete a water main renewal project in the Muswellbrook CBD using a relatively new technique called Water Main Spray Lining.

Instead of pulling a liner through the water main, it would be spray lined to a specified thickness determined by the field condition assessment result.  

Council staff from network team 2 worked with the contractors to keep all the businesses fully-connected throughout the process off temporary services.

This technique was chosen due to the minimal effect on traffic flows, the small construction footprint, no excavation at service connections, a selective liner thickness, a small timeframe of project being eight days, the limited affect that it has on the surrounding large fig trees and the efficiency of the project.

The adoption of this method also allowed Water and Waste to complete the renewal of the water main with a saving of 25 per cent over conventional renewal processes.

The section now has an ongoing water main condition assessment and replacement program for the future.