Pipe Management Australia has nearly 20 years of history operating on Australia’s East Coast, and has this week started their move into Melbourne with another two Combo Vacuum Truck units joining their fleet.
The new vacuum truck units will be based out of PMA’s Melbourne Service Centre in Dandenong South. These units will provide drain cleaning and non-destructive digging (NDD) services. They join PMA’s fleet of more than 90 specialty vehicles providing utility management services across the East Coast.
PMA’s CEO Justin Johansen explains what the team will bring to Victoria…
“Our team takes pride in the fact that we have one of the youngest, most advanced and diverse fleets of vacuum truck and utility management vehicles in Australia.”
“We are excited to be growing into the Victorian market on the back of our success in New South Wales and South-East Queensland where we work with some of Australia’s largest councils and utilities to provide specialised sewer and stormwater Asset Management Services.”
Though this is PMA’s first permanent move into Victoria, the company has experience with a range of projects within the state. Justin Johansen and several team members have extensive experience working in Victoria previously in their careers.
“Moving into Victoria allows us to extend our specialist services for our national Clients that we already serve in NSW and Queensland. We also look forward to building new relationships with Local Councils, Water Corporations and Civil Clients as we deliver innovative solutions across our key services of asset cleaning, inspection, location and specialty pipe rehabilitation services,” explains Mr Johansen.
Request a quote or call 1800 455 660 today to experience the PMA difference in service delivery.
Pipe Management Australia (PMA) has nearly 20 years’ of history operating on Australia’s East Coast, and has this week started their move into Melbourne by appointing a State Manager in Victoria.
“We are pleased to advise that we have appointed a State Manager in Victoria. Their role will be to set up and oversee our Victorian operation based out of our new service centre in Melbourne,” explained PMA CEO Justin Johansen in a memo to the team this week.
Christian Dummett joins the Pipe Management Australia team with an extensive career dating back to the early 1990s. With a background in plumbing, a stint in the Defense Force as Lance Corporal, and over 13 years’ experience with Abergeldie as both Construction Manager and Senior Project Manager, Christian has the experience and relationships needed to forge PMA’s growth on our Southern frontier in Victoria.
Christian is enthusiastic that PMA’s move into Victoria promises new jobs at a time when many are still looking for work in the wake of the pandemic.
We’re Hiring in Victoria
“We’ll be hiring for a range of roles to help grow the Victorian operation in the coming weeks and months. Working for an essential service like PMA is a great way to ensure job security in the current climate.” explains Dummett.
This week the Directors of Pipe Management Australia (PMA) and IC Pipesannounced that the two asset solution businesses are joining forces under the brand of Pipe Management Australia.
After nearly 18 years of operations for IC Pipes and over 10 years for Pipe Management Australia, the two organisations are joining forces under the same ownership and name to form a stronger alliance for clients.
The newly united Pipe Management Australia aims to be the National Leader in the delivery of Network Asset Management Services to the utility sector which is underpinned by excellence in customer service, innovation and safety.
Luke Moore, the founder and Director of IC Pipes and Co-founder of PMA along with Justin Johansen, remain active hands-on directors. Justin has also been appointed as CEO.
Who We Are
Pipe Management Australia now encompasses six operation centres on Australia’s East Coast, as well as the company headquarters in Sydney’s Southwest.
The group is powered by over 150 highly skilled and passionate professionals operating more than 90 specialty vehicles capable of providing the highest level of asset management services to local government, private industry and large infrastructure projects.
Innovation is what we do
Since the inception of PMA and IC Pipes, both companies have developed a reputation for providing unique solutions whilst maintaining an advanced fleet and a respected team with diverse capabilities. This move will immediately enhance these capabilities and expand on our ability to invest, innovate and deliver excellence in customer service.
Operating as one company and one team with one vision, clients will now benefit from a more innovative, extensive suite of technical and asset management services, proven project delivery methods as well as advanced technology in CCTV, pipe repairs and spatial services.
To learn more about the services available through Pipe Management Australia, please contact us.
For over ten years Pipe Management Australia has developed an advanced skill set for drain cleaning and conducting CCTV inspections of stormwater drain networks.
Stormwater drains play a vital role in reducing flooding and moving water around our towns and cities largely unseen. That is unless they become damaged or blocked, especially when they have not been regularly inspected or maintained.
Some drains have gone decades without an inspection which can lead to a build-up of silt and debris within the line. This can result in complete blockages or reduced hydraulic capacity of the line. When the next rainfall event occurs, these blocked drains can result in flash flooding. The very asset that was installed to reduce flooding can become the cause of it when not maintained.
To assist local councils, developers and infrastructure managers, Pipe Management Australia (PMA) has spent over 10 years refining our drain cleaning capabilities. With more than 90 specialty vehicles, PMA crews are equipped with the right tools for any job.
Asset Handover CCTV Inspection & Drain Cleaning
PMA is recognised for delivering asset handover inspections and drain cleaning as a deliverable on the completion stage of infrastructure projects.
Recently, PMA provided night-works on a road project which involved the installation of new drains. The Client required the drains to be cleaned and inspected via CCTV prior to the end of the project. PMA’s experienced vacuum truck operators provided cleaning of the line to remove silt and other debris which had built up during construction.
The stormwater drain was then inspected with a CCTV tractor unit to show that the asset was clean and in optimum condition for asset handover.
A major reason PMA was selected for this task was due to our experience working in tidally affected drains.
With extensive experience in South East Queensland and around Sydney Harbour, Pipe Management Australia has developed a methodology and equipment for conducting drain cleaning in tidal areas. To create a dry work area, PMA uses bypass plugs or cofferdams. This reduces the impact of tides during drain cleaning and CCTV Inspections.
PMA’s Swedish designed cofferdam solution can be installed around the entrance of a drain. Excess water is then removed via pumps to create a dry work zone free of tidal influence.
As an alternative option, a bypass plug can be installed within the drain and inflated to block water from flowing back into the dry work area whilst allowing the drain upstream to be dewatered. These solutions have helped to extend PMA’s work time for drain cleaning procedures. This ultimately speeds up the completion of a project.
Roots are a common cause of blockages and damage within a stormwater drain. PMA has a full suite of equipment for assessing and removing roots on behalf of councils across Australia.
Recently, PMA responded to a request from a valued Client in Queensland to provide drain cleaning and CCTV inspection. A large mass of roots was discovered within the drain. PMA’s warthog style nozzle and root cutter were used to help remove the roots, while our CCTV unit provided a visual for our operators.
For more invasive roots, PMA has a range of robotic camera units fitted with grinding, cutting and pressure jetting capabilities. These robotic units are ideal for root removal and other pipe repairs. In addition, PMA provides patching and relining services to rehabilitate drains that are cracked or damaged by root impact.
It is this combination of CCTV, robotics, tidal experience and drain cleaning that has led to PMA being recognised across Australia as a full-service asset management business.
Pipe Management Australia (PMA) has developed an extensive history of installing temporary barrier dams, or cofferdams to assist with stormwater asset management, but has recently seen a growth in requests to use the cofferdams for structural testing.
What is PMA’s Barrier Dam or Cofferdam Solution?
A cofferdam or barrier dam is a temporary solution for dewatering worksites and creating a dry work zone. PMA’s Swedish designed solution consists of a frame for support, metal plates for the wall and a membrane to seal the dam.
The wall ranges in heights from 0.65m to 2.4m. The cofferdam is comprised of interconnected, extendable sections that can be used to create walls of any length. This design provides a quickly deployable, robust, temporary dam system.
Where are cofferdams used?
As a provider of stormwater asset management solutions, PMA has implemented the cofferdam solution for a broad range of projects. The cofferdam can be deployed in ponds, tidal reaches, creeks and even rivers.
Some use cases of where PMA’s cofferdams can be installed include:
Stormwater outlet repairs and headwall installations
Boat ramp repairs
Water retention basins
Pond liner repairs
Emergency services like flood response or firefighting operations
Recently, PMA’s cofferdam solution was deployed for works on a weir on the Logan River in Queensland. The 22m wide dam was installed to create a dry area while remediation work was conducted on the weir and fish ladder.
PMA’s cofferdams used for Structural Testing
Aside from the regular uses of cofferdams, PMA has recently seen a spike in requests for barrier dam services for bridge and culvert inspections. This can include creating a dry space for engineers to conduct structural and concrete testing within the culvert or beneath the bridge.
Recently, barrier dams were installed upstream and downstream of a bridge in Wynnum to create a dry work zone.
An assessment of the bridge was then carried out. CCTV tractor units were used to generate a visual inspection for engineers to review. A physical inspection was also carried out by our Client’s structures team.
On another project, PMA was contracted to clear out debris and prepare a dry area for structural testing bridges on Nudgee Road. PMA came up with a practical solution. Using barrier dams to create a dry work zone free from the tidal impact of the stream.
PMA removed 221.58 tonnes of waste from in and around the culverts which had become heavily overgrown (the equivalent weight to seven fully loaded cement trucks).
This allowed engineers to gain access and conduct the required testing while clearing the culverts to allow a clear flow and reduce the risk of flooding.
These are just a few examples of the many uses of cofferdams. If you are interested in learning more about how PMA’s cofferdam solution can assist with your next project, please contact us today.
Pipe Management Australia has been a business supporter of Clean Up Australia since 2020. PMA provides daily stormwater maintenance services for local councils up and down the East Coast.
On Saturday, February 27, PMA partnered with Brisbane City Council for a community clean up event staged on the banks of Kedron Brook, alongside a busy bike and pedestrian track near Toombul Shopping Centre.
Brisbane City Council’s litter prevention team provided community education. This was in the form of their “104 or More,” program, which encourages individuals to pick up two pieces of litter every week.
Around 25 visitors were able to play a part in cleaning up microplastics around the area. This included Brisbane City Councillor, Adam Allan, who stopped in to lend a hand.
Oran Park, NSW
On Tuesday, March 2, the PMA Sydney-based team stepped up to remove rubbish from Kolombo Reserve, Oran Park in Sydney’s West. Clean Up Australia Chair, Pip Kiernan and the team stopped in for some interviews with the team.
Ms Kiernan, said now is the time for all Australians to Step Up to Clean Up, to help protect and conserve local environments.
“This year has seen disruption to our lives, not least of all to our local environments which have been impacted by increased uptake of single-use, disposable items,” said Ms Kiernan.
“We know Australians everywhere are itching to get involved… Indeed, it’s never been more important to get involved and make a real difference.”
Justin Johansen, the CEO at PMA explained why the PMA team were keen to get behind Clean Up Australia. “At Pipe Management Australia, we manage stormwater assets across Australia’s East Coast, so we constantly see how much litter makes its way into the stormwater systems of our towns and cities. Ultimately this litter makes its way into our rivers and the ocean.”
In all, over 15 bags of rubbish and a shopping trolley were collected during the morning. Special thanks goes to TRN Group and Greenfields Development Company for welcoming PMA to clean their site.
On the same morning, around 20 PMA and Unitywater team members joined forces with the support of Moreton Bay Regional Council at Centenary Lakes Park in Caboolture.
Unitywater Chief Executive Officer George Theo said the utility was enthusiastic about being involved in the clean up.
“This cause is one that’s incredibly important to our organisation and our people, as is our commitment to reducing plastic waste in our waterways and limiting single use plastics,” Mr Theo said.
PMA Executive General Manager, Phil Symons provided direction for the day, with the focus being on micro litter,
“When plastic litter breaks up into smaller pieces, it can remain in the environment for centuries as microplastics.”
“We’re proud to work with organisations like Unitywater and Moreton Bay Regional Council to play a role in reducing plastic pollution by cleaning stormwater assets, and encourage everyone to participate in a Clean Up Australia event, and where possible, reduce, reuse and recycle.”
The group broke into teams to search for microlitter across the park. Meanwhile, PMAs “Tinnie” was commissioned to remove litter from the Caboolture River.
The rubbish collected was categorised with cigarette butts, confectionery wrappers, and fast food as some of the major offenders.
Clean Up Australia’s community day takes place this Sunday, March 7.
CLIENT: Gold Coast Water INDUSTRY: Water Utilities TYPE OF PROJECT: Sewer Treatment Facility WHEN: August 2020
In September of 2020, Gold Coast Water (a division of the City of Gold Coast) contracted Pipe Management Australia (PMA) to reinstate an overgrown irrigation ditch bioreactor at the Merrimac Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The irrigation ditch had not been used in some time, and was laden with silt, vegetation and some animal life. Gold Coast Water needed to conduct repairs on another asset at the Merrimac Wastewater Treatment Plant. This would require reinstating the irrigation ditch.
PMA was engaged for a three-day period. Their objective: to remove the waste in the ditch and return it to optimal working capacity.
Gold Coast Water selected PMA due to an existing working relationship, well equipped fleet and experienced operational staff.
There were a number of challenges for PMA to overcome as this project was taking place in an active wastewater facility.
Confined space: PMA staff would need to descend into the irrigation ditch, approximately five metres below ground level. There was no real level platform for a tripod or Davit arm to be put in place. PMA would need to come up with a solution for staff to safely clean the ditch.
Heavy vegetation growth: The cells of the irrigation ditch were overgrown with weeds and other vegetation. Recent rainfall had also left a decent amount of water at the bottom of the ditch.
Fauna: Due to the growth of vegetation, a number of small animals and birds had taken up residency within the irrigation ditch. These animals would need to be safely relocated before any work could commence.
To help crew members access the irrigation ditech, PMA utilised a towbar mounted Davit arm and man cage as a secondary solution for confined space entry. The Davit arm was used to enable the access ladder to be set in place on the cell wall which was at a 45-degree angle. All operators were attached to the retrieval winch and a large inertia reel during access and egress of the cell.
To remove the majority of vegetation and waste from the cells PMA utilised a large crane truck with an 8m3 skip. A clamshell bucket attachment was fitted to the long reach crane and used to remove 18m3 of solid vegetation prior to any washdown works. Additionally, PMA had three heavy vac combo units on site to remove liquid waste and wash down the asset.
In cooperation, Gold Coast Water and PMA staff safely relocated wildlife from the work zones.
PMA supplied the latest equipment and an experienced crew. The team showed innovative thinking when tackling tasks that were out of the ordinary from daily works.
PMA removed and disposed of 117m3 of waste at a regulated waste facility. A further 20m3 was disposed of at the council’s main treatment plant at Coombabah.
Although the project was scheduled to take three days, the PMA crew were able to complete the work in two 11 hour shifts. This resulted in considerable savings for the client.
Additionally, because PMA completed the works ahead of time, Gold Coast Water were able to bring the plant online earlier. This was timely as there were issues with another asset that could have shut the plant down resulting in a potentially harmful discharge of sewage.
Ultimately, the work was carried out and completed a full shift prior to client’s expectations. The cells were thoroughly cleaned with all waste removed.
Sir Bertram Stevens Drive runs through Royal National Park, 45 minutes South-West of Sydney’s CBD. The park is maintained by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, however road maintenance is controlled by TfNSW. This project was located within the Sutherland Shire Local Government Area and the La Perouse Aboriginal Land Council area. Sir Bertram Stevens Drive is a connecting road between the communities of Waterfall in the West, to Bundeena in the North East.
Four culverts were identified as medium to high risk due to the number of defects identified during routine investigation. These defects posed a risk to the health and safety of road users, and the environmental condition of the surrounding areas, especially downstream. The purpose of this project was the rehabilitation of the identified culverts to ensure structural stability.
The project was located on a moderately straight section of road approximately 1km in length. The culverts are positioned equidistantly along the length of the road segment, with approximately 300m between each culvert. The original culverts were constructed from local, heritage sandstone, likely installed between 1910 and 1914.
This project was undertaken within the Royal National Park amongst some strict work restrictions around plant movements, and the presence of endangered species. The Red-Crowned Toadlet is endemic to the Sydney Basin and is found in small colonies. This means any disturbance could have a significant impact on a local population. The area was also home to various species of native microbats, whose local populations could also be impacted by any major disruption. As these bats typically dwell in areas synonymous with culverts, PMA would need to ensure precautions were taken during the project.
The location of the project was specifically challenging as there was no phone reception across the site. This meant that all works and resources had to be strategically planned and rehearsed prior to establishing each night to ensure that all resources were onsite to complete the tasks at hand.
Due to the location VBA had no option but to detour all traffic from this road to allow the works to be completed safely. This involved a 15km detour, one of the larger detours that VBA had to put in place during their Stewardship Maintenance Contract.
To ensure the structural longevity of the culverts, and minimize risk to the public or the environment, the following work was carried out:
Excavate and replace 2.4m of existing 750mm pipework at the outlet and install a new concrete headwall. Installation of four in situ patch liners.
Excavate and replace 11m of 600mm box culvert / 750mm round culvert and replace with 750mm concrete pipe.
Installation of four in situ patch liners.
Excavate and replace 8.6m of existing 600mm x 300mm box culvert with 600mm concrete pipe.
Managing environmental issues
PMA and VBA collectively managed the environmental issues by investing considerable time before the project in the creation of the site-specific Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) and project documentation.
Through collaboration between PMA, VBA and Eco Logical Australia there were no encounters with endangered species throughout the project. This was due to the presence of Eco Logical Australia being on site and the control in place. All culverts were inspected by hand by an ecologist for the Red-Crowned Toadlet prior to any works and microbat exclusion controls were put in place weeks prior to the project to deter bats from nesting within the culverts.
Additionally, all debris was removed by hand. Erosion and sediment controls were also implemented on each culvert. Through management of all the project variables (like rainfall) and frequent environmental, Work Health & Safety inspections there were no reported incidents or issues throughout the duration of the project.
Contingencies for a remote project
The remote location was managed effectively by PMA. All work shifts were planned and discussed to ensure the correct resources were onsite when needed. This included having a contingency for unforeseen issues such as providing excess backfill and road plates. VBA also had a satellite phone onsite at all times in case of emergency and all relevant stakeholders were given the phone number.
Systems for traffic management
VBA and one of their traffic control providers (Altus) were able to manage the detour of traffic effectively by giving the surrounding community advance notice of the works. For the duration, Altus had Variable Message Sign (VMS) boards strategically placed in the local government area advising of the road closure. In case a vehicle breached the initial roadblocks, additional protection was provided to the crews onsite by utilising remote controlled boom gates.
PMA provided value to VBA over and above the brief through the quality of our project documentation (site specific CEMP) as well as the professionalism and quality of our workmanship on site. Our project manager was on site for each shift to directly manage any issues or change events directly with the VBA site supervisor which allowed for efficient decisions for construction and financial purposes.
Considering the large impact on the community due to the closure arrangement it was imperative the project to be completed on time. Although the project was forecasted to take 15 shifts, PMA were able to dramatically overachieve and completed this project in less than 10 shifts. This allowed the asset to be handed back to the community ahead of schedule.
All environmental benchmarks of the project were achieved with additional efficiencies made on site in the form of reusing materials.
Reusing materials for sustainability
The culverts replaced were constructed out of sandstone blocks. Instead of dumping these, PMA reused the sandstone blocks at the culvert outlet to create a make shift headwall and additional scour protection. This was beyond the scope of work. Any remaining sandstone was then delivered to the Royal National Park depot for reuse throughout the park. PMA reused over 81% of all materials onsite. The only disposal was of asphalt and concrete pipe from the project. All rehabilitated assets hit the brief requirements and achieved an Assessed Risk Level rating of four or above.
As a result of the work carried out, strength was given back to the road to allow for the local community and visitors an unimpeded journey through the National Park, while keeping local wildlife safe.
Pipe Management Australia (PMA) recently welcomed a new, powerful vac truck to it’s growing fleet on Australia’s East Coast.
Dubbed the “PMA 8 Inch Superior Vac Unit by Cappellotto,” the new Vac Truck features an extended arm and exceptional vacuum performance ideal for the non-destructive digging, drain cleaning and GPT work that it will be carrying out.
CLIENT: IC Pipes INDUSTRY: Utilities TYPE OF PROJECT: Sewer Cleaning WHEN: April, 2020
In April 2020, IC Pipes were engaged by Sydney Water to undertake inspections of the Randwick Sewer Submain in Coogee, NSW. Traditionally IC Pipes would rely on their CCTV inspection technology to undertake this scope of work. In this scenario, however, the sewer assets were Oviform shaped, with large diameters (approx. 1100-1300mm) and due to more people being at home through the COVID-19 pandemic sewerage flows were higher through the day.
Instead, IC Pipes used new sonar technology known as a Rapid Assessment Condition Evaluation Robot (RACERTM) for the sewer inspection. The RACERTM not only records video to assess damage but can detect the depth of underwater debris within the pipe.
From the inspections, IC Pipes operators were able to accurately identify up to 400mm of silt across this 3km asset (approximately 1300 cubic meters). The buildup of silt was a concern. Sewers that become blocked cause a backup of waste that can overflow in residential properties, public spaces and other areas. This would then become a major environmental and public health emergency.
From this discovery, IC Pipes engaged Pipe Management Australia (PMA) to remove this silt and debris with our fleet of state-of-the-art drain cleaning equipment.
As with any sewer project, there are numerous challenges with respects to environment, safety and community.
PMA had to come up with an innovative approach to the project. Some manholes were over 30 meters deep (below ground level). Additionally, sections of the sewer were made with Glass Reinforced Pipe (GRP). Access to each manhole had its own set of community impacts and traffic control concerns.
Considering the volume of debris, the geographical location of the project was also an issue. The waste removed from the asset would need to be disposed of at a licensed facility. This would dramatically reduce the speed of the project due to the distance needed for vehicles to travel to dispose of their load.
PMA came up with an innovative solution to remove silt from the sewer in the Randwick Submain in Coogee. To address public safety, the PMA team set up an exclusion zone around the project site. This meant that the street was blocked off and traffic management was implemented during the active hours of the project.
Sewer Cleaning with Vac Trucks
To remove the silt, PMA used a vacuum truck with a pressure hose. The pressure hose is inserted into the sewer. It is fitted a special nozzle, which sprays water back in the direction of the hose. This propels the hose forward through the pipe. It then enables the PMA operator to pull the hose back towards the entry point, flushing the waste back toward the vacuum hose. The waste is then vacuumed into the truck.
For this project PMA used a new, heavier design of the torpedo nozzle. This was called the O.M.G. which enabled the delivery of high-water volume at a lower pressure to reduce impact and wear on the GRP sewer pipes.
PMA recognized that the sewer was Oviform (oval in shape) which meant it should self-clean. Instead of having to clean the entire 3km length, PMA started the project downstream (Dolphin Street). They then focussed work on the first 300 metres of pipe. This encouraged the remaining silt (3km worth) to progress down the pipe into the clean zone to then be removed.
Reducing Travel & Improving Productivity
A regular vacuum truck working on a sewer project will fill up with waste relatively quickly as it removes both water and silt from the pipes. PMA used their vacuum trucks with recycling capabilities. These trucks extract and recycle the water that is sucked into the waste tank. This allowed PMA to reduce the amount of waste generated by the project. As a result, there were fewer trips to drop off waste. This increase in productivity allowed trucks to remain on site for longer, while saving water.
Often, vacuum trucks will need to travel long distances to a waste facility to empty their load. This can mean that once the waste tank is full, the vehicle won’t return to site until the next day. Due to the vast volume of debris being removed from this project, PMA needed to develop a solution to make the disposal process more efficient. PMA and IC Pipes were able to arrange a dedicated area at a local Sydney Water facility to house multiple sealed waste bins for disposal of debris. This allowed for all vehicles to safely dispose of all captured debris in a controlled environment. By doing so, PMA were able to gain over two hours per day of additional productivity time on site which aided the completion of this project in a timely manner.
PMA was able to complete the project and remove 140,000 Kilograms of silt from the sewer in Coogee within four weeks (that is equivalent to the weight of four adult humpback whales). At the end of the project, IC Pipes completed another video and sonar assessment of the sewer. The silt buildup within the pipe decreased to less than 5%. The flow within the pipe had sped up and the risk of any sewer back up or overflow was drastically reduced.
Completing this project in a timely manner prevented any issues of waste back up or overflow, protecting the environment and ensuring the health of the local community (and whales).