The latest news from PMA

Read our latest news and blogs below to stay up to date with the latest from the PMA team.

Logan City Council Saves 220,000L of Water Cleaning Culverts With PMA

Logan City Council recently engaged Pipe Management Australia (PMA) to remove some 52.26 tonnes of silt and debris from three box culverts in New Beith, saving approximately 220,000 litres of water.

Overgrown & Overladen Culverts

The box culverts, located beneath Tall Timber Rd, had last been cleaned approximately four years ago. Due to nearby residential development, the culverts had gradually built up with sediment. Downstream of the culvert, the creek had also become overgrown with vegetation, preventing the culverts from naturally self-cleaning.

Downstream photo of culverts once vegetation was removed
Downstream photo of culverts once vegetation was removed

As a result, water had started to pool and stagnant at the upstream section of the culvert. Stagnant water, combined with the Queensland heat, can provide a breeding ground for bacteria, parasites and mosquitos. Blocked culverts also contribute to an increased risk of flooding, and associated hazards, like water over the road.

Water pooling at the upstream end of the culverts
Water pooling at the upstream end of the culverts

Taking Action

As a preventative measure, Logan City Council set out to clean the culverts and restore flow to the creek bed.

Previously, the culverts had been cleaned using a high-pressure sled nozzle. This method uses high-pressure water to displace sediment and debris. While effective, this method can take time, use a lot of water and result in more waste. It took roughly five days to clean these culverts previously.

Related Article: TWEED SHIRE COUNCIL: THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE CULVERT

A Unique Culvert Cleaning Solution

In consultation with Council, PMA developed the unique solution to clean the culverts without the use of water jetting. Instead, PMA would use our remote-controlled culvert cleaner, the MicroTraxx. The MicroTraxx unit is akin to a miniature track loader, designed to fit within a culvert. It is controlled remotely preventing the need for confined space entry.

The remote-controlled MicroTraxx culvert cleaner emptying a load
The remote-controlled MicroTraxx emptying a load

In this instance, PMA was able to save Logan City Council an estimated 220,000 litres of water compared to conventional jetting (equivalent to roughly four household swimming pools). This not only saves one of our most precious resources but drastically reduces the amount of waste removed from the site, decreasing the carbon footprint of the job.

The MicroTraxx is built for cleaning culverts
The MicroTraxx is built for small spaces

Cleaning assets using waterless options like the MicroTraxx plays a vital role in saving water at a time when South East Queensland’s catchments are experiencing less runoff, despite recent rainfall.

Saving Time & Money

The MicroTraxx can also clean culverts faster, typically reducing project time by around a third. For this project, PMA was able to complete the job in just 15.75 hours on-site, down from the five days for jetting.

The PMA operator remotely controls the MicroTraxx as it re enters the culvert
The PMA operator remotely controls the MicroTraxx as it re enters the culvert

Ultimately, PMA was able to deliver an efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly culvert cleaning solution for our client.

Learn more about Pipe Management Australia’s Culvert Cleaning Solutions

Pipe Management Australia conducts Vacuum Excavation on Brisbane’s South Bank

Pipe Management Australia (PMA) has a strong background in vacuum excavation, which is also commonly known as hydro-excavation or non-destructive digging (NDD) and even potholing. Recently PMA was contracted by a valued client to conduct two vacuum excavation projects on South Bank on the picturesque Brisbane River.

Pipe Management Australia has been an Australian leader in vacuum excavation, for more than a decade. Operating across the east coast of Australia, PMA team members were some of the first field technicians to perform vacuum excavation services anywhere in the country. 

What is Vacuum Excavation or Non-Destructive Digging (NDD)?

Vacuum excavation is used on construction sites and infrastructure projects to identify and locate underground assets. NDD is carried out through a process of displacing soil using high-pressure water. Vacuum suction is then applied to remove the mud from the pothole. This is usually carried out by the operator of an NDD or Vacuum Truck with a high-pressure jetter hose fitted with an NDD gun.

PMA Operators Conducting Vacuum Excavation
PMA Operators Conducting Vacuum Excavation

Using water rather than an excavator or other heavy machinery helps locate an asset without causing damage. In the absence of vacuum excavation, any on-site work presents the danger of potentially digging up or damaging cables, pipes and other assets. This can not only result in an expensive repair bill, but also presents a real danger to crews on-site.

A Veteran in Vacuum Excavation

PMA is a veteran in the vacuum excavation space. The PMA team has delivered NDD services on some of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects, like the Western Sydney Airport or the Rozelle Interchange. Additionally, PMA works with utilities to locate assets like water mains for installing water connections and water metres. Then there are the numerous civil construction and road projects that PMA assists with every day, providing NDD services from Melbourne to Maroochydore and beyond.

PMA's Vac Truck at Western Sydney Airport
PMA’s Vac Truck at Western Sydney Airport

As PMA has grown its operation, we have not only refined our team’s vacuum excavation skills but also grown our speciality fleet. This includes the powerful Cappellotto Combo Vac Units – two of which were recently deployed on Brisbane’s South Bank.

A Tricky Operation

South Bank is Brisbane’s premier lifestyle and cultural destination. It features colourful gardens, lush green lawns, a rainforest, a manmade beach, and walking and cycling paths like the Clem Jones Promenade. Delivering vacuum excavation in such a public and treasured space presented the PMA team with some challenges.

Vacuum Excavation in a garden at South Bank, Brisbane
Vacuum Excavation in a garden at South Bank, Brisbane

Underground services needed to be uncovered in a garden bed located near the beach area. The space for a vehicle close to the garden was reasonably tight. PMA employed one of its smaller multipurpose Combo Jet Vac Units fitted with a 6-inch (152 mm) boom to gain closer proximity to the garden area.

Meanwhile, the second PMA crew had to excavate a trench for an electrical conduit to be laid. A Combo Unit was unable to get close to the work zone. It was located on the far side of a large expanse of lawn, next to a play area.

PMA operators vacuum excavate a ditch for conduit to be laid.
PMA operators hydro-excavate a trench for electical conduit to be laid.

Due to the location, more than 45 metres length of vacuum hose was deployed. This was powered by the PMA 8″ Superior Vac Unit by Cappelotto, suited for vacuum loading over longer distances.

These advanced Combo Units, coupled with the substantial experience of PMA’s operators, made for an exceptional result for PMA’s Client.

Learn more about Pipe Management Australia’s extensive capabilities in vacuum excavation or non-destructive digging.

Are you storm ready?

The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted a wetter than average Spring. Pipe Management Australia is here and ready to assist with the full range of stormwater maintenance projects now, during the storm season and for post-season maintenance.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Chance of Exceeding Median Rainfall Chart
The Bureau of Meteorology’s Chance of Exceeding Median Rainfall Chart

The Bureau of Meteorology has reported that the likelihood of La Nina developing this year is now double the normal prospects. This means we can expect above-average rainfall with the potential for flood events.

Prepare for Storms

Now is the perfect time to prepare stormwater networks for the wetter weather forecast in the coming months. Here are some of the ways that Pipe Management Australia can help to prepare for storm season:

Gross Pollutant Trap (GPT) Cleaning

Gross Pollutant Traps or Stormwater Quality Improvement Devices (SQID) play a vital role in keeping our waterways clean from litter, plant matter and other large pollutants. However, when GPTs are full or not maintained, pollutants can overflow during rainfall events. Cleaning out GPTs before the wetter weather arrives can reduce the risk of flooding and help to ensure these assets keep our rivers clean.

A basket is lifted from a CleansAll GPT ready for cleaning.
A basket is lifted from a CleansAll GPT ready for cleaning.

Stormwater Drain Maintenance

Like GPT’s, stormwater drains can become blocked with silt, debris and even tree roots, which can prevent them from draining water in heavy rainfall events. To prevent flooding, drain lines can be cleaned with Combo Jetter Vacuum Units.

PMA operators conduct stormwater drain cleaning at night.
PMA operators conduct stormwater drain cleaning at night.

Additionally, root cutting or robotics may be required to remove roots blocking the drain and patching to repair any breaks in the pipe. Broken pipes left unrepaired can lead to sinkholes and other issues during heavy rainfall events. Undertaking maintenance in preparation for storm season can ensure stormwater drains are running at optimal hydraulic capacity.

Culvert Cleaning

Culverts play a vital role in preventing water from impacting roads and railway lines during heavy rainfall events. Culverts can become filled with silt, mud and even large rocks and boulders. The dryer months provide optimal conditions for conducting inspections to assess whether culverts need to be cleaned. PMA’s Combo Jetter Units carry a variety of jetter nozzles and sleds for cleaning culverts.

We also operate Australia’s only MicroTraxx remote controlled culvert cleaning units, ideal for removing silt, debris and large rocks.

PMA's MicroTraxx Remote Controlled Culvert Cleaner
PMA’s MicroTraxx Remote Controlled Culvert Cleaner

Barrier Dams

Barrier Dams or Cofferdams can be used for a variety of projects in waterways or tidal reaches to create a dry work zone. Installing barrier dams prior to the storm season when water levels are lower, and when there is less likelihood of rainy days, can reduce the need for pumping and drastically reduce project costs.

A PMA Barrier Dam creates a dry work zone for culvert cleaning
A PMA Barrier Dam creates a dry work zone for culvert cleaning

Over nearly two decades, PMA has refined the art of drain cleaning and stormwater maintenance. PMA maintains a fleet of over 90 specialty vehicles with capabilities across CCTV, root cutting and pipe repairs. Working with local councils, utilities, construction and infrastructure projects, PMA have developed core competencies across the breadth of stormwater maintenance services.

If you need assistance preparing for the wetter weather, give PMA a call on 1800 455 660. We will be happy to assist.

Pipe Management Australia Launches Victorian Operation

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.

PMA’s move into Victoria started last month with the appointment of Christian Dummett as the Victorian State Manager. This week, the team took delivery of two new Cappellotto Combo Vac Units to join PMA’s fleet in Victoria.

New Combo Vacuum Trucks

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 Appoints Victorian State Manager

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.

Christian Dummett, State Manager – Victoria for PMA

“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.

If you are interested in working for Pipe Management Australia in Victoria, learn more about our opportunities now available here.

Pipe Management Australia & IC Pipes Unite as One Team, One Company, with One Vision

This week the Directors of Pipe Management Australia (PMA) and IC Pipes announced 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.

Our Vision

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.

IC Pipes and Pipe Management Australia join forces
IC Pipes and Pipe Management Australia join forces

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.

IC Pipes operating as Pipe Management Australia
IC Pipes operating as Pipe Management Australia from July 1, 2021

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.

Getting to the Root of Drain Blockages with CCTV Inspections and Drain Cleaning

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.

PMA’s recycling unit conducting drain cleaning.

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.

Drain Cleaning near Harbour Town
Drain Cleaning near Harbour Town

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.

Tidal 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.

Bypass plugs being offloaded for installation on a tidal project.
Bypass plugs being offloaded for installation on a tidal project.

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.

A plug inserted into a drain to create a dry work zone.
A plug inserted into a drain to create a dry work zone.

Removing Roots

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.

A CCTV Technician watches as pressure jetting is applied to a root mass.
A CCTV Technician watches as pressure jetting is applied to a root mass.

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.

A PMA Vacuum Truck operator inspects a warthog nozzle.
A PMA Vacuum Truck operator inspects a warthog style nozzle.

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.

A nozzle attachment for removing roots from drains.
A nozzle attachment for removing roots from drains.

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.

To learn more about how PMA can assist with your next drain cleaning or CCTV project, request a quote today.

PMA’s Temporary Barrier Dams Used for Structural Testing Bridges

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.

Cofferdam or temporary barrier dam
A cofferdam or temporary barrier dam

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.

PMA team members set up the frame of a barrier dam
PMA team members set up the frame of a barrier 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.

The frame of a barrier dam in place in a tidal area
The frame of a barrier dam in place in a tidal area

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
  • Drain maintenance
  • Culvert cleaning.
  • Boat ramp repairs
  • Bridge repairs
  • Sediment control
  • Water diversion
  • Water retention basins
  • Pond desludging
  • Pond liner repairs
  • Emergency services like flood response or firefighting operations
The frame of a barrier dam in place in a tidal area
The frame of a barrier dam in place in a tidal area

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.

A cofferdam provides a dry work area for work on a weir in Queensland
A cofferdam provides a dry work area for work on a weir in Queensland

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.

Wynnum

Recently, barrier dams were installed upstream and downstream of a bridge in Wynnum to create a dry work zone.

A barrier dam provides a dry work area in Wynnum
A barrier dam provides a dry work area in Wynnum

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.

Nudgee Road

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 team members removing mud from a culvert behind a cofferdam
PMA team members removing mud from a culvert behind a cofferdam

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).

A barrier dam provides a dry work area for concrete testing.
A barrier dam provides a dry work area for concrete testing.

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.

PMA Continues Support for Clean Up Australia in 2021

Pipe Management Australia (PMA) is a business supporter of Clean Up Australia Day 2021 and has conducted three successful Business Clean Up events this week in Queensland and NSW.

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.

Toombul, Queensland

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 104 or More stand at PMAs Clean Up Australia event in Toombul.
Brisbane City Council’s 104 or More stand

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.

The Clean Up team with Brisbane City Councillor, Adam Allan
The team with Brisbane City Councillor, Adam Allan

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.

Clean Up Australia's Pip Kiernan interviews a PMA team member
Clean Up Australia’s Pip Kiernan interviews a PMA team member

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.”

A PMA team member collects rubbish for Clean Up Australia's Business Supporter day.
A PMA team member collects rubbish for Clean Up Australia’s Business Supporter day.

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.”

PMA's Sydney-based team with the Clean Up Australia Chair, Pip Kiernan
PMA’s Sydney-based team with the Clean Up Australia Chair, Pip Kiernan

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.

Caboolture, Queensland

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.

The Unitywater and PMA teams join forces to clean Centenary Lakes Park
The Unitywater and PMA teams join forces to clean Centenary Lakes Park

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.”

A Unitywater team member removes a plastic bottle from a tree.
A Unitywater team member removes a plastic bottle from a tree.

“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.

Pipe Management Australia's boat enabled  rubbish removal from the Caboolture River
Pipe Management Australia’s boat enabled rubbish removal from the Caboolture River

The rubbish collected was categorised with cigarette butts, confectionery wrappers, and fast food as some of the major offenders.

Pipe Management Australia team members and Director, Luke Moore, sort the rubbish.
Pipe Management Australia team members and Director, Luke Moore, sort the rubbish.

Clean Up Australia’s community day takes place this Sunday, March 7.

Step up to clean up and find a local event near you at cleanup.org.au

PMA Remediates Disused Wastewater Treatment Facility on the Gold Coast

CLIENT: Gold Coast Water
INDUSTRY: Water Utilities
TYPE OF PROJECT: Sewer Treatment Facility
WHEN: August 2020

Brief

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.

PMA Vacuum Trucks remove wastewater from an irrigation ditch
PMA Vacuum Trucks remove wastewater from an irrigation ditch

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.

A Vacuum Truck Operator watches over work being conducted within the irrigation ditch
A Vacuum Truck Operator watches over work being conducted within the irrigation ditch

Challenges

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.

Three operators sweep & hose down the wastewater asset.
Three operators sweep & hose down the wastewater asset.

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.

Solution

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.

A crane truck with a clamshell bucket removes vegetation from the wastewater asset
A crane truck with a clamshell bucket removes vegetation from the wastewater asset

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.

A supervisor observes operators cleaning the wastewater asset
A supervisor observes operators cleaning the wastewater asset

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.

Outcomes

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.

An operator hoses down the wastewater asset
An operator hoses down the wastewater asset

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.

Request a quote today to see how PMA can assist with your next wastewater project.

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