Composite pipes secure Australia’s modern water and sewer infrastructure

In the latest of a growing number of composite pipe projects, RPC Pipe Systems in Adelaide, a wholly owned subsidiary of RPC Technologies, is manufacturing and supplying continuous filament wound glass reinforced plastic pipe (GRP) to expand vital sewerage infrastructure in Melbourne’s northern growth corridor

Composite pipe systems are becoming the preferred material for Australia’s major water and sewer infrastructure projects.

RPC’s GRP jacking pipe is designed to seal as it is shunted into place along the pre-drilled tunnel to be part of Australia’s longest GRP pipe jacking project – Yarra Valley Water’s Amaroo Sewer.

Yarra Valley Water’s contractor John Holland is progressing the Amaroo Sewer in leaps and bounds, tunnelling and pipe jacking the GRP pipe into place 14 to 20 metres below ground, with minimal disruption to the local community. The two to three metre long GRP pipes, with an internal diameter of up to 1.6 metres, are shunted between 161 and 785 metres along the pre-drilled tunnel, the pipe design ensuring each join is sealed.

On completion, the 8.5 km sewer will be the longest GRP pipe jacking in Australia and an important proving ground for Australian manufactured GRP jacking pipes.

RPC Pipe Systems Manager of Engineering Mr Mark Robinson said substantive testing of the FLOWTITE® pipe system conclusively demonstrated the capability and advantages of GRP pipe in terms of weight, durability, corrosion resistance and environmental impact.

John Holland’s Project Engineer Cameron Woodgate is confident in the pipe’s strength and suitability for the project. “There were a number of strength tests carried out on the pipe before the project started and FLOWTITE® surpassed all requirements.” Mr Woodgate said.

The GRP channel liner is part of an innovative solution developed by RPC Technologies in collaboration with John Holland for Yarra Valley Water’s Amaroo Main Sewer project.

RPC Technologies’ Corio plant, near Geelong, is supplying 23 GRP inspection manhole liners, channel liners and the vortex structures that manage the direction of the sewer flow and capture foreign objects flushed into the system.

The liners range from 3.2 to six metres in diameter and between 9.8m and 23m deep. They are easier to install than traditional construction methods, strong, corrosion resistant and light weight, says Mr Simon Karpeles, General Manager Engineering Infrastrcuture for RPC Technologies.

“Our solution, developed in collaboration with John Holland, can cut construction time from weeks to days producing significant cost efficiencies. The vortex structures, drop pipes and internals are factory-fitted saving months of on-site installation time and eliminating the need for crews to enter the excavated shafts, considerably minimising WH&S risk,” he said.

“The totally sealed GRP system is rapidly gaining acceptance as the modern, cost effective method to replace aging brick and concrete sewers in cities around Australia and to deliver new water and sewer infrastructure to rural and growing urban areas.”

RPC’s Managing Director Tony Caristo said: “High performance composite solutions are the fabric of the future for infrastructure providers, industry and the communities they serve. We are absolutely thrilled that John Holland selected GRP, and local engineering and manufacturing capability for this important project.”

Pat McCafferty, Managing Director Yarra Valley Water said: “The $130 million Amaroo Main Sewer is the first piece of a $400m investment by Yarra Valley Water over the next five years. It will provide a waste water infrastructure backbone for development of this growing northern part of Melbourne, supporting population growth in the north, enabling the formation of thriving communities, and job creation in the region”.

Yarra Valley Water’s Project Manager Robert Fittock said the 8.5 km of sewerage infrastructure will collect and transfer the vast majority of sewage in Melbourne’s Northern Growth Corridor. “We are confident that we will have a fit for purpose asset that will last the 100 year design life and beyond.”

More information

RPC Technologies

Yarra Valley Water

RPC Technologies' channel liner developed in collaboration with John Holland