New water main to swan dive beneath Swansea Channel

The $A4 million Swansea Supply Project is the latest horizontal directional drilling (HDD) project for Hunter Water, which previously used HDD to install a 280 m pipe string in Newcastle.

The Swansea Supply Project will see the installation of a second water main beneath the Swansea Bridge, providing water security for the 4,500 homes that are currently only served by a single existing pipeline.

Hunter Water Managing Director Kim Wood said the second pipeline will be built using horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to ensure there is secondary supply in case the primary main breaks.

“If the current pipeline breaks in the underwater section at Swansea Channel, it could take a week to repair using divers and underwater equipment. Hunter Water would then have to send a pipe across Swansea Bridge during the evening to refill the reservoirs while repairs were underway,” he said.

“To remove the risk of residents running out of water, a second pipeline will be tunnelled underground from Little Pelican to Swansea using HDD.”

Former Member for Swansea Garry Edwards said HDD was the preferred technique for installing the pipeline due to the Swansea Channel being the only way for boats to enter and exit Lake Macquarie.

“The second pipeline will be laid using technology that allows it to run beneath the waterbed, away from potentially damaging tidal movements and salt water. This means the homes and businesses south of Swansea Bridge will have a stable supply that’s less prone to breaking in the elements,” he said.

The Swansea Supply Project is currently in its design phase and will be completed by 2017.

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