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Vale William ‘Bill’ Goodman

Vale William ‘Bill’ Goodman

One of the ASTT’s most celebrated members, William ‘Bill’ Goodman, passed away in April of this year. Bill was an industry pioneer and actively contributed to the advancement of no-dig technologies in the region. Here, the ASTT and Trenchless Australasia celebrate Bill’s life, his many achievements, and his contribution to the Australasian industry.

Bill, as he was known to most in the industry, was considered Trenchless Technology’s ‘go-to person’ for Sydney’s underground infrastructure, after he accumulated an intimate knowledge of Sydney’s sewerage system from trailing the pipes himself in the times before CCTV inspection.

Inspecting Sydney’s sewer lines.

A true trenchless legend, he was the first Australian member of the International Society of Trenchless Technology (ISTT) and the first to introduce cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) to the Australian industry.

Bill grew up in Collaroy New South Wales and attended Sydney University, graduating with a Bachelor in Civil Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Geology and Mathematics. As part of his third year, he was placed with the Sydney Water Board in 1946 on a temporary basis for six months to gain practical experience.

He began working full time in January 1948 and spent seven years in the Research Branch under Fred Venables, engaged mostly on model testing at the Manly hydraulic testing station. Bill went to head office and spent seven years in the design branch of the board then transferred over to sewer maintenance.

“Eventually, the trenchless activities came to the notice of myself, and I think I can reasonably acclaim to be involved in the first trenchless lining job in Australia, which was done in Camperdown”, Bill said, in an interview for the March 2011 edition of Trenchless Australasia.

He also completed two other jobs at the time using fibre glass segments in two bigger sewers. The first was Rocky Creek Submain located in Sydney’s North Shore, an oviform sewer that was not in good order. In this case, the sewer had been damaged by corrosion, was on a steep grade and very fast flowing.

The other was to repair sections of the Abattoir Submain, in Homebush, that had been attacked by chemicals. On this project, the team installed fibreglass sections in the main, which were still in place in 2011. The pipe had been attached by hydrogen sulphide and other chemicals.

Making notes of defects.

While he was employed by the Sydney Water Board he represented it on two major Standing Committees involving interstate authorities. He served as the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Sewerage Systems and, up until his retirement, was a member of the Technical Standing Committee on Hydrogen Sulphide Corrosion.

Bill was so dedicated to the industry, when most could be forgiven for putting their feet up and enjoying their retirement, he was still onsite and inspecting sewers. The last sewer he inspected was in 2005; he was 79 at the time.

Bill was one of the first proponents for the widespread use of Trenchless Technology and was a devoted advocate of its use and its benefits. He considered the introduction of major sewer relining to be one of the most important additions to the industry.

In November 1986, after 39 years, Bill officially retired from the Sydney Water Board. However, he and continued to work as a consultant when needed, providing his expertise on a number of projects, and writing over 70 reports. He estimated he inspected more than 3,000 sewers in his career.

Bill passed away at the age of 91 and is survived by his four children, thirteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Bill aged 85.

From the ASTT Secretary

Jeff Pace, the ASTT Secretary, was particularly saddened to hear of Bill’s passing, after knowing him for many years. Mr Pace said, “On behalf of the ASTT, I wish to offer my sincere condolences to the families of William ‘Bill’ James Goodman OAM.

“Bill was a founding member of the ISTT when he joined on the 13 May 1987. He clearly saw the benefits of the formation of a trenchless society. When the ASTT was formed in 1991, Bill also became a founding member. His membership number was 48. I will always remember him.

“Rest in peace, Bill.”

This article was featured in the June edition of Trenchless Australasia. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet, or mobile device, click here.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Assistant Editor Nick Lovering at


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