CIPP, Featured, Water

Ventia introduces the future of water main renewal to Australia

Aqua-Pipe®, which is developed and manufactured by Sanexen in Canada, has made its way to Australia and been used a ground-breaking pipeline rehabilitation for a local water utility. The project was completed by local services company Ventia, which has the exclusive rights to Aqua-Pipe in Australia; it says it is the first time a structural CIPP product has been used to reline a drinking water main in Australia.

Project planning

Ventia was awarded the contract for the pipeline rehabilitation by Queensland Urban Utilities, one of Australia’s largest water utilities, which operates and maintains an 18,000 km network of water and sewerage pipes in South East Queensland. The network includes a concrete-lined cast iron and mild steel DN 300 water main in Brisbane, running under three railway tracks inside a Queensland Rail easement.

The pipe was laid in 1966 and had failed at one end of the pipeline in 2012. Queensland Urban Utilities conducted a condition assessment on the pipeline which concluded that the four 45° bends posed a continuing risk of further failures with substantial consequences of disruption as they were known to be corroded and were located outside the concrete encased section.

The Ventia crew onsite.

If the water main failed at one of the 45° bends, it would disrupt water supply and interrupt the services of commuter and freight trains. Emergency repairs would be difficult because of the operational requirements of works within the rail corridor. After considering its options, Queensland Urban Utilities elected to rehabilitate the pipe, to improve the reliability of the supply and minimise the risk of failure.

“In considering the option to rehabilitate the cast iron elbows, Queensland Urban Utilities compared the option of a traditional method of replacement with other options including relining the entire section of main,” says Queensland Urban Utilities Project Manager David Fox. “Relining the main was concluded to be a superior option because it could be completed from outside the rail corridor, addressed the latest requirements for pipes under rail, and in less time than other methods.

“It also meant that the main under the railway was relined in the process whilst retaining the existing encasement, which provided added security to both Queensland Urban Utilities and Queensland Rail.”

Work begins

Ventia isolated the existing main in accordance with a shutdown plan issued by the operator. The main was cleaned and inspected using CCTV, which confirmed that the pipe required renewal. Once the pipe was cleaned, the Aqua-Pipe liner was impregnated with a thermoset resin, then pulled through the host pipe. The liner was then formed to the host pipe using a foam pig and cold water under pressure.

Aqua-Pipe is cut to length.

Hot water was then pumped through the liner to start the curing process. Once the curing process was completed CCTV inspection confirmed that the liner had properly bonded to the host pipe. The whole process from cleaning to curing took less than eight hours to complete.

With the capability to withstand a short-term burst pressure 2750 kPa (400 psi), Aqua-Pipe met the utility’s pressure testing requirements for a newly installed water main. The pipe passed Queensland Urban Utilities’ benchmark and, once the bacteriological test results showed the pipe had been adequately cleaned and new thrust blocks were installed, the main was de-isolated and returned to service.

“We’re really proud of the innovative solution we have been able to deliver to our client Queensland Urban Utilities, which avoided any disruption to train commuters,” says Ventia Renewals Contract Manager Ryan Bickerton. “Our solution, with Aqua-Pipe, allowed us to work within the existing water main without disrupting rail services, and renew the pipe with structural integrity, from outside the rail corridor.

“To be responsible for the first CIPP application for a drinking water main is a great achievement for Ventia and everyone involved. Later in the year, we will be completing a 1,100 m installation of Aqua-Pipe for a utility in Melbourne who has also demonstrated a strong interest in CIPP renewal solutions for the rehabilitation of their drinking water infrastructure.”

Ventia and Queensland Urban Utilities employees onsite.

Proven technology

While the Aqua-Pipe liner might be a new name to the Australian market, it is well known in the North American relining industry, with over 1,500 km successfully installed in Canada and the US. It can be applied to asbestos cement, mild steel, ductile iron, cast iron and PVC pipes where a trenchless structural liner is required.

Aqua-Pipe has been successfully tested against Australia and New Zealand’s standards AS/NZA 4020-2005, as a product for use in contact with drinking water. It is also certified by NSF to NSF/ANSI Standard 61, UL, BNQ3660-950 and WRAS approved product (BS6920).

About Aqua-Pipe liner

Manufactured in Canada by Sanexen, Aqua-Pipe is a proven economical and viable Trenchless Technology alternative to excavating and replacing deteriorated water pipelines. It is a structural liner designed and manufactured with mechanical properties that exceed all specifications and meet drinking water requirements in several countries, including the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

About Ventia

Ventia is one of the largest infrastructure service providers in Australasia, and provides long-term operation, maintenance, and management of critical public and private assets and infrastructure across telecommunications, transport, local government, water, power generation, electricity, gas, healthcare, education, resources and defence industries. Ventia holds the exclusive licence to Aqua-Pipe in Australia.

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

For more information visit the Aqua-Pipe or Ventia websites.

If you have a project you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Managing Editor Nick Lovering at

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