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20 years of water asset management

Adept Civil

Adept Civil Group protects Victoria’s water security and delivers critical sewer infrastructure to the state’s first dedicated quarantine facility.

Adept Civil Group is a fully accredited water infrastructure contractor based in Melbourne, and specialises in the supply and installation of sewerage and drainage pipelines, pump stations and associated services for the metropolitan water boards and tier one contractors of Victoria. 

Managing director Anthony Panozzo formed the company in 1999. From its initial staff of three, a lone twin cab tipper and a few hand tools, Adept Civil has been able to expand its team and its reach. 

The company has grown into a thriving team of more than 40 engineers, skilled project managers, supervisors, machine operators, pipe specialists and labourers. 

Over the years, Panozzo has established lasting relationships with major water authorities like City West Water. Adept began as a reactive maintenance crew offering on-call assistance with house connection branch (HCB) dig outbursts and ruptured water mains. 

This work would consist of hand excavations in the backyards of houses within City West Water’s servicing area, repairing collapsed sewers and burst mains at all times of day or night. 

Adept’s capabilities continued to expand with the accumulation of more staff and the purchasing of greater machinery. After much hard work delivering large-scale sewer and water construction projects, Adept went on to become an accredited contractor with all water authorities in the state. The business has evolved organically with the accrual of jobs and equipment. 

The company has had excellent retention and long-standing loyalties, which may be credited to its thriving culture. Business development manager Quentin Powell has celebrated more than 20 years of service with the company, as have many other staff. 

“Adept has great people and practices in place where the day-to-day decisions are shared and completed as a collective,” says Powell. 

Over the years, the company has achieved some commendable milestones, contributing to major projects like the Melbourne Metro Tunnel early works, sewer relocation on the West Gate Tunnel, and water works on the Chandler Highway. These projects have been of epic scale with budgets of up to tens of millions. 

The company also considers purchasing its Vermeer AXIS laser guided boring machine as one of the highlights of its 22-year history. “The addition of the Vermeer AXIS laser guided boring machine to our fleet not only complemented our existing civil division but also provided our clients with an all-encompassing microtunnelling offering,” Panozzo says. 

“In-house microtunnelling capabilities allowed Adept greater control over the delivery and cost of projects.” Previously, the company had had to subcontract laser guided machines for works. Panozzo said they chose the Vermeer AXIS machine for its reliability in varying ground conditions and its pinpoint accuracy. 

Most recently, Adept Civil was awarded the contract to deliver critical water and sewer infrastructure for the Mickleham Quarantine Facility project. Designed to support returning travellers to Australia, the project will also provide a boost to the Australian economy and help protect the health of the community. 

The Mickleham facility is funded by the Federal Government and can host 3000 beds. Before landing on the Mickleham location, the government had floated the prospect of an Avalon site; however, it was found that Avalon did not have sewage facilities and was home to protected wetlands.  

While COVID-19 was difficult for the company in terms of ensuring constant workflow, Adept is proud that it has remained loyal to its suppliers, “which is a crucial part of any business, especially in difficult times,” Powell explains. 

For more information visit the Adept Civil website.

This article appeared in the ASTT 30th Anniversary Edition. 

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