During the past six months, SA Water has cleaned and inspected more than 130km of sewer pipes across Adelaide.
The proactive cleaning program targets hotspot suburbs to reduce the risk of blockages and overflows.
SA Water senior manager of infrastructure and planning and strategy Daniel Hoefel said the program plays an important role within the sewer network.
“Typically, the foothills experience more blockages due to the presence of thirsty tree roots, which break into sewer pipes looking for water and continue to grow, blocking the flow of sewage,” Hoefel said.
“In Adelaide’s west, the soil composition is rather loose and sandy which makes it easier for this material to find its way into our pipes and build up over time.
“To put this into perspective, we recently removed more than 110 tonnes of silt from a 1,900–metre-long section of one of our large sewer mains in Birkenhead.”
To cut through blockages, the SA Water team uses a vacuum truck equipped with a jet rodder, to work their way through the pipe and remove any unwanted material.
“Given sewage is actually 99.9 per cent water, all of the water we remove from the sewer network is recycled and supplies the jet rodder, as the truck is designed to separate liquids and solid matter,” Hoefel said.
The water authority also regularly performs CCTV inspections to assess the impact of cleaning and structural integrity of the sewer main to understand if further maintenance is required, such as relining of the pipe.
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