Primus Line breathes new life into historic trunk main in Brisbane

Earlier this year, Urban Utilities completed a multi-million-dollar rehabilitation project on this 130-year-old pipeline.

With the use of the trenchless technology Primus Line®, the project is expected to extend the life of the pipeline by at least 50 years, providing an economical solution with minimal impacts to traffic and nearby businesses and residents. 

The Ann Street pipeline is a cement-lined, cast iron pipe, and helps to supply water to the city centre and the inner-city suburbs.

During the morning and evening peak consumption periods, about 500 L of water per second flows through the pipe. 

Thousands of vehicles a day roll along the four-lane road, which is one of the busiest roads in Brisbane’s central business district, and businesses and bus stops line the traffic route. 

Replacing water mains in heavily congested urban environments can be a costly and disruptive process, so in this case trenchless technology was the key to success.

Given the location of the pipe, Primus Line was chosen as it could pass through several bends in the pipe and be installed using a few small pits, to minimise the impact on traffic. 


As Primus Line is a flexible stand-alone pipeline, which is installed with an annulus gap, it can withstand the operating pressures of the water main, but not the external loads from the traffic on the road above. 

The project at Ann Street was preceded by a detailed condition assessment of the host pipe and economic evaluation in order to ensure the existing pipeline could withstand external loads in the future.

The results showed that the pipeline had sufficient load bearing capacity to allow the use of a semi-structural lining system such as Primus Line for the desired service life of at least 50 years. 

The perfect choice 

Due to its unique three-layer structure, the Primus Liner combines flexibility with extremely high material strength.

As a self-supporting pressure pipe liner independent of the old pipe, it absorbs the entire operating pressure, while the old pipe merely functions as a conduit. 

In accordance with ISO 11295, Primus Line is an independent pressure pipe liner capable on its own of resisting without failure all internal loads throughout its design life.

It has the ability to negotiate bends of up to 45 degrees, allows for seasonal movement of the pipeline and ensures the required operating pressure of up to 11.3 bar. 

Despite the reduction in cross-section of the DN 600 pipe, flow calculations showed the client that the installation of a Primus Line DN 500, with its low friction coefficient of only 0.028, would still provide the required flow. 

Before the start of the project, a large- scale trial with a length of 350 m was carried out with the Primus Line system – developed and produced in Germany.

In a single day, the pre-folded liner was pulled into the 350 m field trial section of the Ann Street trunk main, formed into its circular shape with compressed air and successfully connected to the pipeline network.

Start of the major project 

The successful completion of the trial allowed for the commencement of the Ann Street project, where detailed design and construction planning was performed in 2019 by Urban Utilities.

Small excavations are
sufficient for the installation.

The initial stages of the project also involved cleaning and prepping the existing pipe to make it suitable for installing the liner, while the installation phase began in mid-2020 and was completed in early 2021. 

Most of the work took place at night and the small construction pits were closed during the day with large steel plates, to allow traffic to continue to flow.

The entire project was carried out by Urban Utilities’ own workforce, and the company had previously installed Primus Line on other rehabilitation projects in its service region. 

Urban Utilities had engaged Primus Line to provide training to its team, and kept the required necessary tools and spare parts in stock to perform Primus Line installations and possible repairs and maintenance in-house. 

The Primus Line team provided engineering support and accompanied the beginning of the measure with a supervisor.

Four installation sections were necessary to rehabilitate the 2.2 km long pipeline section, with the Primus Line system DN 500 PN 16 used to rehabilitate the DN 600 water pipeline.

Primus Line delivered the four liner sections pre-folded in a U-shape and wound onto drums.

The liner insertion into the old pipe was done with a winch and in the process passed through some additional smaller intermedia pits to reinstate valves and offtakes.

The liner was pulled through these pits and cut afterwards to install the Primus Line connectors and the necessary valves and t-pieces 

Special DN 500 connectors with a DN 600 flange were used to ensure the connection to the flange on the host pipe while keeping the pits as small as possible. 

A pressure test concluded the successful installation before the main was disinfected and returned to operation.

For more information visit the Primus Line website.

This article was featured in the June 2021 edition of Trenchless Australasia. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device, click here.

RIDGID® tools the trusted choice

RIDGID has a proud history of providing leading equipment to the world’s expert tradespeople, going all the way back to the company’s invention of the modern pipe wrench more than 100 years ago.

Since then, all RIDGID tools operate in extremes of heat and cold, can withstand dirt and mud, and perform reliably day in and day out.

This equipment is known around the world as industry-leading products that allow professionals to complete jobs more quickly and reliably.

RIDGID’s broad range of products include pipe inspection and locating equipment, drain cleaning tools, threading and pipe fabrication, and wrenches and tubing tools.

The company’s team are just reliable as its tools, with local personnel providing the friendly and knowledgeable support required to keep working.

RIDGID also has training centres available to help clients get the maximum productivity and service life from its products.

For more information visit the RIDGID website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Managing Editor David Convery at

Enabling innovation to thrive in the water sector

A new era of ‘co-creation’ is enhancing this collaborative approach, enabling asset owners and service providers to combine their knowledge to deliver community-focused infrastructure solutions that will last for generations.

Reshaping traditional customer relationships

The notion of co-creation is facilitating a major shift in the way industries transfer knowledge and communicate.

When companies co-create, they invite third parties such as consumers, suppliers and service providers to collaborate on industry initiatives or projects.

This concept is redefining contractor relationships within the water industry, paving the way for robust and dynamic discussions that provide new insights into community wants and needs.

Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) is a prime example of co-creation in action: it facilitates collaboration between service providers, contractors and customers at the earliest stage of a project.

As a result, the service provider can harness the asset owner’s intimate knowledge of the surrounding environment, existing infrastructure and community requirements to tailor their solution and drive innovation.

Cooperative involvement is enabling water authorities, government bodies and local councils to play an active role in reshaping their communities through collaboration with their industry partners, as well as key community stakeholders.

This enables delivery partners including leading water infrastructure company Interflow, to develop ‘customer-centric’ solutions to complex water network projects.

Keeping the community front of mind

Coliban Water’s region covers 49 towns across 16,500 km² of regional Victoria, including the Bendigo district.

Since its establishment in 1992, the organisation has maintained its focus on delivering appropriate water and wastewater services to communities within the growing region.

A 900 mm sewer trunk main that traverses the Bendigo suburbs of White Hills and Epsom was recently identified and prioritised for work after it was found to be in poor condition.

The trunk main was discovered to have significant erosion and partial blockages, meaning the pipe had limited capacity for the area it serviced.

The sewer trunk main was first built in the 1960s and the section that was renewed is almost 2 km long.

It travels under parks, footpaths, roads and private backyards, and is a key piece of sewer infrastructure for that local community.

It was important to find a long-term solution for the ageing sewer trunk main, while also ensuring any impacts on the community were minimised.

Two heads are better than one

Interflow and Coliban Water worked together to establish the most effective way to renew the sewer main.

From a planning perspective, the development of a suitable flow management plan was a crucial element of the project.

Interflow staff were able to gain insight about existing infrastructure and the local landscape to help with the planning and design process.

Interflow Project Manager Fergus Meyer said the active collaboration expedited the planning and design phase to deliver the community with a winning solution.

“Coliban Water’s flow data and network analysis were crucial to successfully modelling a viable solution that prioritised community wellbeing and cost reduction,” he said.

“Studying the network infrastructure, we identified a neighbouring pipeline that presented an unanticipated yet promising bypass alternative.”

Although the neighbouring pipeline was smaller in diameter and unable to accommodate all the flow from the ageing sewer trunk main, Interflow was able to channel a carefully calculated portion of flow through it allowing the sewer trunk main to be relined whilst operating at a reduced capacity.

Co-creation: a recipe for success

This solution would not have been realised without the collaboration and knowledge sharing between Coliban Water and Interflow.

Coliban Water Infrastructure Manager Corey Bourne said the sewer main’s lifespan had been extended by 50 years and a costly full bypass had been avoided.

The sewer relining works were carried out during the day, which had meant less disruption for customers and eliminated safety risks associated with night works.

“A combination of practical experience and hydraulic modelling expertise enabled this plan to be developed.”

Before the relining of the sewer main, approximately 300 t of sludge was removed from it.

“The capacity of the sewer trunk main has been significantly improved thanks to these works, and it has also reduced the chance of a sewer spill during a heavy rainfall event,” said Mr Bourne.

Fergus Meyer said co-creation is an important role within projects such as this one. 

“Coliban Water’s willingness to be involved in the process reflects their dedication to uphold the interests of the community and achieve a long-term solution,” he said.

“As more companies realise the potential for productivity and innovation that co-creation presents, innovations within the water sector will continue to bloom.”

For more information visit the Interflow website.

Quality guaranteed with ISC

These products increase the return on assets and the longevity of sewer maintenance holes, pump stations, pits and pipes.

Closing in on 20 years of operation, ISC offers high quality, well established and proven products and systems that provide its clients with a safe and cost-effective means to construct or repair a range of water assets.

The company has worked with councils and water authorities all across Australia, delivering inflow and infiltration studies, conducting inspections at hundreds of maintenance holes, pump stations and sewage treatment plant inlet structures as well as helping customers minimise asset degradation and reduce operational and whole-of-life asset costs.

Products on offer include the Flex Seal Utility Sealant for sealing leaking riser rings and joint sections in a manhole, the Cretex Pro-Ring™ manhole grade adjustment system and the EncapsulAC® Coagula-Tracer Fluid designed for fully encapsulating asbestos fragments and fibres during the relining of asbestos cement pipes in conjunction with trenchless technologies.

ISC also provides high quality mechanical seals, patch and repair products, corrosion resistant coatings, polyurethane grout and various other products to make up its comprehensive suite of solutions.

All systems provided by ISC Services are from leading US manufacturers with independent testing and long-term case studies available, and the company is committed to providing quality and continuous customer service to accompany all its offerings.

For more information visit the ISC Services website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Assistant Editor Sophie Venz at

Interflow works to keep park open

With many indoor exercise facilities closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of public ‘green spaces’ for social health activities has never been greater.

So, when a stormwater pipeline in Ipswich was at risk of collapse, a local council’s proactive planning helped protect the space and keep community activities running for park goers.

After completing a condition assessment of the stormwater asset, Ipswich City Council contacted Interflow to restore a failing section of pipeline beneath the busy outdoor recreational space, Timothy Molony Oval.

Interflow and the Ipswich City Council worked together to repair the underground asset before it could pose a risk to the community, with the safety of the park goers the primary focus.

Interflow Queensland Business Development Manager Steve Latimer said this proactive asset management by the council allows the maintenance and repair of underground assets to be prioritised.

“By developing a proactive program of works, councils can address weaknesses within their network before something goes wrong and they require emergency repair,” he said.

The works were streamlined by Interflow’s use of trenchless technology, with its relining solution halving the expected project time of traditional dig and replace methods while also maintaining a small site footprint.

As a result, Timothy Molony Oval could continue to support the sports and recreation needs of its local community throughout the challenges of the pandemic.

“It’s moments like these that make us realise the value of the work we do,” said Mr Latimer.

“By helping our customers manage their critical assets in the most efficient ways, we are creating the best future for the communities we serve.”

For more information visit the Interflow website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Assistant Editor Sophie Venz at

Position your company as a market leader

The Great Southern Press team will work with you to develop a fully fledged marketing package to ensure your company gets maximum exposure.

Book today to receive complimentary editorial and design services.

Contact Dave Marsh to discuss how you can grow your business with Trenchless Australasia.

Call 03 9248 5100 or email

Digital edition now live!

The most recent quarterly update for the trenchless technology industry in Australasia is now available to view online.

The September edition includes:

  • An update on ASTT’s in-development Carbon Calculator.
  • An article on Bothar Boring’s tunnelling work on the Gold Coast.
  • A look at Smart Lock’s unique work in Victoria.
  • A New Zealand-focused feature containing multiple articles on projects in the region.
  • And much more!

The digital edition can be viewed on a tablet, computer or smartphone.

To view the magazine click here.

Want to know more?

Click here to subscribe to the free fortnightly e-newsletter to stay up-to-date with all the latest news in the trenchless industry.

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If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Assistant Editor Sophie Venz at

Interflow provides essential water services

Despite access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene being fundamental human rights, millions of people around the world are not afforded these necessities, which is why Australia’s water industry is putting its financial power behind not-for-profit organization WaterAid.

Extending a helping hand

Established in 2004, WaterAid Australia provides communities in developing parts of the Asia-Pacific region with access to fresh water, sanitation and hygiene products.

The organisation has made transformational change over the years, giving disadvantaged people access to this vital life source, while promoting safe and healthy habits at a community level.

With over 80 years’ experience in the water industry, specialist in water infrastructure, Interflow, understands the value that WaterAid’s work brings communities, and has been a proud sponsor of the organisation for more than 15 years.

Having witnessed the difference that ready access to clean water and sanitation can make first-hand, Interflow Managing Director Geoff Weaver said the organisation’s mission is very important to him. 

“Supporting our customers’ local communities through the provision of safe drinking water and sanitation is a big part of what we have done throughout our history across Australia and New Zealand, but a lot of our neighbours throughout the Asia-Pacific region aren’t as fortunate,” he said. 

 “Access to these services is vital to enhancing the quality of life and general prosperity of communities and can impact a child’s access to healthcare and education.

“We want to do our part to ensure that all families, communities and businesses gain access to such utilities, regardless of the circumstances they were born into.”

By making these services more accessible, WaterAid and its partners are giving local leaders and townships the tools they need to support the growth of a healthy community for generations to come.

Delivering tailored support

COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of hygiene and sanitation on a global scale and WaterAid’s work through these difficult times has played an enormous role in preserving the health of vulnerable communities.

By providing national communications, information, materials and training on water, sanitation and hygiene, WaterAid’s volunteers are not only protecting rural communities from mass infection but improving the health of future generations.

Mr Weaver explains how uniting behind this cause has enabled members of the Australian water industry to amplify their positive impact. 

“Without an intimate knowledge of the social or political systems in these regions, or what the needs of various local communities are, the impact of an organisation looking to make a difference on its own would be limited,” he said.

“The people at WaterAid have the specialist knowledge and local resources to be able to put our money where it’s needed.

“They’re channeling the collective power of the Australian water industry and helping us all to achieve a greater good on a much larger scale.”

Stronger together

The united approach of water authorities, government bodies and essential service providers such as Interflow, has enabled WaterAid Australia to leave a lasting impact in hundreds of communities throughout the Asia-Pacific.

WaterAid’s sponsors have supported the organisation’s work in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste with an increased focus on hygiene education and promotion, which is vital to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

With its eyes set on more community-based initiatives to further elevate the health of those in need, both through and post-COVID-19, WaterAid’s work is a potent reminder of how working together can truly change lives for communities around the world.

For more information visit the Interflow website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Assistant Editor Sophie Venz at

The bund lining and waterproofing solution experts

When it comes to bund lining and waterproofing, many may find issues with moving concrete substrates, liquid seepage and EPA bunding regulations, or are looking to further protect floors, landings, car parks and concrete tanks.

To counteract these issues, Rhino Linings offers spray applied and seamless waterproofing membranes that eliminate potential weaknesses associated with other “joined” membrane products.

With the ability to bond to virtually any surface and the ability to transcend multiple substrates, Rhino Linings said the possibilities are endless.

“With Rhino Linings products being a premium sprayed-applied polyurethane or pure polyurea, there are many advantages versus other products,” said the company.

These advantages include the products flexibility as its polyurethanes and polyureas move with substrate and do not crack, warp or pool; the cost saving benefits, as costly down time is significantly reduced compared to sheet lining and high build paint products; and its instant curing ability, which allows the product to be sprayed at any angle to encompass the application entirely.

As the manufacturer of the application equipment and the product itself, Rhino Linings can provide answers to customers’ requirements regarding waterproofing, containment, protection from vehicular traffic, abrasion and corrosion.

Rhino Linings said its products are environmentally friendly, solvent free, contain no VOC’s and conform with stringent USA EPA regulations.

Select Rhino coating products have also been certified for use in potable water applications and are AQIS accepted.

For more information visit the Rhino Linings website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Journalist Sophie Venz at

Managing employee safety as an essential service

While many Australians are staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic, those working in essential services like water and wastewater are out in the field ensuring community needs are met.

The site operations have changed dramatically in an effort to keep employees safe and ensure business continuity, and while a lot of companies are in uncharted territory as they deal with COVID-19, adaptability and communication have emerged as the best way forward. 

Water infrastructure specialist Interflow has adapted its operations to ensure it can continue to help solve customers’ problems in the field while also taking the necessary steps to protect its people. 

Interflow Executive Manager for Health Safety and Environment Adrian Smith explained the company was putting enterprise risk management plans in place for COVID-19 in February.

“COVID-19 has created significant changes to the way we work,” said Mr Smith.

“We’ve implemented a Business Continuity Plan with five response teams to identify and resolve critical issues around workforce protection, supply chain stabilisation, customer engagement, operational lead and lag management, and stress testing financials.”

By using similar parameters within its current health and safety strategy Harm 2 Zero (H2O), Interflow’s response teams meet twice a week to discuss any necessary issues and actions.   

These additional safety and procedural policies include implementing social distancing; reinforcing hygiene as a top consideration; providing COVID-19 appropriate level of PPE for workers; ensuring up-to-date signage across all sites; and giving teams the right information so they are across all new company procedures. 

“We’re currently developing a second communication pack for workers, with updated rules of engagement, and every week our Managing Director creates a video message to all employees,” said Mr Smith.   

“In this current situation, we are classed as essential and the most important thing is having our field teams across the details of what we are doing to manage this crisis.” 

Open communication has been key to Interflow’s response, with a focus on using appropriate channels to disseminate updates.

The business also ensures information not only cascades down to all frontline workers, but also any issues from work sites filter back up to management. 

With a workforce spanning Australia and New Zealand, Interflow has also been keeping on top of all health and government changes on a national and regional level to ensure the business remains compliant. 

“Our clients see us as a valuable business partner – as an essential function to assist with their continuity,” said Mr Smith.

“We’re here to solve our customers’ problems, we’re able to adapt, and our response to COVID-19 has allowed us to connect as one team quickly and efficiently.”

Interflow will conduct a post-implementation review once operations return to normal to capture key information of what worked and what didn’t, which will provide vital learnings for the future. 

For more information visit the Interflow website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Journalist Sophie Venz at

ASTT NZ forum a great success

The final ASTT Auckland New Zealand forum of 2019 took place at the ELB Equipment showroom in Auckland on 4 December 2019.

The forum offered insight into the latest trenchless equipment and the opportunity to network with industry professionals as well as live demonstrations.

The demonstrations comprised working Ditch Witch horizontal directional drilling rigs and vacuum excavators, with mini skid steers and trenchers also on display, which ASTT New Zealand Councillor Blair Telfer deemed a ‘’great success”.

“If ELB continue to support in allowing us to their premises, or if another party wishes to offer their space, then I will definitely be hosting another ‘live demo day’ again next year,” said Mr Telfer.

Additionally, ELB and CETCO performed on-site mud school and demonstration for guests with InterflowPipeWorks and Reline NZ providing demonstrations on pipelining systems.

The future dates for ASTT Technical Forums throughout Australia and New Zealand for 2020 are yet to be confirmed.

For more information visit the ASTT website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Managing Editor Chloe Jenkins at