Wellinton Water

Wellington Water’s pipe duplication project with McConnell Dowell

Wellington Water and McConnell Dowell Constructors Ltd have partnered together in a key infrastructure project to strengthen the Hutt Valley’s wastewater network in preparation for future growth and to reduce the risk of wastewater entering the environment in the event of a major earthquake.

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ASTT offers courses at NDDU

Originally developed by the North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT), the ASTT has licensed the training courses and adapted the material for Australasian audiences. 

The courses are considered the global industry standard for trenchless technology education. 

The training courses include:

  • Sewer Laterals Good Practices
  • Horizontal Direction Drilling (HDD) Good Practices
  • New Installation Methods Good Practices

The Sewer Laterals Good Practices Course will be presented by Ben Norton, a Nuflow group trainer. 

The course offers a clear understanding of the problems and relevant issues unique to the private lateral portion of the collection system network.

The HDD Good Practices Course will be hosted by Ben Crosby, ASTT Queensland councillor and managing director at Bamser. 

The course presents the key elements of a successful HDD project from planning to job completion, as well as providing the opportunity to meet with a number of HDD specialists in the field.

The Trenchless Methodologies Introduction is presented by Justin Shepherd, ASTT Victorian Councillor and Group Technical Director at McConnell Dowell, and Blair Telfer, ASTT Vice President and New Zealand Councillor.

This course provides an introduction and overview of commonly used, as well as new, trenchless installation methods for the accurate installation of new utilities, services, casings, or other underground facilities.

Registration is $490 for ASTT members and $590 for non-members and members can earn CPD points. 

Class sizes are capped so book now to avoid disappointment.

Outgoing Infrastructure Victoria CEO Michel Masson

Infrastructure Victoria CEO steps down

“It is with mixed feelings that I confirm Infrastructure Victoria’s inaugural CEO, Michel Masson, will end his tenure with the organisation at the end of this month,” a spokesperson for the company stated. 

Masson led the company from 2016 to present, during which time he established Infrastructure Victoria as an independent voice on a range of infrastructure issues. 

Under Masson’s leadership, the company presented Victoria’s Infrastructure Strategy 2021-2051 to the Victorian Parliament in August this year. 

This was the second statewide 30-year strategy completed under Masson’s stewardship to future proof Victoria’s infrastructure. 

The Victorian Government issued a statement last Friday acknowledging the tenure of the inaugural CEO.

“During Mr Masson‘s time as chief executive officer, Infrastructure Victoria has outlined ways in which Victoria can make the most of existing infrastructure, while also ensuring new infrastructure delivers maximum value,” the statement read. 

Treasurer Tim Pallas thanked Masson for his productive and strategic leadership over the last five years. 

“Michel has done a fantastic job guiding Infrastructure Victoria in its crucial first years, helping to inform our state’s record infrastructure program,” Pallas said. 

According to Infrastructure Victoria, under Masson’s guidance the building authority influenced more government policy and decision-making than ever before. 

More than 90 per cent of the 137 recommendations from the company’s first 30-year strategy are now complete or in progress, constituting a strong impact record. 

Infrastructure Victoria is now a recognised leader in deliberative engagement across a range of complex and challenging topics such as zero emissions vehicles, recycling infrastructure, port capacity, gas infrastructure and population-serving infrastructure for the Suburban Rail Loop.

Infrastructure Victoria acknowledges Masson’s enduring impact on team culture and thanks him for his dedication to the organisation. 

“It has been an honour and privilege to lead Infrastructure Victoria in contributing to robust policy decisions and a better future for all Victorians,” said Masson. 

“I am immensely proud of the talented and passionate team at Infrastructure Victoria who have continuously demonstrated the value of independent, transparent, evidence based advice.”

Deputy CEO Jonathan Spear will serve as Acting CEO while the organisation undertakes a formal search process. 

Masson will continue as CEO until 4 November 2021.

For more information visit the Infrastructure Victoria website

MATES in Construction with Interflow’s South Australian team.

Destigmatising mental health in construction

In Australia, construction workers are more than twice as likely to die by suicide than the general population.

The construction sector employs more than 1 million Australians, making it one of the largest employing industries in the country.

There are well-documented factors that contribute to the industry’s elevated suicide rates among workers, including limited job security, long work hours, frequent time spent working in isolation from friends and family, and the prevalence of ‘blokey’ worksite cultures where the disclosure of personal struggles can be met with unsupportive responses.

Coupled with the common reluctance of men to seek help, the situation presents a perfect storm. With these factors in mind, there is a real need to implement an industry-wide strategy for addressing mental health and these alarming figures.

With approximately 600 employees across Australia and New Zealand working in some of the toughest conditions to keep the community’s essential water and sanitation services running year-round, Interflow has a commitment to invest in mental health.

Interflow Senior HSE Business Partner Troy Dawson explains the inclusion of mental health and safety into its ‘Harm 2 Zero’ approach.

“It is critical that organisations within the industry make an investment in mental health care to mitigate the risk of suicide or mental ill health among employees,” he says.

“As awareness for mental health issues continues to emerge, we are moving into an era where it’s automatically and naturally incorporated into workplace health and safety.”

Interflow Project Engineer Alec Dawson.

Standing up for MATES in Construction

As part of its commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of its employees, Interflow strives to keep conversations surrounding mental health open and honest.

In addition to providing its employees with access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and participating in nationwide events such as R U OK? Day and National Safe Work Month, the organisation’s South Australian team recently engaged MATES in Construction (MATES).

Committed to taking a people-focused, industry-tailored response to the mental-health crisis, MATES has developed a suicide prevention program in partnership with industry, specifically designed to meet the needs of construction workers.

MATES CEO Chris Lockwood explains why this tailored approach is necessary.

“We decided to start from a position of the strengths that construction workers bring to the table. While men are commonly poor at seeking help, we also understood that men, and construction workers in particular, are terrific fixers and problem solvers,” he says.

“We turned the usual approach to suicide prevention on its head, with the goal of building an industry of people skilled at offering help. Promoting health-offering behaviours is the real core of the MATES program.

“We train people to be awake to the signs of poor mental health and suicide red flags among their peers. We build on this by providing regular construction workers with the conversational and relational skills to intervene and keep their mates safe when they sense things aren’t right. What we’re doing here is helping to build a more resilient and connected workforce.”

Interflow Project Engineer Alec Dawson attended the session alongside several other office and field crew members. He says it was a confronting but eye-opening experience.

“It was highly valuable to get all of the South Australia crew together to have a real discussion beyond ‘work talk’, but about our lives and how we are coping,” he says.

“It gives us the ability to understand the prevalence of mental health issues, identify when someone needs support, and more broadly, apply the valuable insight from MATES to our everyday activities.”

Turning talk into action

Now armed with enhanced knowledge on the matter, Interflow’s crews are tackling the stigma associated with discussing mental health issues head on.

The company believes organisational leaders will be key to leading this change and, by lending their support, time, and resources to promoting conversations and shifting organisational culture, the factors contributing to suicide rates in the construction industry can be shifted.

Chris Lockwood from MATES explores the importance of seeking solutions at a team, organisational, and societal level.

“Shifting societal and cultural norms isn’t a burden that should fall on any one person’s shoulders,” he says.

“We view suicide prevention as everybody’s business. The impacts of industry-based intervention programs such as MATES don’t stop with work. People with stronger awareness and suicide intervention skills carry these with them into their families, friendships and across the community.”

Mr Dawson, alongside Interflow’s leadership team, recognises that there is still much work to be done, but there is optimism that steps are being taken in the right direction.

“The MATES session was a great catalyst for further action,” he says.

“We have a responsibility to each other to destigmatise mental ill health and to support each other through life’s challenges.”

For more information visit the Interflow website. 

construction workers closing site with hazard tape

Victorian Government shuts down construction

Due to concerns about COVID-19 case numbers and transmission risk, the Victorian Government has announced a two-week shutdown for construction in metropolitan Melbourne and other local government areas currently in lockdown.

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NSW reopens construction sector

As of 31 July, construction will resume in Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour.    

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said there would be a limit of up to two workers for indoor services and five workers for outdoor.  

Safety measures such as controls on movements between sites, reduced contact between workers within sites and improved tracing capabilities will be implemented.  

However, construction will not resume in the eight local government areas (LGA) of concern – Fairfield, Blacktown, Cumberland, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool, Parramatta and Georges River LGAs.  

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia Chief Executive Adrian Dwyer stated that the sector has repeatedly shown it can deliver safely in a pandemic world.   

“We will continue to work constructively with government to ensure a full resumption of construction activity across all Greater Sydney can occur as swiftly as possible,” said Mr Dwyer. 

NSW Construction Division Secretary Darren Greenfield said the partial reopening will provide some relief in the industry, but current restrictions on workers from locked-down sites will affect many.  

He wrote that ongoing discussions to modify restrictions in the eight LGAs was necessary to avoid bringing the industry to its knees long term.  

Mr. Barilaro said the NSW Government worked closely with industry to plan this reopening, and he commended the industry’s ongoing commitment to tackling the virus. 

For more information visit the NSW Government website.  

Edge Underground’s guide to safety

At Edge Underground, safety begins with using the best equipment available – such as the AXIS guided boring system.  

Consideration of safety issues is an integral part of the initial stage of the planning process for any construction project and helps to shape the tendering process.  

Equipment plays a key role in creating this safe worksite, as older machines will not have as many of the in-built safety mechanisms that newer equipment does.  

Edge Underground Managing Director Stuart Harrison said the Edge Underground team uses the best equipment available, including the AXIS guided boring system, as it is equipped with the best operator safety features of all the microtunnelling equipment in the market.  

“It’s designed with a Falling Object Protective System (FPOS) which is a safety enclosure that the operator sits inside, ensuring they aren’t exposed to the outside environment and protected from anything that might fall into the pit from above,” he said.  

“The FPOS is unique to the AXIS – no other microtunnelling machine available has a safety enclosure at all.”  

In addition to the FPOS, the AXIS has several noteworthy internal safety mechanisms to help keep personnel safe while completing the drill, including pressure gauges and strike alert.  

“The pressure gauges, including a vacuum gauge at the rear of the machine, feed information to the operator to notify them of changes in ground pressure,” said Mr Harrison.  

“It’s important to be alerted to these pressure changes as it could signify contact with a trench, which could be housing live wires that weren’t located by Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) services or pre-project geotechnical surveys.”  

The AXIS’ in-built strike alert mechanism alerts the operator if the drill has encountered a power cable and the machine has become live.  

If this occurs, the operator can remain safely within the machine until the power source has been deactivated.  

Mr Harrison says the risks posed by changing in ground pressure are also further mitigated by the AXIS’ ability to retract and complete a pilot line.  

“This allows us to confirm the ground conditions and when we start drilling, any discrepancies that are picked up by the pressure gauges ensures the team can avoid any problems,” he said 

Going trenchless  

Mr Harrison said that specifying a trenchless method of pipeline installation such as microtunnelling in a tender, rather than open cut, can further improve safety outcomes onsite.  

According to Safe Work Australia, excavation work is considered dangerous due to the risk of sudden excavation failures that limit the abilities of workers to escape if a collapse were to occur – with construction work being undertaken in or near shafts or trenches considered particularly high risk. 

This risk increases the deeper the shaft or trench, with those deeper than 1.5 m considered high risk. 

“While some trenchless methods such as microtunnelling and pipe jacking do require excavation of a shaft, the risks are much less than open cut,” said Mr Harrison.  

“Compared to open cut which requires long lengths of trenches to be dug along the length of the pipeline, there is much less excavation needed for the shaft and site supervision is contained to smaller areas.  

“This not only reduces the number of man hours and therefore the incidence of accidents are less, but there is also a reduced risk of public interference.”  

For more information visit www.edgeunderground.co 

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

Metro Tunnel hits milestone

The works took more than two years to complete and included more than 7,700 m3 of concrete and nearly 8,000 t of reinforced steel.

Work is now underway to connect the new entrance with the Metro Tunnel’s twin 9km tunnels.

All four of the project’s tunnel boring machines are currently digging underground, with approximately three quarters of tunnelling now complete.

For more information visit the Metro Tunnel website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Managing Editor David Convery at dconvery@gs-press.com.au

Expanding the KOR vehicle range

KOR’s commitment to product enhancement and innovation is highlighted with the launch of the latest edition to its hydro excavation offering – the CAP COMBI 3200 CL Hydro 8×4 unit. Adding to the existing CAP COMBI 2600 CC Hydro 6×4 offering, flexible options are available for most businesses operating in the utility locating space. 

KOR says when completing any utility locating works, one of the most important steps in the process is always verifying the physical location of the underground asset. So, depending on the size, scope and location of works, KOR has the right solution when it comes to hydro excavation and offers flexible options for your business. 

Maximising productivity, vacuum performance and superior design, KOR’s manufacturing partner Cappellotto holds operator ergonomics at the core of its philosophy. Combining with KOR’s experienced Australian engineering team, the product is delivered to market compliant with Australian and New Zealand regulations ensuring maximum safety for operators on the job. 

CAP COMBI 3200 CL Hydro 8×4

KOR is proud to launch to the market the brand new Cappellotto CAP COMBI 3200 CL Hydro 8×4 unit. Designed for high productivity hydro excavation, gross pollutant trap cleaning and a highly efficient 8 inch (203 mm) Hibon vacuum pump running at 93 per cent vacuum with 28 inch Hg. Producing 6,500 m3 per hour and 3,800 CFM, the CAP COMBI 3200 CL Hydro delivers high performance productivity, meaning the job can be done in a safe and efficient manner. 

This unit perfectly complements a fleet of vacuum or hydro excavation units and can grow a fleet into more productive, high performance vehicles. Specialising in gross pollutant trap cleaning and sewer pumping station cleaning with its 270-degree boom, 6 m extendable boom and articulated end means the unit is versatile in application as well maximising revenue streams. 

CAP COMBI 2600 CC Hydro 6×4

The 2600 CC Hydro unit from KOR maximises compact design, high volume tank capacity and fuel efficiency to deliver strong results for any business when working in high density urban environments. Using the Euro 6 emission standards Volvo FE320 6×4 cab-chassis allows for a lower environmental footprint and fuel cost reductions when running the unit. 

The design of the Cappellotto body has been proven over many years of service in Australian conditions. Designed for the Australian industry, safety standards and regulations, KOR’s customers can trust its units will protect their workforce while maintaining high productivity.

Optimising a fleet for maximum versatility and profitability is what KOR does best for any business. Interested customers can learn more about KOR’s range of hydro excavation units, or its broader fleet options including drain and sewer cleaning combination units, water recyclers, industrial dry vacuum units and more, get in touch with KOR today on 1300 567 784.

This article was featured in the December 2020 edition of Trenchless Australasia. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device, click here.

For more information visit the KOR website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Journalist Sophie Venz at svenz@gs-press.com.au

The solid choice for hydrovac slurry separation

Hydrovac is a process that creates a slurry mixture of liquid with high solids content, approximately 60 per cent liquid and 40 per cent solids. Unlike conventional excavation, hydrovac excavation does not separate soil horizons; instead, it mobilises potential contaminants through the excavation addition of water (solvent) and agitation.

A unique procedure

In cooperation with a US client, GN Solids Control developed the first hydrovac slurry treatment system in the US three years ago. After witnessing the proven success, the client purchased another nine systems as the business grew, and another Canadian client purchased two systems on referral.

All GN’s systems have been kept in the original basic concept and been continuously upgraded in their final details in order to perform better.

GN says there are some different options in the market already, with sediment being the most traditional one. However, the GN Hydrovac Slurry System is streamlined, compact and incredibly smart. The company adds it is a supremely durable, closed-loop system to recover solids and reduce water consumption largely.

“Based on our experience on oil gas drilling mud [and] horizontal directional drilling (HDD) mud, we have creatively developed our own procedure,” says GN.

GN designs and manufactures waste management systems for hydrovac slurry and directional drill slurry. The solution is to use liquid and solids separation equipment to treat soil, soup or slurry generated from the hydrovac or HDD projects and produce reusable construction material and discharge clean water.

System features

GN’s hydrovac system offers the complete package design for a turnkey solution, developed with many years of proven experience. Its modularised system allows for fast installation and flexible movement, while the four-phase mechanical separation provides operators with a better result.

The company’s standard hydrovac slurry separation system generally includes a scalping shaker, fine shaker, desilter and decanter centrifuge. If needed, desander cones can be added in between the shaker and desilter to compose a five-phase system.

Depending on site arrangements, GN usually has a vacuum truck drive backwards to a dumping platform and then pour through a big hopper, which collectively leads everything to the scalping shaker. The scalping shaker separates most of the stones and aggregates out, with the fluid then transferred to a shale shaker equipped with finer shaker screens to separate sand and silt out.

The GN hydrovac system removing slurry from a project site.

Like the previous step, a pump feeds it to desilter cyclones, where fluid is then pumped to a decanter centrifuge. Meanwhile, solids are dewatered by the screens underneath cyclones.

The final stage is the decanter centrifuge, which is the most important step as it considers the high solids content and normally adds in dosing polymer to eliminate tiny particles. After this, all the solids are stackable and the water is reusable.

Keep costs low

GN says its key highlights to keep clients cost as low as possible are the system’s strong screens and its tungsten carbide tiles and inserts.

The scalping coarse screen is made of stainless steel bars, which are strong enough to bear big particles and have a durable design to make sure it lasts longer. Additionally, the fine screens and dewatering screens are composite frame, offering triple lifetime compared to traditional steel frames.

GN says the screw of decanter centrifuge are covered by tungsten carbide tiles, allowing the upgraded design tiles to be more resistant and also ensure a longer life time, while the slurry ports and solids discharge ports are well protected by the tungsten carbide inserts.

This article was featured in the December 2020 edition of Trenchless Australasia. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device, click here.

For more information visit the GN Solids Control.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Journalist Sophie Venz at svenz@gs-press.com.au

Making connections with Superior HDD

Too isolated for large populations, and with ground conditions too hard for agriculture, the Northern Beaches’ natural beauty has remained largely intact over the years. With many locals living among the secluded beaches and national park areas and the advent of modern demands, the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) to the area via the Mona Vale Western Foreshore NBN Outfalls was inevitable.

The challenge was finding a suitable solution to install this vital infrastructure in such an inaccessible and environmentally sensitive location with difficult rock conditions.

Strict environmental requirements

From the start, the project was bound by rigorous environmental conditions considering much of its location was covered by the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. A trenchless solution became a non-negotiable in order to minimise the environmental impact – with horizontal directional drilling (HDD) being the preferred method.

To undertake the job, Central Coast-based HDD specialist Superior HDD was engaged by Downer to complete the four HDPE HDD ocean outfall connections. Superior HDD Managing Director and Operations Manager James Burch recognised the project’s challenges immediately.

“This is a very sensitive national park area, with many parts only accessible by water,” he says.

“HDD was the only way to do it, and we knew with good planning, design, and risk mitigation, we would get it done right.”

Superior HDD Managing Director and Operations Manager James Burch completing the Bore 1 punch out.

Minimising risk

Mr Burch says his priority was first to fully understand the project’s risks in detail.

“We know the ground conditions in this area very well, and while the consistent Hawkesbury sandstone provides hard but predictable drilling conditions, being such a sensitive area, hydrofracture was not an option,” he says.

“So, we had our HDD design specialists complete a detailed profile and alignment and hydrofracture assessment, coming up with an ultraconservative, deep profile to minimise frac-out from that perspective.”

Mr Burch explains that from there, drilling fluid was the next step in the process.

“We needed bentonite to ensure optimal borehole performance and cuttings removal, but we couldn’t risk release of this fluid into the surrounding waters,” he says.

“So, we devised a detailed drilling fluid plan which used a bentonite program for most of the initial pilot, then a complete displacement of the hole, replacing all fluid with an environmentally low-impact xanthan gum mix.

“This allowed us to punch out using the biodegradable xanthan gum fluid, as well as to responsibly plan, monitor and analyse our returns for the entirety of the bores.”

Practical implications

During the job, Superior HDD found mobilising its Ditch Witch JT60 All Terrain midi rig and support equipment to the isolated sites also required many practical adaptations.

“Many of the project areas are accessible only by water, and being ocean outfalls, much of our support equipment was transported and set up on barges for the duration of the project,” says Mr Burch.

Along with limited accessibility, the steep and rocky environment added additional challenges.

“For more than one crossing, there was a 50 m elevation difference between the drill site and the mud recycling system on the barge.

“We rose to this challenge by supplying top of the range, powerful transfer pumps, as well as extensive auxiliary equipment to minimise possible interruptions.”

Community engagement

Mr Burch says the project required involvement of a range of stakeholders, with Superior HDD seizing the opportunity to demonstrate the strengths of HDD.

“We had eyes on us for the whole project. In such a pristine environment, the local community was very environmentally conscious,” says Mr Burch.

“We consulted closely and regularly with stakeholders to be fully aware of and compliant with all environmental requirements, and to put concerned locals’ minds at ease.

“We also don’t rely on subcontractors for any of our HDD equipment, so we were able to personally consult with major stakeholders like National Parks, and then directly supply all gear in compliance with their strict requirements, including tracked machinery only.”

Successful connections

Mr Burch says the final of the four connections was completed in late September, on budget and within required timelines.

“We were proud to showcase the accuracy and environmental benefits of HDD with this project, proving that with good preparation and risk mitigation, it’s a safe, responsible method in even the most pristine environments.”

This article was featured in the December 2020 edition of Trenchless Australasia. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device, click here.

For more information visit the Superior HDD website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Journalist Sophie Venz at svenz@gs-press.com.au