VAPAR provides CCTV solutions to asset managers

Avoid the backlog

A common industry challenge is how to effectively manage the increasing volume of CCTV pipe inspection data that accumulates over time. Backlogs occur when inspection projects reach completion, but the packaging of the subsequent required programmed work is delayed.

A CCTV backlog can then grow larger when the pace of condition inspections continues at a faster pace than the review and decision process. This dilemma is often exacerbated by resource challenges where engineers are spread thinly across multiple asset management tasks, and when efficient data access is not in place to support the decision-making process.

The receival of CCTV inspection results should not be considered the final delivery of a program, but rather a point in the circular process of pipe asset management. Each step should be designed to synchronise and complement the one that follows.


Pipe condition assessment process. Image: VAPAR

Acquiring the 1 to 5 condition gradings is only one part of managing a pipe network. Questions to consider when implementing a successful asset management strategy include:

  • Do I have confidence that I’m inspecting the right percentage of my network, and the correct pipes within it?
  • Do all relevant stakeholders in my organisation have access to data from past inspections?
  • Am I updating my GIS and asset management systems with condition results?
  • Is my process designed to inform asset risk, value, and future inspection programs?

No silos in the cloud

Having a suitable storage option for the large amount of video files that CCTV inspections generate, while retaining access for stakeholders to view reports and make maintenance and rehabilitation decisions, presents both storage and software challenges for councils and utilities.

Greater Western Water (Victoria) and Richmond Valley Council (NSW) are two such organisations that have turned to the VAPAR.Solutions platform to significantly improve the access and management of their inspection file libraries covering the last 5 years.

Moving to a cloud-based solution provides options to keep both GIS mapping and asset management systems up to date, while removing the reliance on portable hard-drives and messy network folder structures that can lead to data silos and unintended information barriers.

Same storage for pushrod and zoom footage

Traditional CCTV pipe inspection software and processes have been designed to work with pan-tilt-zoom crawler cameras. This often leads to inspections collected using pushrod and pole-mounted zoom cameras being poorly catalogued and lacking a common approach to access and compare condition information. In many cases, a video is captured but soon after the footage and data disappear due to poor storage and reporting options.

2021 saw VAPAR successfully run projects that provided the opportunity to import, analyse and produce inspection style reports for a range of camera hardware. The opportunity to store, map, report, and track decisions for crawler, pushrod, and pole camera inspections all in the one location has significantly increased the value and useability of this type of footage for asset owners. Having access to more condition collection methods allows for greater flexibility and increased coverage of a network to better manage risk and improve the understanding of pipe infrastructure.

Mildura Rural City Council sought options to economically survey a significant percentage of their stormwater network that would provide condition data to inform their operational and capital works programs. They recently engaged Interflow, a VAPAR Partner, to complete this package of inspection works using pole-mounted zoom cameras with results available directly through VAPAR’s browser platform. This has seen the value and detail of the collected data increase with better access to videos, images, condition results, and inspection reports. This data is formatted to import directly to GIS for thematic mapping and broader user access. Over 80km of inspections are scheduled to be completed during this project.

VAPAR began the new year processing footage for Muswellbrook Shire Council, with inspections completed by Mullane, a Central Coast / Hunter based VAPAR Partner. Some of the earliest of adopters of advancing technology for the CCTV pipe condition assessment process have been rural and regional councils.

One of the primary influences for this trend has been the demand for engineers and project managers to spend less of their time watching videos and become more focused on managing pipe risk. Understanding this risk using targeted defect frames and open data presentation has been designed to make the pipe condition assessment workflow smarter with improved outcomes.

Gunnedah Shire Council have a large inspection program that began in January. Michael Ludlow (Project Manager Water Services) explains some of the reasons that led to new solutions for managing their sewer network.

“We were looking for an innovative solution that could evaluate CCTV footage and give an accurate assessment of our sewer infrastructure that took the human factor out of the evaluation process, Council required VAPAR to be able to integrate with CCTV contractors to give us the best possible result that was accurate and cost effective we believe that VAPAR ticked all those boxes.”

Regional councils aren’t alone in realising the benefits of VAPAR’s new technology. In Sydney, both Blacktown City Council and Campbelltown City Council have adopted VAPAR to drive improvements in workflow and decision-making. Campbelltown is one of the faster growing areas in Sydney and have found that VAPAR’s AI processing and data outputs don’t just improve their condition assessment program. They now use VAPAR.Solutions as part of their new pipe acceptance and end of warranty testing, this has enabled them to reduce the turn-around time from weeks to days.

Implementing iterative machine-learning updates to the AI processing engine and the further development of automated solutions, VAPAR continues to roll-out this advanced technology to councils and utilities in 2022.

For more information visit the VAPAR website. 

This article appeared in the February 2022 issue of Trenchless Australasia. Click here to view the digital edition of the magazine. 

Paul Lavelle Iplex general manager

Iplex Australia appoints new general manager

Dean Fradgley, Fletcher Building Australia’s chief executive, said Lavelle is perfectly placed to lead the Iplex business into the next phase of growth.

“Paul has delivered success for Fletcher Building since 2013 in his leadership roles with Laminex and Fletcher Insulation,” said Fradgley.

“His strong customer focus, drive for continuous improvement, and ability to influence positive outcomes will ensure the strong momentum already achieved by the team at Iplex will continue to accelerate.”

Lavelle said he was excited to be joining the Iplex business at this stage of the business journey and looked forward to working with the team and its customers.

“I am excited to execute the business vision of delivering innovative, sustainable solutions that have been, and will continue to be trusted for generations,” said Lavelle.

Lavelle’s commencement follows the appointment of Nicole Sumich to Fletcher Building’s Stramit Australia business in January.

Iplex has delivered some of the nation’s largest and most complex water infrastructure projects.  The experienced team actively works in collaboration with customers and the industry to provide safe, secure, and innovative water solutions today and into the future.

For more information visit the Iplex website.

Aussie Trenchless

The perfect rehabilitation solution for sewer, stormwater gravity mains

Aussie Trenchless is headed by industry old-hand Chris Meredith. Skilled in achieving superior trenchless outcomes, Meredith is committed to pioneering state-of-the-art solutions for no-dig civil construction.

Offering practical advice to infrastructure owners and contractors on a variety of underground pipeline rehabilitation techniques, Meredith’s practice is backed by a wealth of knowledge and experience. From pipeline assessment, sealing and CCTV techniques, as well as various rehabilitation processes, Aussie Trenchless is a go-to for proven trenchless solutions.

The company offers a range of innovative new products, adding more to its inventory as the industry evolves. Just one of these latest developments is the SRP-EXP. Characterised by its intuitive use and speedy installation process, it can extend the service life of sewer and stormwater assets by more than five decades.

The SRP-EXP is a close-fitting structural, spiral ribbed PVC trenchless pipe lining system and is an ideal rehabilitation solution for deteriorated and degraded sewer and stormwater pipelines.

A liner pipe is formed in-situ by helically winding a PVC profile strip into a host pipe, usually from an existing access chamber. The spiral winding machine is positioned into an access chamber or pit, which then winds the SRP-EXP ribbed strip to produce a secondary pipe within the existing pipeline.

The system is first installed at a smaller diameter and then expanded to fit snuggly against the internal surface of the existing structure. Because the profile is initially set to a small diameter, it can ride over displaced joints and negotiate bends and damaged areas.

This relining product is available for asset profiles from DN150 to DN1200. The SRP-EXP profile strip is engineered with a dual action lock. During the initial wind-in process, this functions to hold the spiral wound pipe tight at the initial diameter.

When the total installation is reached, the SRP-EXP liner end is then torsionally restrained, with the lock area sequentially released such that the liner expands. The expansion is smooth and controlled before the lining is pressed hard against the pipe wall.

It is even possible to install the SRP-EXP under live flow conditions. Flow control is generally not required during the installation process, thus avoiding any interruptions to the network.

The SRP-EXP also has a small site footprint. It is quick and easy to install, and it doesn’t generate any waste.

This liner is designed in accordance with industry standards, such as ASTM F1741-08 (2016), to provide a stand-alone structural liner. SRP- EXP is available in a number of different profiles sizes to suit gravity pipe sizes from DN150 to DN1200, and is guaranteed to extend the life of your assets by at least 50 years.

For more information visit the Aussie Trenchless website. 

This article featured in the December 2021 edition of Trenchless Australasia. To view the digital magazine, click here.

kwik zip HD-50 spacers on DN560 HDPE (560mm OD) into a DN700 Mild Steel Pipe2 copy

kwik-ZIP spacers – the only Australian-owned spacer on the market

Spacer systems can be used on a wide range of new and rehabilitated trenchless pipeline installations to proactively aid the installation process.   Kwik-ZIP’s casing spacer and centraliser systems help contractors to comply with regulations that require casing centralizers or pipe spacers (also referred to as slippers or spiders), like wastewater and sewerage codes and water well construction standards.

Developed by drilling professionals, these centraliser and spacer systems are solving centralisation challenges around the world.

The Kwik-ZIP product range is entirely Australian owned and designed, making it the only of its kind. But despite its local origins, Kwik-ZIP products now serve many different market sectios in  in the USA, UK, continental Europe, the Middle East, and Central and South America.

Kwik-ZIP’s spacers and centralisers are applicable for use on a range of different pipe profiles, with varying surfaces, on open bores and pipe bundle arrangements, and across pipe-in-pipe applications such as sliplining.

The range can accommodate large diameters by joining additional segments – installation only requires a flat-blade screwdriver.

The range is constructed from Kwik-ZIP’s engineered thermoplastic blend that allows for high flexural strength, high temperature resistance, a low coefficient of friction, and abrasion and chemical resistance.

kwik zip spacer

Kwik-Zip’s spacers and centralisers are chemically inert and support carrier pipe on low co-efficient of friction wear pads that resist abrasion from casing/host pipe surface.  They act to minimize damaging vibration and movement transfer from outer casing to carrier pipe via suspension and dampening effect, making them ideal for use in road and rail crossing scenarios. 

Kwik-Zip’s spacers and centralisers resist chemicals and oils, even if immersed for long periods of time, and contain no metal parts to promote corrosion.  They also have no lead content – making them fully compatible with all potable water applications.

Kwik-ZIP spacers and centralisers have been used on many large-scale infrastructure projects since the company was established in 2001. In recent times, Kwik-ZIP spacers were used in the South Grafton PS Outfall Pipes project in NSW. Kwik-ZIP model HDX 65 spacers were selected and installed at 1 m intervals to support the carrier pipe and protect it from abrasion damage during installation for both sections.   

In 2020, industry giant Pezzimenti Trenchless used Kwik-ZIP spacers to facilitate the slip lining of a watermain for the Holden Reservoir Inlet Pipeline in Melbourne. Kwik-ZIP HDX-90 spacers were installed to facilitate the slip-lining of an 813 mm cement-lined steel water main into a steel encasing pipe.

Kwik-ZIP HDX-90 spacers were also used to support the slip lining process during the Haughton Pipeline Duplication Project in Queensland. This $215 million project included the duplication of 36.5 km of pipeline, pumping water from the Upper Haughton Irrigation Channel into Townsvilles’s Ross Dam.

Recently, Kwik-ZIP spacers were used on the Te Maunga Landward Section Outfall in Tauranga, New Zealand. Spacers were installed around the circumference of the DN1200 polyethylene (PE) pipeline to ensure it was centred, while pulling the pipeline through 100 m of existing concrete duct.

The feedback on all projects has been unanimous: Kwik-ZIP spacers are quick and easy to install, as well as being both affordable and effective. Contractors have commended the company for its thorough customer service and technical support, and Kwik-ZIP is supported by dozens of testimonials from long-time industry experts.

For more information visit the Kwik-ZIP website. 



Ballarat tunnel boring lights around Lake Wendouree.

Ballarat Sewer Build Stage 1 complete

Central Highlands Water (CHW) has successfully completed Stage 1 of the Ballarat Sewer Build. 

Stage 1 of the project commenced in April 2021 and required an investment of more than $25 million into the Ballarat region. 

The team at CHW faced many challenges throughout the project including construction interruptions due to COVID-19 and severe weather events, and the company thanked the community for its ongoing patience and understanding. 

“The understanding shown by both our business community and residents has made a highly complex project achievable,” a spokesperson for the company said. 

Stage 1 of the project saw the installation of around 1 km of sewer pipe, between4 and 6 me beneath the CBD, along Peel Street, Eastwood Street and Anderson Streets and East and West. 

The construction process involved the compaction of more than 13,000 t of rock and two micro-tunnels bored beneath critical traffic intersections. 

Microtunnelling techniques were used where possible to minimise ground disturbance; however, attempts at Little Bridge Street were unsuccessful due to unstable ground conditions and open-trench methods were necessary. 

Around 220m3 of concrete was poured in the three large sewer connections made into the existing network.

The project took the CHW a total of 22,000 working hours. 

Stage 2 of the Ballarat Sewer Build will cover White Flat Oval to Rest Street, and is expected to commence in 2022. 

When all stages are complete, the Ballarat Sewer Build will duplicate the existing sewer line from Ballarat East to South. 

According to CHW, the pipeline duplication will service the community for another 100 years. 

For more information visit the Central Highlands Water website. 

Water infrastructure projects to expand industry

Water infrastructure projects to expand industry

The Federal Government have announced an array of water infrastructure projects in NSW are underway as part of the NSW Connections package.

This will include the construction and upgrade of new pipelines and water storage facilities.

Together, these benefits will assist in the delivery of secure, affordable and reliable water for rural and regional Australia.

The Federal government contributed $15.8 million, and the NSW government invested $24.3 million to the project.

It will deliver 1650 megalitres in additional storage capacity as well as 4380 megalitres per annum increased water availability.

The project will also produce over 240 hectares of additional irrigable land and connect over 190 new customers or properties to the water supply.

62 jobs during construction and over 234 ongoing jobs will also be created.

One of the projects that the package covers include the Lake Wyangan Water Sustainability project, which will include a new 5.3 km pipeline to assist the local citrus industry.

Another project in the package involves the West Wyalong Water Reliability project, which will construct a new 300 megalitre off-stream storage dam.

Construction for the package is predicted to finish in the middle of 2023.

For more information, click here.

SA Water installs new Murray Bridge water main

SA Water installs new Murray Bridge water main

SA Water plans to start installing a new water main as part of the utility’s $155 million four-year water main management program.

Laid beneath Brinkley Road, the new pipe is part of 47,000 m of water mains being installed in the ground for SA Water customers throughout regional South Australia.

SA Water’s General Manager of Sustainable Infrastructure Amanda Lewry said the new pipe is constructed from PVC, a more resistant material than fibro-cement.

“With water mains having a lifespan of up to 100 years, these new pipes ensure we can continue to deliver clean, safe drinking water to local customers well into the future,” Lewry said.

“Continuing to invest in upgrades to our water network, like here in Murray Bridge, is an important part of how we can deliver trusted water services for our customers,” Lewry said.

Lewry said the installation targets leaks and breaks.

“Despite soil movement and other environmental factors being major contributing factors to leaks and breaks in our state-wide network, our water main replacement program ensures we can proactively work to limit their frequency,” she said.

SA Water advises residents and road users to take note of localised traffic management whilst the installation is proceeding, Lewry added.

“We will also ensure our customers are notified of any temporary water supply interruptions that are necessary when we move their connections over from the old to new pipes,” she said.

Other installations in the $155 million program include the upgrade to the Redbanks water main, which was the first of the water mains to be installed.

Due to the new main’s length, construction will take around seven months to complete, with works typically occurring Monday to Friday between 7am and 6pm.

For more information visit the SA Water website.

Snells Beach, Warkworth region

Warkworth works progress despite lockdown

Contractors are currently completing works on a major $26 million wastewater pump station in Lucy Moore Memorial Park. 

Project manager Dirk du Plessis is asking the public to be aware of increased traffic as contractor McConnell Dowell ramps up construction activity. 

“We are very pleased to see that works are well underway,” said du Plessis.

“We’re aware the warm weather is bringing people outside and we’d like to remind them to stay alert and take notice of extra truck movements in coming months.” 

According to Watercare, Warkworth – a region 64 km north of Auckland – is expected to grow significantly in population, with up to 20,000 people migrating to the area over the next few decades.

The new pump station is the first in a series of municipality projects designed to cater for growth and improve water quality in the Mahurangi/Warkworth region. 

The next phase of the project will involve the construction and installation of a new 5 km transfer pipeline and wastewater treatment plant in Snells Beach/Algies Bay,  expected to commence next year. 

Tunnelling will be carried out deep underground by direct pipe tunnelling — a method that was successfully deployed by McConnell Dowell on the Snells-Algies wastewater outfall. 

The Warkworth wastewater scheme is expected to be completed in 2024. 

For more information visit the Watercare website. 

SA water upgrades water pipe

Upgrade to Redbanks water main

The project is part of the state’s $155 million four-year water main management program.   

The new pipes laid beneath Verner Road will be the first of 47,000 m of water mains embedded into the ground, enabling SA Water customers to have access to water from regional South Australia.   

SA Water’s general manager of sustainable infrastructure Amanda Lewry said the new pipes will be made of PVC, a more resistant pipe material to soil movement, in contrasting to the previous pipes made from fibro-cement.  

“Continuing to invest in upgrades to our water network, like here in Redbanks, is an important part of how we can deliver trusted water services for our customers,” Lewry said.   

SA Water acknowledged that despite soil movement and other environmental factors being major contributing risks to leaks and breaks, the new water main replacement will be able to heavily limit frequency of disruptions.  

“With water mains having a lifespan of up to 100 years, these news pipes ensure we can continue to deliver clean, safe drinking water to local customers well into the future”, said Lewry.  

SA Water aims to complete all works within eight weeks, with construction likely taking place Monday to Friday between 7 am to 5 pm within Redbanks.  

“For the safety of our people and the local community, we ask residents and road users to please take not of localised traffic management in place while the works are underway,” Lewry said.  

“We will also ensure our customers are notified of any temporary water supply interruptions that are necessary when we move their connections over from old to new pipes.” 

For more information visit the SA Water website

85 years of Interflow

Interflow celebrates 85 years

Throughout its history, Interflow has pioneered technologies and renewal methods that have been well received for their innovation.

The company was founded in 1936 by Harold ‘Bill’ Weaver, whose mission it was to support the growth of budding communities along the east coast of Australia.

Weaver and his original team at Interflow constructed water, sewerage and drainage systems for developing towns, earning him a reputation as a change maker.  

His ability to identify gaps in the market and develop services to meet the needs of his customers allowed him to expand the company’s operations across the country. 

Since the 30s, Interflow has been generation-led and family owned, with leadership handed down from father to son now over three generations 

From proactive asset management to emergency repairs, the company is dedicated to developing bespoke solutions that satisfy its customers’ needs: robust, sustainable pipeline infrastructure that will service the growing requirements of the community for generations to come.

As early as the 1990s, interflow pioneered the use of trenchless technology to improve efficiency, reduce costs and minimise impact to the environment and community. 

Interflow 1991
In 1991, Interflow signed its first 20-year exclusivity deal with partners Rib Loc.trench

In 1991 – 30 years ago – the company signed its first 20-year exclusivity deal with partners in innovation Rib Loc. 

Together, the companies provided hundreds of local councils and water authorities with industry-leading pipeline infrastructure services, restoring assets for an expected period of 50 years. 

The companies continue to share a working relationship today. 

Today, managing director and Bill Weaver’s grandson, Geoff Weaver, is responsible for the company’s operations, establishing an international foothold in New Zealand, and negotiating two twenty-year exclusive Australasian licenses for spirally wound rehabilitation products. 

At 85 years, Interflow is Australia’s largest provider of Trenchless pipeline solutions, establishing itself as the preferred delivery partner within Australian markets. 

Geoff Weaver said the company’s ongoing success has been guided by the core values laid out by his grandfather. 

“My grandfather’s ethos was simple. He was committed to challenging the status quo and finding new and better ways to do things,” he said.

“Each generation of leadership has been responsible for refining these methods and developing new technologies to further improve the experience of our customers and communities.”

Interflow now employs over 600 people across Australasia, and the company continues to expand the range of services it provides. 

“As we celebrate this incredible milestone, we look forward to the next 85 years of supporting our customers and uplifting communities with pipeline infrastructure solutions for generations to come,” Weaver added.

For more information visit the Interflow website.