A staple in trenchless technology

Oct 30, 2023

Pezzimenti Trenchless has showcased the strength of microtunnelling through its work on a sewerage project.

Over the last ten years, there has been an uptick in microtunnelling across many infrastructure projects, as education and awareness around the technique continues to grow. Pezzimenti Trenchless Director Joe Pezzimenti spoke to Trenchless Australasia about the positive impact of the technique, as seen through a recent sewerage project in Beveridge, Victoria. The Rankin Street sewerage project involves construction of two new sewer mains as well as upgrading the Mandalay sewer pump station, and ultimately improve the network in Beveridge.

Awarded by Yarra Valley Water, construction is being done by MFJ Constructions, with Pezzimenti Trenchless completing drilling works on the branch sewer, which is situated from Lewis Street to the Mandalay sewer pump station. For Pezzimenti Trenchless, the scope of work included the installation of a 530 outside diameter (OD) glass reinforced plastic (GRP) pipe, with the 1500m sewer constructed through microtunnelling, with shafts every 100m. Due to the depth of the sewer line, microtunnelling was the right method of choice for the job. It is often seen as an efficient and cost-effective method, as it requires less resources than traditional methods. It also causes minimal disruption to the environment surrounding the job, making it ideal for larger infrastructure projects, such as sewerage projects.

While the benefits of microtunnelling have been heralded through many projects, the technique has come a long way. “Ten years ago, this job might not have ever been designed this way to do,” Joe said. “Microtunnelling in the trenchless industry in the last decade has come a long way to actually have confidence to design these types of jobs. Water companies, engineers and designers have more confidence, not just in our method, but in microtunnelling in general.” Joe said that through education and awareness, the technique has continued to grow, making it ideal for many projects. “The education side has improved and the more successful projects we do, the more trust they’re having in the system to get these projects done,” Joe said. With depths varying between 10m to 12m, the Rankin Street job did prove to be challenging for the Pezzimenti team. “It’s a high-risk job, not from a safety perspective but constructability wise, it’s pretty risky,” Joe said.

Specifically, groundwater was a challenge, with some of the ground’s strength testing at 220 megapascals (MPa), which is considered high-strength rock. However, as the Pezzimenti Trenchless laser-guided method ensures all types of pipes are installed efficiently, the team was able to complete the works successfully despite the complications. “We pride ourselves on our unparalleled experience and expertise in setting the standard for the industry when it comes to quality, care, and development,” Joe said. “The dedication our team shows when it comes to completing a project, however big or small under any circumstance, in an efficient and effective manner, is why we’ve stood the test of time.” Since 1957, Pezzimenti Trenchless has positioned itself at the forefront of the trenchless industry through its laser-guided microtunnelling system. The company has worked on crucial projects across Victoria and built strong relationships with major construction groups, becoming valued partners in the process.

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