Revitalisation of Newcastle City starts below ground

Apr 25, 2016

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald MLC has announced the high tech makeover of Newcastle’s aging sewer pipes to prepare for the thousands of residents expected to make the city centre home over the coming decade.

Constructed over a century ago, Newcastle’s cast iron sewer pipes are among the oldest in the country. As the infrastructure ages, blockages, breaks and outages become more frequent. Mr MacDonald said that innovative polymer tubing will be used to re-line the aging pipes, rather than pulling them up.

“It’s exciting to see renewal in Newcastle’s Inner City, and the NSW Government is ensuring our infrastructure is ready for the forecast boom in residential and business growth,” Mr MacDonald said. “Hunter Water is using innovative trenchless technology to significantly minimise the impact on the community by avoiding the need to excavate deep trenches, cut under buildings, across streets, and through backyards.”

The technology involves using closed circuit television (CCTV) to inspect pipes and assess their condition. The pipes are then cleaned with high-pressure hoses and an impact cutter to remove any scale built up inside the pipe. A polymer ‘sock’ is then winched through the pipes, inflated and cured with steam, creating a new sealed pipe within the old one.

“The rehabilitated pipes are structurally sound, and once cured are expected to have an additional 50 years added to their working life.”

Pipes in 16 key inner city streets will be revitalised, with work starting in February and finishing in June 2016. The process takes around two weeks per pipe. This project is one part of Hunter Water’s $115 million package to upgrade Newcastle’s sewer infrastructure over the next 10 years.

The following streets will have their sewer pipes relined: Argyle Street, Bolton Street, Centenary Road, Darby Street, Honeysuckle Drive, Hunter Street, King Street, Lauers Lane, Market Street, McCormack Street, Newcomen Street, Pacific Street, Scott Street, Union Street, Watt Street, Wharf Road.

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