Inside TasWater - Episode 12

18 September 2019

Each day TasWater deals with 137 million litres of sewage through more than 4,764 km of sewer mains with crews on standby 24/7 to ensure the systems are operating correctly.

A TasWater crew was recently called to a report of a sewerage leak at South Road, Penguin.

After the report was sent to the crew they acted promptly arriving on site within the hour. The local pump station at South Road was quickly isolated to prevent further spillage and allow for repairs to the main to be completed.  A deep excavation was commenced by the Taswater crew with the assistance of a local excavation contractor.  No other assets (electricity, gas etc.) were located in the area which allowed crews to work faster as no permits are required other than the excavation permit.


The excavation uncovered a 150mm gravity sewerage main and a 100mm rising sewer main, which is a pressurised pipeline from where sewage is discharged into a gravity manhole. Once the pipes were slightly exposed, crews had to carry out a lot of careful manual digging around the pipelines to prevent further damage. This work is normally completed with a vac truck but unfortunately it was unable to access the site.  


The leak was found to be coming from a fine split in the rising sewer main which was built up with wet wipes - caused by the pressure within.  Crews cut away the damaged section of the pipeline and replaced it with a new pvc pipe securing it in to place with two Vari-gibs, which tighten to suit the two different outside diameters.


The contractor finished off by reinstating the ground, while crews restarted the pumping station.

From 2018-2021 TasWater is planning to spend a further 117 million on upgrading sewage treatment plants.

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