Lid caps off project and paves way for a healthier Tamar

Lid caps off project and paves way for a healthier Tamar

The completion of a major infrastructure project in the heart of Launceston is usually a time for celebration, but TasWater is keeping a lid on it.


This week, the lid was lowered onto the new diversion chamber at the Margaret Street Sewage Pump Station, marking the end of one key project and the start of two new projects set to benefit the community surrounding the kanamaluka/Tamar estuary. 

On Tuesday (5 September 2023), a 150-tonne mobile crane rolled onto the project site and lifted the two sections of the concrete lid into place, completing the chamber.

Group Leader Planning and Investigation Andrew Truscott said the underground chamber will improve management of combined sewage and stormwater flows and environmental outcomes during significant rain events.

“It’s fantastic to have the chamber capped completing a complicated project that required specialist knowledge and skills,” Andrew said.

“Importantly this will make a big difference at times of large stormwater influx, ensuring less spills and a healthier estuary.

“Kudos must go to the local BridgePro Engineering team, whose considerable experience was key to the success of this project.

“The chamber was built using a construction method known as a caisson, which involved sinking concrete rings into the ground and excavating the material from within the rings,” Andrew said.

Launceston Mayor Matthew Garwood said the completion of the diversion chamber was an important step towards improved river health.

“As a funding partner of the Tamar Estuary River Health Action Plan (TERHAP), the City of Launceston is excited at the opportunities ahead to improve the health of the kanamaluka/Tamar Estuary,” Mr Garwood said.

“The Council has committed $11 million towards the river health action plan, which will see sewage and stormwater flows diverted away from the estuary.

“The City of Launceston congratulates TasWater on the opening of the new Margaret Street Pump Station and we look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with TasWater on future projects to improve the health of the river,” he said.

Andrew Truscott said, with the diversion chamber complete, it was time to embark on the next improvement projects.

“This milestone allows us to turn our attention to upgrading the pump station at Margaret Street that will accept the flows from the diversion chamber.

“Preparation works have also begun on our new sewer pipeline project, one of the biggest ever undertaken in Tasmania.

“This huge new pipeline underneath kanamaluka/Tamar estuary will carry the effluent flows from the Margaret Street pump station to our treatment plant at Ti Tree Bend.”

These initiatives, funded by the Australian Government, Tasmanian Government, TasWater, and the City of Launceston, are a vital component of the $129.2 million infrastructure upgrades within the Tamar Estuary River Health Action Plan.

TasWater is currently working through a 10-year, $1.84 billion capital investment program delivering modern reliable water and sewerage services that will benefit Tasmanians for generations to come.

“It’s a busy time in Launceston for infrastructure works at the moment, and we thank the Launceston community for its patience,” Andrew said.

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