Replacing Century Old Pipes in Wonthaggi & Leongatha Main Streets

Monday, September 9th, 2019

Last week saw much activity on Wonthaggi and Leongatha’s main streets, as workers began prep work in advance of new water mains being laid in Graham St Wonthaggi and Bair Street, Leongatha.

South Gippsland Water’s Managing Director Philippe du Plessis said that, “These works are integral to maintain a safe and reliable water supply for these communities. Both projects involve replacing pipe work that was originally installed in the early 1900’s. The team delivering these projects recognise the disruption that it will cause traders and shoppers, however, will work to minimise this disruption where possible. We wish to remind shoppers that these shopping strips remain open for business”.

Graham Street Wonthaggi

The works will involve replacing a 530 metre long section of the water main, the length of Wonthaggi’s main shopping strip, from the roundabout at Graham and McKenzie Streets to the roundabout at Graham and Billson Streets.

Originally installed in 1911, over the most recent summer period this pipe had a significant number bursts and leak incidents that has caused disruption to the businesses that operate in the area. The renewal works will see the existing 150mm diameter cast iron pipe replaced with 180mm diameter polyethylene pipe.

In order to keep water flowing and businesses operating, last week the project team installed temporary water supply lines to businesses along Graham Street. These will remain in place for the duration of the project. Much of the works will be completed during the night, to limit disruption to Wonthaggi’s main shopping and business district. The majority of works will be predominantly within the car parking bays along the south side of Graham Street.

Bair Street, Leongatha

Working closely with Council, a 575 metre long section of water main that runs along Bair Street, Leongatha will be replaced. This too includes sections of pipe that were originally installed in 1908. Starting at the corner of Bair and McCartin Streets to the corner of Bair and Young Streets, including a small section along Church Street.

The project was scheduled for a later date, but with works soon to commence on South Gippsland Shire Councils, Bair Street redevelopment and rejuvenation project, it made sense to get the job done first.   By laying a new, more reliable pipeline deeper in the road reserve, there is less chance of water interruptions whilst the street work is being undertaken. There is a cost benefit too, with an estimated $75,000 saving in surface reinstatement works. This project marks a significant investment to provide a reliable water supply for customers in Leongatha.

The works will be undertaken via trenchless construction using horizontal directional drilling. Utilising this method aims to minimise the amount of trench excavations required and reduce disturbance to businesses and their customers. Bair Street roads remain open for traffic and the footpaths will remain open for business throughout the works

Both projects are scheduled to be completed by late November. South Gippsland Water’s Project Engineer- Nathan Lucas is heading both projects, if you would like more information, please phone 1300 851 636.