Smooth Joints Help Deliver Innovative Pipeline Project

Installing Rocla® large diameter steel reinforced concrete pipes on a residential street, without disrupting homeowners, was a challenging task for the Tweed Shire Council team charged with increasing stormwater drainage capacity on Blue Jay Circuit in Kingscliff, New South Wales.

Designed by Council engineers to cater for a 1 in a 100 year storm event, the Rocla® pipes will enable better drainage for lower lying land further down the catchment from an existing housing estate that has no feasible overland flow path.

Installing the pipeline was by no means easy, and involved removing parts of the existing road, dewatering and reconnecting all services. Residents also needed to gain access to their homes, meaning only two pipes could be joined and backfilled at a time.

With a small footprint to work in due to the close proximity of homes, and complex requirements for dewatering and shoring, the council developed a unique frame and anchor system which allowed the 2,250mm diameter pipes to be pulled together from inside.

As well as reducing disruption to residents, the ability to complete the joints with workers standing in the pipe rather than in the trench, eliminated the need for workers to be in the pipe trench, greatly improving pipe installation safety.

The process of joining the pipes using this innovative method was highly successful, with the site supervisor commenting that the pipes joined so easily “they almost walked themselves home”. Not bad for a pipe weighing close to 8.5 tonnes!