In December 2009, the Sunshine Coast Regional Council (now Unity Water) invited companies to submit tenders for the supply of polyethylene PE100 pipe for the Replacement Coolum Trunk Water Main Project. Located at Bli Bli on the Sunshine Coast in South East Queensland, the project was required to replace an existing ductile iron pipeline that had suffered irreversible corrosion damage due to the highly aggressive acid sulphate soils present in the area. The surrounding area was a low-lying extension of the nearby river and regularly subject to flooding, particularly over summer.
PE100 potable water pipe was chosen as the replacement material due to its inherent natural advantages of zero corrosion and flexibility.
Being a polymer, polyethylene (PE) pipe is not subject to corrosion from being in contact with water, and therefore does not need to have a liner for protection. PE pipe is also a flexible piping material, allowing it to move with the ground during extended periods of dry or wet and without breaking a joint as it is a fully-welded pipeline system.
The replacement trunk main needed to connect to the existing ductile iron pipe at either end of the system. Over the last ten years in Australia, the number of large diameter projects using PE pipe has grown significantly. Because of this, a wide range of universal fittings to join PE and ductile iron or steel pipe are now readily available.Article continues below…
PPI was awarded the supply contract in January 2010. By the end of March 2010 all pipe and custom-made fittings had been delivered to the project.
The Sunshine Coast Regional Council was initially concerned about the successful completion of the project as it was its first large pipeline project using PE pipe for water mains supply. PPI PE pipe is manufactured in accordance with AS/NZS4130-2009 with third-party WaterMark accreditation. In selecting PPI the council satisfied itself that it had a reliable, experienced and local supply partner that could complete the project.
The project was a success, and since its completion the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and PPI have worked together on two other projects. These included replacing another 450 mm PE100 potable water pipeline system and a 315 mm PE100 sewer rising main pipeline system.