Adelaide  Desalination Plant - Transfer Pipeline


Customer: SA Water

Contract: Early Contractor Involvement

Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Water & Wastewater Solutions Australia

Fast Facts

  • 12 km of 1.5 m diameter pipeline
  • 150 ML/day transfer pump station
  • 9 ML, 44 m diameter, 6 m high break pressure tank

This significant infrastructure project involved the construction of a mains water pipeline and associated pumping and other structures to connect the Adelaide Desalination Plant, (constructed at Port Stanvac by a consortia including McConnell Dowell), to the existing mains water reservoir at Happy Valley, in Adelaide’s southern suburbs. 

The project was completed by the MDBE engineering company, of which Built Environs was a joint venture partner with now parent company McConnell Dowell. The award of this project followed an extensive early contractor involvement (ECI) process, including a rigorous assessment of the proposed design, construction methodology and costs.

The project involved the design and construction of the entire transfer pipeline system, including over 12 km of 1.5 m diameter mains pipes, a 150 ML/day transfer pump station and a 9 ML 44 m diameter and 6 m high break pressure tank.

The pipeline was constructed in a mainly urban environment, requiring meticulous planning and liaison with local authorities and communities. Traffic planning and management was critical, as much of the route followed Lonsdale Road, a high-traffic dual carriageway that links Adelaide’s southern coastal suburbs. Built Environs’ recent experience in constructing Patpa Road, which intersects with Lonsdale Road, informed the community and traffic management processes.

The pipeline also crossed under the metropolitan rail line, requiring extensive coordination with the Department of Transport. Micro-tunnelling techniques were used for this crossing to avoid any disruption to train services.


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