Across Australia, much of the plumbing infrastructure we have in place was built over 50 years ago – and as you can imagine, those sewers and stormwater systems that were installed in the 60s and 70s are now degrading and breaking down.
As well as the fact that the materials are reaching the end of their lifespan, they also weren’t initially designed for rapid urbanisation. Particularly in built up areas, Australia’s population growth is putting more and more pressure on ageing plumbing systems.
Sewers, manholes, and stormwater drains that are nearing the end of their lifespan present a real challenge for councils. In built up cities, replacing and repairing embedded systems can end up impacting thousands of people.
On the flipside, the cost of doing nothing is even greater. As plumbing infrastructure degrades, the corrosion and deterioration slow systems down and reduce their efficiency. So much so, that the economic cost of corrosion and degradation of sewage infrastructure and assets in Australia is estimated to be a huge $982 million every year.
In most cases, a complete overhaul of all sewer and stormwater systems is out of the question. Not only would it cause lengthy disruptions for residents, but it also would require a massive financial investment. So, what are the options for councils dealing with plumbing systems that are reaching the end of their lifespan or failing? Here are a few ways urban plumbing systems can be repaired, improved and maintained.
Make incremental and continuous improvements
When new developments are proposed, this is a prime opportunity to assess the sewer and stormwater systems and prepare them for the needs of the future. If a new development means that more people will be living in the area and using the existing plumbing systems, it’s especially important to assess the infrastructure and see if it’s up to managing the extra capacity.
Pipe relining technology is an ideal solution for projects where there is also other construction happening at the same time. Because pipe relining only requires a very small on-site footprint, and usually means there’s no excavation needed, it’s often able to be installed without impacting or delaying the timelines of other contractors.
Increase the longevity of the systems in place with regular maintenance programs
As they say, the best treatment is prevention. An ongoing inspection and maintenance schedule can help identify problems before they become serious issues. An inspection and maintenance program should include a CCTV drain camera investigation of the plumbing system, with a comprehensive report provided outlining any areas of concern.
Choose solutions that are made to stand the test of time
Huge strides have been made in materials used for repairing sewer and stormwater systems. The latest technology borrows from the aerospace and renewable energy industries to withstand immense pressure, over longer periods of time. By choosing materials that are designed to stand the test of time, you can start to future proof your systems.
When choosing the best solution, it’s important to consider the environment the materials will be installed in. For example:
- Does the existing concrete need to be reinstated?
- Is the solution environmentally friendly (VOC Free)?
- Does the structure need to be back online quickly? If so, is the solution designed for fast return to service?
- Do you require materials that are resistant to high temperatures and acid attack?
Want to learn more about pipe relining solutions for ageing infrastructure?
At Nuflow, our pipe relining technology is designed, manufactured and tested by our local in-house Chemists and Research and Development team. We exceed the international ASTM F1216-99 standard for Cured In Place Pipe relining (Standard Practice for Rehabilitation of Existing Pipelines and Conduits by the Inversion and Curing of a Resin-Impregnated Tube).
We work with city councils across Australia to help them upgrade plumbing systems without disruptions – and in most cases, without digging or stopping traffic. Contact our Head Office on 1800 NUFLOW for more information, or find your local Nuflow to see how they can help.