Water Journal : Water Journal July 2011
water JULY 2011 107 water business WATER INFRASTRUCTURE GROUP AIDS CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY TEAM Water Infrastructure Group has been part of an Australian taskforce working in Christchurch to help restore the city's sewerage system. More than 80% of Christchurch's water and sewerage systems were severely damaged by devastating earthquakes in September 2010 and February 2011. Water Infrastructure Group redeployed resources so that a team of seven skilled operators and three trucks equipped for CCTV camera and water-jetting work could travel to New Zealand. Sydney Water coordinated the taskforce, with six Australian pipeline rehabilitation companies providing people and equipment. Kevin Kane helps out with an excavator. Kevin Kane, Water Infrastructure Group's Project Manager in Christchurch, explained that when the taskforce arrived on 25 March 2011, it was estimated that about half of Christchurch's 1700km sewerage network was not functioning. "As a result of liquefaction, many of the sewer pipes had been left full of sand that was hardening. We used 2000- psi water-jetting hoses to soften the sand so that it could be removed. Our hoses were fed into manholes and could push through the pipes for up to 200 metres. When the hydraulic reel on our trucks wound the hose back to the manhole, the sand and water followed the hose back toward the manhole. We could then use suction hoses to pump the sand into trucks for removal. "By Easter, it was estimated that 65% of the network was working," Kevin said. "There were aftershocks, however. and it was frustrating to arrive at a section of pipe we'd successfully cleared to find that all our good work had been undone by further liquefaction. This meant that it will take longer to get the sewerage network fully functioning. Powerfulater-jetting hoses were used to clear sand from sewer pipes. "Once the sewer pipe is clear of sand, we can then send our CCTV cameras down the pipe to check for structural damage and provide a report to help with any further work required. "The effects of the earthquake were severe and the dusty conditions meant that we had to do a lot of maintenance on our equipment, but we made good progress. I think I can speak for the whole team when I say that although the conditions were challenging it was very rewarding to be part of this massive clean-up operation." Dan Oderberg, one of the recovery team. "As well as helping to get the system working again we are providing information collected with our CCTV equipment and advice for the next rehabilitation phase to fully reinstate the sewerage system. This will be a huge task and could take years to complete," said Kevin. 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