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SaniTube saves Wellington Water

Updated: Aug 19


Amex Sanivar and Hadlee & Brunton at Wellington Water job site - ©RNZ /Dom Thomas

Sewage pipe bursts.


COVID-19 ground plans and shipping methods.


Trucks pumping out sewage from Wellington at a cost of $500,000 per week.


This was the situation in Wellington, NZ in January. Wellington Water had a sewage pipe leaking into the beautiful nature and neighborhoods of New Zealand. Not only were the financial costs extremely high, but the costs to the local population were increasing daily.


Under normal circumstances, repairing a 3.6km, DN 150 sewage pipe would be challenging. Add in a pressure of 35 bar and the fact that the pipe needed to be repaired in two continuous sections of 1.8km and the job becomes even more complicated. Then the Corona Pandemic took over the globe.


SaniTube was first used by Amex Sanivar in 2012 and was hailed as an improvement over other liners that require adhesive, not to mention other pipe rehabilitation methods like open-cut or even pipe bursting. SaniTube provided a pull in pipe rehabilitation method that required no adhesive, could handle higher pressures, and could be installed in lengths longer than 1km.


This was why SaniTube was chosen to repair Wellington Water's leaking sewage pipe. It was the only product that truly checked all the boxes.


Then things got more complicated as COVID-19 took over the globe and grounded plans. The material was ready and Amex Sanivar technicians were prepared to fly to New Zealand - but getting everything and everyone there would be the challenge. Thanks to the tremendous work of Hadlee & Brunton, Amex Sanivar's local partner in New Zealand, planes were organized, and shipping was handled. The Amex Sanivar team left right after Easter for New Zealand.


Upon landing, the team was shuttled off to quarantine for 2 weeks before they could begin. After their time in quarantine, the job could begin.

This job set a number of world-records for both an installation of SaniTube as well as pipe rehabilitation techniques that are similar. Two 1.8km pulls were executed with each pull taking less than 5 hours to achieve. That equates to roughly 6 m/min of pull speed which was record setting.


Additionally, due to the added pressure required by the pipeline, an extra woven jacket was pulled in before the SaniTube liner was, thereby increasing the strength of the SaniTube liner by 3x. The SaniTube liner was pulled into this liner allowing it to easily withstand the 35 bars required by the pipe.


When the job was done and completed, the Mayor of Wellington sang the praises of Amex Sanivar as reported by RNZ.


"It is that sort of low-key unsung heroism...We are putting on a little wee function for them ... just to say 'thank you' because [what they did] is something quite special at a really unprecedented time."

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