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  • Vital drainage works in Tom Price

    Over the last few months the Shire has undertaken an extensive survey of the existing drainage structures within the Tom Price Township using CCTV inspection cameras.

    The survey has revealed that many of the old corrugated steel pipe culverts, which were installed in the 1960’s, are highly corroded, invaded by tree roots, and some are at risk of total collapse.

    All of the pipe culverts within the town have been assessed and given a condition rating, with those in the poorest condition now scheduled for immediate renewal. Most of these pipe culverts, which have been identified for immediate repair, run along the street verges in close vicinity to other underground services.

    Unfortunately, there are several locations where large trees have grown directly on top of the pipe culverts, with the tree roots having grown through corroded walls, causing blockages and further damage.  In most cases these trees have thrived as they have had access to a plentiful water source via the drainage network.

    In order to complete the renewals, a small number of these trees, which sit directly over the pipe culverts, will need to be removed.

    The Shire has not taken this decision lightly and have investigated many options that would potentially enable the trees to remain.   

    Re-routing the pipe culverts in order to avoid the trees was surveyed, however, in most cases this has been deemed impractical.  The pipes share the same verges and easements as other utilities such as water, sewer and communications and there is insufficient room in the verge to re-route the culverts.  There have been a number of locations where this is viable, and in these areas this solution has been applied.

    The possibility of re-lining the pipes using modern technology has also been explored, though unfortunately the age and deteriorated state of the pipes has rendered these methods unfeasible.

    Experimental testing was undertaken to see if the tree roots could be removed by high pressure water blasting.  However the results were not favourable, with the blasting being more detrimental to the deteriorated pipes than it was to the tree roots.

    Replacement of the badly corroded pipes is a high priority, and work has commenced to replace them, as they are at risk of failure.  After reviewing the numerous options, there are a number of trees that will have to be removed. 

    The Shire is committed to nurturing our green and natural environment and will replace the number of trees removed with new plantings in areas that are more suitable.

    Should you have any questions about the drainage works please do not hesitate to contact the Shire’s Project Manager, Nathan Benson on 9188 5503.  

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