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Repairs underway on burst pipeline

Tuesday, 7th January, 2014

Essential Energy employees working on the Stephens Creek pipeline yesterday. Essential Energy employees working on the Stephens Creek pipeline yesterday.

By Nick Gibbs

Aging infrastructure is to blame for a burst water main in the major pipeline from Stephens Creek to Broken Hill, according to Essential Energy Acting Manger Community Relations Bronya Pressler.

“Several hundred metres of this pipeline - behind Imperial Lake - was replaced approximately six years ago,” she said.

“The possibility of failures in pipelines is always present but we have an excellent workforce who can respond to urgent situations before there is any threat to the water supply to Broken Hill.”

Manager of Operations Kym Maddern said the city’s water supply was switched to draw from the Umberumberka Reservoir when the Stephens Creek line went down.

“We were unlucky that the pipe burst but are lucky the weather has cooled down,” he said.

He said the situation only had the potential to impact the city’s water supply if the Umberumberka pipeline was to rupture while repairs were underway. 

“If that was to happen we have people we can call in to get the problem fixed as soon as possible,” he said.

Essential Water employees began work on the pipeline about 2km outside of Broken Hill about 6.30pm on Sunday.

Acting Group Manager Steve Bastian expected repairs to be completed at some stage last night.

“Crews have been working throughout (Sunday) night to carry out repairs, and we estimate these repairs should be complete by Monday) evening.”

The burst water main follows an application from Essential Energy to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a 5.9 per cent increase on water charges every year for the next four years to fund a major infrastructure overhaul budgeted at $52 million.

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