While they may not boast the same horsepower as the V8 Supercars, SA Water’s fleet of utes and their drivers have been out in force along the VAILO Adelaide 500 street circuit, as part of the utility’s work to prepare the underground water and sewerage network for this weekend’s hotly anticipated race.
Ahead of the supercharged engines reverberating through the city’s streets, SA Water’s crews have amassed around 150 hours of work by cleaning more than four kilometres of sewer mains under the circuit, draining the large 750mm water main along Hutt Street, isolating 62 valves, and securing several chamber lids.
The value of this work was on display over the weekend at the Formula 1 in Las Vegas, where a loose chamber lid caused heavy damage to Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari during the first practice session for drivers – also leading to a two-hour delay while crews repaired the lid and inspected the rest of the track.
SA Water’s Senior Manager of Field Operations Colin Bell said like other street circuits across the world, there’s essential infrastructure beneath the track that requires preparation to ensure optimum race conditions.
“The track’s surface is crucial to delivering the right conditions for drivers on race day, and our work forms part of the pre-race preparations to mitigate any potential interruptions from our infrastructure,” Colin said.
“Looking at the damage and inconvenience one loose chamber lid caused during the Formula 1 in Las Vegas, this is exactly why we undertake these preparations every year before our iconic race.
“With a vast network of pipes and valves around Adelaide’s CBD that keep our services flowing, we want to limit the risk of interruptions on the track by securing our chamber lids, and isolating and cleaning our water mains and sewers.
“In particular, this has involved taking one of our large water mains underneath Hutt Street – between turns six and seven – offline by draining it of water, and maintaining supply to customers using other pipes in the area.
“We also stepped up our proactive sewer main cleaning program by targeting pipes under the circuit to help ensure they’re clear of any blockages and keep sewage flowing in the right direction.
“As part of this, our crews secured a number of chamber lids to ensure they’re level with the road surface.
“Given the enormity of these preparations, we liaised directly with the Supercars team and other stakeholders such as the Departments of Premier and Cabinet and Infrastructure and Transport, Adelaide City Council and SA Motorsport to enable our work.
“This included engaging with the Metropolitan Fire Service to let them know where our water supply will be temporarily interrupted and where they can access other fill locations in the event of a fire.
“As always, our crews are on standby to respond immediately to any potential faults within our network.
“Our work might not be highly visible, but we’re proud to do what we can to support such a major event in the South Australian community and racing calendar.”
For media enquiries, please call or email SA Water’s media team:
Phone: (08) 7424 2477
Mobile: 0477 300 197 (24/7)
For all other SA Water-related enquiries, please call our Customer Care Centre on 1300 SA WATER (1300 729 283).