Puddledock Pipeline Raw Water Augmentation

Project update 3 April 2023

Leed Engineering have now completed all the pipework installation, which is approximately 12 kilometres of pipeline.  Additionally, Leed have completed the new Pump House on Hoys Road. The plant within the pump house has been commissioned.

All areas where pipe has been laid have now been completed. 

The remaining pipeline works are: 
Cut over of the raw water supplies to existing users, as currently the users are on the old main
Connection of new pipeline at Puddledock Dam and also at the Water Treatment Plant. These critical connections are to be completed by ARC crews
Power to Hoys Road pump house is to be upgraded by Essential Energy
Final inspections and documenting of outstanding works and sign offs by land owners has commenced

Project update 23 January 2023

The contractors, Leed Engineering have constructed approximately 10 KM of pipeline and are currently constructing pipeline along Puddledock Road. All of the pipework for the pumping station has been completed and construction of the building is nearing completion with commissioning about to commence. The contractors are waiting on a power supply upgrade from Essential Energy to accommodate the new pump sets. Final connection to the dam will be finalised when the final 1200m is complete with hydrostatic testing well underway. Final inspections and documenting of outstanding works are underway and sign offs by land owners have commenced. It is anticipated that works will be completed by late February to early March. 

There have been a number challenges along the way with extremely wet weather, which has meant that the contractors have needed to construct sections of pipeline along the drier sections. Another challenge has been the large areas of rock. As there has also been some significant cultural heritage sites identified, a plan was devised to contract a section from the water treatment plant to Arundel North, a section in Hoys Road and another section from the dam to Puddledock Rd, realigning the pipe to not disturb the heritage sites and jackhammering the rock sections.

Access for the pipeline was cleared in the section between the dam and Puddledock road using bulldozers. As the alignment of the new pipe was on the side of a steep heavily timbered slope, the access had to be constructed before we could commence building the pipeline. 

During the survey and design phase of the project local RAP groups were engaged to conduct a cultural heritage survey of the proposed pipeline and a number of significant sites were identified, as well as areas that required monitoring during the actual works.

Project background 

Puddledock Dam has historically been the backup water supply for Armidale via a 250mm diameter pipeline and pumping station from Puddledock Reservoir to Armidale’s Water Treatment Plant off Arundel Drive.

In the event of a failure of Armidale’s current raw water supply, the pipeline from Malpas Reservoir, Council would not be able to deliver enough water into the network to support current usage. This is due to the existing Puddledock pipeline not being big enough to take the flow of water required to achieve this and its unreliability because of its age. Taking into account the fact the available time to fix a failure in the pipeline from Malpas Dam is determined by the limited storage volume in the service reservoirs located around the city, Council decided that upgrading the supply from Puddledock Reservoir had become essential.

In 2019 Council applied for a grant under the NSW Government’s Restart Program to construct a pipeline, approximately 12.9 km long and 450mm in diameter, from Puddledock Dam to the Water Treatment Plant including a new pumping station. This will be capable of delivering a flow of up to 15.3 megalitres a day, enough to meet current daily demand. Another benefit is that it will also provide an alternative, though small, additional source of raw water in times of severe drought.

In April 2020 Council obtain funding from the NSW Government for 50 percent of the cost of the $11.54 million project and design of the pipeline and pumping station commenced. Following a tender process, a recommendation of a contractor to undertake the construction of the pipeline has been submitted to Council for approval.

Due to the long lead time necessary to obtain the pipework required, construction on site is not anticipated to commence until the beginning of May 2022.

Pipeline and pumpstation upgrade graphic

Starting at Puddledock Dam, the pipeline will be laid across private property for 2.24 kilometres until it meets Puddledock Road. It will then run alongside Puddledock Road, across the Tilbuster Ponds Bridge, to Hoys Road, a distance of 6.14 kilometres. It follows Hoys Road for 2 kilometres to the site of the new pumping station then goes cross country for 1.13 kilometres to Arundel Drive North.The final 1.1 kilometre leg of its journey is via Stoney Ridge Road and Arundel Drive to the Water Treatment Plant.

Council will be posting the location of construction activity on on a regular basis.Anyone with any particular concerns, or requiring further information can phone Customer Service on 1300 136 833.