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Safety and protection for major Victorian drinking water project

Safety and protection for major Victorian drinking water project

Melbourne's population is expected to increase from 4.6 million to 6 million by 2031, and to a staggering 8 million by 2051 (Victorian Government, 2016). Around 60% of this growth is predicted to occur in Melbourne's northern and western suburbs, adding 851,000 new residents to the area in the next 10 years.

To meet the increase in demand for potable (drinking) water in these Melbourne corridors, Dulux Protective Coatings has played a vital role in delivering part of Victoria's Yan Yean to Bald Hill Pipeline project. The project will see 10,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of drinkable water flow through to homes every year.

A major Victorian project

The project is the vision of Melbourne Water. From Yan Yean reservoir, a planned 20 kilometre pipeline will run through parts of the City of Whittlesea and Mitchell Shire to a huge, 10m x 36m water tank in Bald Hill, Kalkallo.

The steel plate tank, designed and fabricated by Brockman Engineering for head contractors John Holland, is a work of engineering art. Its construction began in Geelong 2020 and was delivered and craned onto the Bald Hill site in segments for welding earlier this year. Then began the important work of spray coating both the internal and external surfaces.

A customised coatings specification was required to ensure both durability and compliance with Australian safety standards around the storage of potable water. Dulux Protective Coatings' Senior Business Executive (Victoria) Daniel McKeown delivered custom systems for both the tank's internal and external surfaces.

External coating system

"We specified a three-product system to protect the mild steel surfaces on the tank's exterior," Daniel explains. A first coat of Zincanode 402 ensured the tank met the Australian Standard for long-term galvanic corrosion protection (AS2312.1:2014), especially given its continual exposure to Victoria's harsh elements. Durebild STE was applied next to give the tank a heavy duty epoxy finish. With its high build, recoatable application, Weathermax HBR was selected as the final coating. Low-temperature curing coatings were essential for a successful outcome.

Internal coating system

"The most important consideration for the internal surfaces was meeting the Australian Standard for immersion in potable water (AS4020:2018)," Daniel says. The mild steel was primed with Luxepoxy 66 – a two pack epoxy blast primer that is suitable for water immersion with a topcoat such as Duremax GPE.

Two coats of Duremax GPE delivered the excellent barrier protection required. "This product offers a heavy-duty epoxy finish and is a leading product for lining potable water tanks," Daniel says.

Ready to go!

Once final inspections were undertaken and Australian Standards compliance was signed off, the tank was fully commissioned. It stands proudly on Bald Hill, ready to be linked up to the planned Yan Yean pipeline – and supply Melburnians with fresh drinking water for decades to come.

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If you need to protect new or existing infrastructure, contact Dulux Protective Coatings for a custom coatings solution.

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