Eurobodalla Shire Council has released information relating to a 30km stretch of water pipeline to Batemans Bay, refuting claims it did not meet the Australian Standard.
Moruya resident Damien Rogers had claimed gas pipe, rather than water pipe, may have been used in the project.
He was concerned Batemans Bay’s water supply may have been contaminated by epoxy paint or other sealants not intended for contact with potable water.
At Mr Rogers’ request, Bega MP Andrew Constance had raised the issue with NSW Treasury and the Department of Public Works.
Mr Rogers supplied the above picture, taken in January, of pipe stored at the Tomakin sewage treatment plant.
A shire spokesman confirmed the image was that “of a pipe bend procured for the Moruya to Deep Creek Dam by Council following an open tender process that closed on 22 February 2007”.
The spokesman said the contract was awarded to Orrcon Pty Ltd for $9.747 million, ahead of the next lowest tenderer on $11.713 million.
“Orrcon Steel (now owned by Bluescope Steel) is a leading Australian distributor and manufacturer of steel products, including steel pipeline for the oil and gas industries.
“In 2005, Orrcon sought to supply steel pipes to the water industry and submitted their product to the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) for assessment under the WSAA Product Appraisal Scheme.
“The pipeline system was accredited by WSAA on February 6, which allowed Orrcon to submit and meet the conditions of Council’s tender.”
He said the pipe used had an external coating also used in gas and oil pipelines, but the internal coating, Scotchkote was widely used for water pipes.
“The pipeline internal coating has been used extensively by many water authorities around the world for decades, with no sign of deterioration or breakdown of the corrosion protection performance,” the spokesman said.
“Orrcon provided Council with a 50-year warranty on the pipes.
“The other tenderers were not willing to provide this warranty.”
The council supplied the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner with a product description of Scotchkote.
“Scotchkote Epoxy Coating 162PWX has been specifically developed as a 100% solids lining for the internals of pipes, tanks, vessels and other equipment in contact with potable water,” the sheet said.
“(It) combines good application characteristics with excellent corrosion protection and chemical resistance.
“(It) is designed for application in a single high build coat by plural feed hot airless spray and has international approvals for contact with potable water.”
The council also provided a copy of an independent report confirming the material met the Australian Standard for contact with drinking water.
It also provided the product appraisal of the piping system from the WSAA.
Mr Rogers had raised concerns that the coating in the unused pipes at Tomakin was degraded and feared for the longevity of the 30km stretch of pipeline.
The council spokesman said the internal coating was not designed for ultraviolet exposure.
“The internal coating will ‘chalk’ if exposed to UV long term,” he said.
“The pipe fittings ... at the Tomakin sewerage treatment works showed signs of UV degradation of the internal coating system.
“As the pipes and fitting installed in the Moruya to Deep Creek Dam pipeline will not be exposed to daylight and UV rays, there is no risk that they might be subjected to UV degradation.”
The spokesman said the pipe was manufactured in China and coated in Wollongong and “additional quality assurance was carried out during production”.
He said this included inspections in both China and Wollongong.
“Detailed records of the quality assurance inspections and the quality assurance records of the pipe coatings are available.”
The spokesman said extra pipe was purchased to avoid delays of up to 20 weeks if more was needed during construction.
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