One of Australia’s largest water and wastewater services providers, Urban Utilities, is upgrading major pump infrastructure to support growth and development in South East Queensland.

Across its service region, Urban Utilities has around 340 wastewater pump stations, 90 water booster stations and more than 60 water pump stations that help it provide essential services to more than 1.6 million people in the Brisbane, Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley and Somerset council areas.

The utility plans to invest more than $65 million in essential pump station infrastructure across its service region over the next 12 months, including the completion of new water and wastewater pump stations in the rapidly growing areas of Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley.

Taking a Lockyer Valley pump station underground

One of the major projects to cater to growth in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane, includes Urban Utilities’ $21 million Plainland Wastewater Pump Station upgrade. Urban Utilities spokesperson Anna Hartley said the project would cater for growth in the area through to 2040.

“It’s important we upgrade our existing network and build new infrastructure for the future so we can continue to provide safe and reliable water and wastewater services to our customers,” Ms Hartley said. “As part of the upgrade, we are constructing a new wastewater pump station at Plainland and a 7.2km pipe to connect the Plainland pump station to the existing Laidley Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“The works will mean we’ll be able to cater to development as more people call the area home. “The new pump station will have the capacity to transport wastewater from up to 3000 residents in the area, at 30 litres per second. “As an additional benefit, it will also replace our existing tankering facility, providing improved wastewater services for our regional customers in the area, reducing vehicle movements and enhancing our operations in the Plainland and Laidley communities.”

Ms Hartley said the original design of the wastewater pump station was revised when those leading the project recognised the site would be able to accommodate the majority of infrastructure below ground. “The original design proposed two-stages of pumping, which included submersible to positive displacement pumps,” Ms Hartley said.

“Through detailed design and confirmation of the system hydraulics, the team was able to remove the second stage of pumping, using duty, or standby, submersible pumps located in a wet well as part of the project. “These pumps were chosen based on the system hydraulics. “This minimised the extent of above-ground equipment on site and meant the majority of pump station infrastructure was able to be installed below ground on site, providing aesthetic benefits and reducing any potential noise and odour impacts to the nearby community.”

The designs involved a combined grit chamber and wet well in a single structure with a dividing wall. “Pumps transfer wastewater flows through the new sewer rising main to the nearby Laidley Wastewater Treatment Plant to be safely treated,” Ms Hartley said. To further minimise any potential community disruption as part of the major project, Urban Utilities is using trenchless technology where appropriate to install the new rising main below ground.

“By using innovative trenchless technology to install part of the pipeline that will connect the new pump station to the existing treatment facility, we were able to minimise any traffic impacts to the popular Warrego Highway,” Ms Hartley said. “This approach will also allow us to complete the rising main install quickly and efficiently as we work to complete this important upgrade.” Urban Utilities plans to complete construction and commission the new Plainland Wastewater Pump Station by the end of 2023.

The project will support growth in the Lockyer Valley and improve wastewater services for the region

Water pump station to support growth and industry in Ipswich

The utility, which manages a complex 19,000km water and wastewater pipe network across Queensland’s South East, has also started work on a $9.4 million project to build a new water pump station in Ipswich to help cater for future growth.

The new pump station is being built in Redbank Plains, where the population is expected to increase from 10,000 to 30,000 by 2045.

Urban Utilities spokesperson Emily Arnold said that the project would enhance water service reliability while also helping to future-proof the region. “The project involves the construction of a new water pump station building, containing six water booster pumps as well as valves, pipework and electrical equipment,” she said.

“This area’s population is expected to almost triple in the next two decades, and our new water pump station will be an essential asset that will allow us to continue to provide safe, reliable drinking water to this community for years to come.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan and Anna Hartley from Urban Utilities

“We’ve also worked alongside our delivery partners, Downer WSP, to ensure the new water pump station is visually appealing, with the planned architectural design factoring in surrounding residents to blend the pump infrastructure into its surrounds.”

Ms Arnold said the water pump station would help service the growing number of residents and businesses across the region, as well as larger industrial customers. “This important project will deliver water supply to a new development in nearby Ripley Valley, and to the Swanbank industrial area, which will include a planned beverage manufacturing facility that is currently under construction,” she said.

“Important projects like this are part of our capital program which supports growth, development and jobs in our communities while ensuring we continue to deliver safe and reliable water and sewerage services for our customers.” This project is also expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

The proposed Ipswich water pump station will cater for residential, business and industry growth in the area

For more on how Urban Utilities is helping to prepare for growth in South East Queensland, visit

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