TIS recently completed the design and installation of a pumping and irrigation system at Brisbane Airport. In the Spring issue of Irrigation Australia’s Journal, TIS Director Brett Peel talks about this landmark project.
Article from Irrigation Australia Journal
Brisbane irrigation company TIS recently completed the design and installation of a pumping and irrigation system at Brisbane Airport, as part of a new runway development. By anyone’s estimation, the project was a major one that included installing 3800 above-ground sprinklers, more than 100 km of pipework and a 105 L/sec Grundfos pump station. We spoke to Brett Peel, owner of TIS, to find out about the job.
IA. What was the background to the job and how long did it take to complete?
Brett. Early design of the irrigation works started about twelve months before breaking ground on site. While the lead time was long, it was what would normally be expected for a landmark project of this type. From project award and start of design and offsite fabrication, the project period was just over two years.
IA. What equipment was used, particularly during installation?
Brett. The project used a dedicated 4 ML irrigation dam next to which we installed a Grundfos MPC variable-speed pump station. As the pumping system was a critical component of the project, it was housed in a 12 m shipping container with the pump set, controls, filtration and metering system all fitted off site and delivered ready to plug and play.
Once the pump was in place, a 400 mm suction line was connected to the pump station power supply and we were able to provide water to the site within two days. Buttwelded HDPE up to 400 mm was used in our mainline layout with Toro P220 solenoid valves and VYRSA impact sprinklers used throughout the site at the pointy end of the system.
IA. What were the key issues that you had to consider when designing the job?
Brett. As most of the areas to be irrigated were either seeded or stolonised, it was extremely important that we were able provide reliable irrigation when and where it was needed.
Uniformity of coverage was a key consideration, and one of the things we had to consider when designing the project was the airport’s very windy, open site next to Moreton Bay. We were also very mindful of selecting equipment and materials that were high quality and low maintenance that provided excellent manufacturer support. Our key project partners in Grundfos, Toro and Iplex Pipelines were able to provide the major components to fill the requirements of TIS and our client.
IA. What were the key issues you had to manage when installing the job?
Brett. Ensuring we were able to build the system and provide irrigation as required by the planting program while coordinating with a large project team of other contractors was a big issue and something that required a lot of oversight. There was never a dull moment working between civil, runway pavement, lighting and control system contractors over a very large, busy site that had a project deadline that was not moving!
That said, the project ran incredibly smoothly despite one of the driest, extended weather conditions experienced in South-East Queensland and was completed on time with a very successful outcome and, most importantly, a very happy client.
IA. This was a complex job. What were the key skills required of your staff and how were they different from traditional skills?
Brett. We have what I think are some very talented people at TIS and we were able to select the team best suited to this type and scope of project.
With system efficiency, the incoming effluent water supply was limited and the pumping system was powered by a large dedicated generator so we were very aware that water and energy efficiency was an important factor to consider in our system design and product selection. As certified irrigation designers, we consider system efficiency in all our designs and in this project we achieved this by the properly sizing the large mainline network around the 4 km long site, uniform sprinkler placement and the use of a correctly sized multi-pump, variable-speed pumping system. We were able to provide accurate daily forecasts of next day water use which were always within the allowance volume window and generator fuel costs were reduced over the length of the project.
FROZEN IN TIME
The new runway was opened in July this year, and to commemorate the event Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) had a time capsule installed so Queenslanders could look back at the significance of this historic moment.
BAC CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff said that the time capsule was a small but significant way for community members to participate in the celebrations for the opening, while providing future generations with a glimpse of life in the year 2020, when it is opened in 50 years’ time.
One of the sprinklers used in the project was included in the time capsule. Brett said that it was a fantastic experience to be part of the development and to have successfully planned and built such a large-scale water project.
“To have our contribution recognised by BAC in this small way is sincerely appreciated. I have made my two daughters promise me that in fifty years’ time they will be there when the capsule is opened to get our sprinkler back!” he said
To read the article and more news from Irrigation Australia, head to the Irrigation Australia Website.
For more information on enquiries relating to using a recycled irrigation system for your next project, don’t hesitate to contact Brett or Brendan on 1300 787 003 or use this Contact form.