Dig it – then reuse it

November 14, 2019

Icon Water’s field services crews work tirelessly day-in day-out, repairing and maintaining the drinking water network across Canberra. Excavating soil around subterranean water pipes is often achieved by using water jetting and hydrovac operations to ensure gas, electricity and other underground utilities are not disturbed.

Unfortunately, the excavation process leaves a mud-like spoil that is too wet and structurally unsound to be immediately put back into the excavated trench.

Previously this has meant that the material had to spend long periods of time drying before being sent offsite as quarry backfill. Over the past 6 months, Icon Water has worked with the ACT Government and service providers to develop a pilot process for drying, testing, sorting and eventually reusing the material as backfill for similar excavations.

To date, the pilot program has saved Icon Water $98,000 in disposal costs, as well as reusing the material at its most useful.

The work is helping to reduce and reuse ‘waste', furthering the circular economy and improving the sustainability of Canberra’s drinking water network.