20 December, 2018 13:09
From left to right Queensland Urban Utilities' Peter Nortje, Scott Stevens, Brendan Hatherly

Work is nearing completion on Brisbane’s new $20 million cross-river water pipeline stretching three kilometres between Pinkenba and Murarrie.

The project is a feat of engineering which involved installing 1.1km of the new water main 20m beneath the river.

Queensland Urban Utilities spokesperson, Michelle Cull, said works to connect the new pipe into the network were underway, with the project due to be completed in early 2019.

“Population on the north side of the river is expected to grow by 40,000 people over the next decade, so it’s important we’re building the infrastructure we need for the future,” she said.

“The new cross-river pipeline will service the suburbs of Hamilton, Eagle Farm and Pinkenba, as well as the thriving Australia TradeCoast Industrial Precinct, which includes the Brisbane Airport.

“By connecting two major water supply zones north and south of the river, we will also improve the resilience of our network.”

Queensland Urban Utilities project manager, Peter Nortje, said advanced trenchless technology had been used to install the 800mm diameter pipe under the river.

“Horizontal direction drilling was used to bore a path for the new pipe, which was then fed under the river with a large rig,” he said.

“We have also completed 1.2km of new water pipe along Holt St at Pinkenba and around 850m of new pipeline along Queensport Rd North at Murarrie.”

Mr Nortje said an innovative solution had been used to minimise impacts to customers during connection works.

“The team utilised technology commonly used in the oil and gas industry to do a ‘live cut-in’ of the new pipe to the water network on the south side of the river,” he said.

“This meant setting up a bypass so we didn’t have to interrupt supply to customers that rely on water 24/7 for their operations.”

The new pipeline is the largest water infrastructure project undertaken by Queensland Urban Utilities since it was formed in 2010.

“Water is an essential service that more than 1.4 million people in our region rely on every day, but it’s largely hidden underground,” Ms Cull said.

“Projects like this demonstrate that a lot goes on behind the scenes to deliver fresh, clean drinking water to your tap.”

More information about the project is available on our website:


Murarrie-Pinkenba cross-river pipeline facts:

  • The cross-river pipeline is 3km long with 1.1km of it around 20m beneath the Brisbane River (around 10m below the river bed).
  • The pipe is 800mm in diameter and made from polyethylene.
  • It connects the two major water supply zones of Bartleys Hill and Wellers Hill.
  • The pipe is due to be commissioned and operational in early 2019.


About Queensland Urban Utilities
Established on July 1, 2010, Queensland Urban Utilities is one of the largest water distributor-retailers in Australia, providing water and sewerage services to more than 1.4 million residents across Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Somerset local authority areas. We are upgrading and improving the reliability of our infrastructure by investing $2.76 billion in a 10-year capital works program. Our service territory covers 14,384 square kilometres and we employ around 1,100 people.