Chichester pipeline upgrade to secure region’s water supply

Chichester pipelineWork has commenced on replacing a critical section of the Chichester Trunk Gravity Main between Tarro and Duckenfield to improve the reliability of the Lower Hunter’s water supply.

Built in 1923, the pipeline carries about 40 per cent of the region’s water from Chichester Dam to Newcastle.

Hunter Water has been upgrading sections of the ageing infrastructure since 2009, with an 8-kilometre section between Tarro and Duckenfield the latest to be replaced underground.

Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin said it was a priority project to ensure service reliability for Hunter Water’s customers.

“The Chichester pipeline delivers approximately 65 million litres of water every day, or more than a third of the region’s total water supply,” Mr Harwin said.

“At a cost of $43 million, this is a critical project to ensure the people of the Lower Hunter continue to have a reliable and secure water supply. Hunter Water has fast-tracked the project by more than a year to see to it that this important work is done as soon as possible.”

The project involves replacing the pipeline underground, starting with a 3.3 kilometre section near Millers Forest, which is prone to breaks during periods of high water demand. At the same time, work is underway to remove the old pipe.

The project is due to be completed by November 2019.


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“One of the issues with this pipeline is that it was constructed of a system called locking bar pipe. While this is designed to allow movement, the movement eventually results in leakage,” he said.

“It’s estimated that our maintenance crews fix more than 1000 leaks each year on this section alone.

“It’s important that we allLove Waterand conserve our precious resource, so I’m really pleased to see this project get underway.”