Cubis Systems supplied a custom access pit to the Nambucca Shire Council to address their requirement for a non-conventional solution that would protect their flow water meter installation.

The Council wanted to install flow meters on two existing trunk mains immediately downstream of the outlet on their Balance Tank water reservoirs to monitor the water flow to the Shire water distribution system as well as leakage in the trunk mains. The Council was looking at options other than traditional methods to come up with a flow meter and pit installation that would not compromise the integrity of the existing AC pipes on which they were to be installed; it also needed to be installed by their pipe laying crew.

Following the successful installation of a Cubis STAKKAbox access pit on a similar Queensland-based project, the meter supplier recommended the pit system to the Council based on Cubis’ proven reputation for providing customised solutions tailored to the Australian water industry.

Key project challenges included working with AC pipes, one of which was more than 50 years old; providing superior long-term asset protection for new flow meter equipment; executing complete installation without third party contractors and additional plant hire; and eliminating the requirement to turn off water or cut the existing pipes during installation.

A major challenge facing the asset owner was ensuring adequate protection for the new ultrasonic flow metre equipment being installed on the pipeline to monitor the flow rates of water supply to the Shire. Ensuring long-term protection of the equipment’s electronic components from any direct exposure to moisture was a key priority. To complete the installation as cost-effectively and timely as possible, Cubis worked in partnership with the asset owner to deliver a custom access pit solution meeting all labour, resource and outcome requirements.

The Cubis solution consisted of the STAKKAbox ULTIMA Connect access pit with a Class B load rating (with up to Class D capabilities) and measuring 1000L x 1200W x 1700D mm in internal dimensions. The access cover was precast concrete roof slab with a 2-part 1100L X 900W mm cast iron lockable access cover.

Project Outcomes

Utilising the robust strength, installation and customisation capabilities offered by the innovative STAKKAbox ULTIMA Connect pit system, Cubis was able to offer a superior solution for long-term asset protection.

Cubis provided two STAKKAbox access pits to be installed around two separate existing 450mm OD AC trunk water main pipes running from the reservoir and feeding the Shires’ water supply network. Following the excavation, a separate pit was constructed around each pipe to house an ultrasonic flow meter sensor that was installed after the pits were completed. Design specifications required a minimum Class B pit load capacity; however, the ULTIMA’s impressive Class D strength properties offered increased security and prolonged lifespan benefits for the assets’ electrical components.

The STAKKAbox access pits were rapidly assembled around the pipes without the need for third party contractors or additional plant hire. Modifications were completed as the ULTIMA pits were assembled, using standard cutting disc tools and a rubber mallet to customise the clean entry and exit of the pipes from each pit. Due to the ULTIMA Connect’s customisation flexibility, Cubis was able to avoid the need to turn off the water supply or physically cut the pipes during the installation process.

The complete installation of the pits took a total of two days including the excavation of the large site area, placement of the precast base slabs, assembly of both customised STAKKAbox access pits, installation of the precast roof covers, backfilling, and final finish to the surrounding landscaping. No specialist builders or tooling were required, providing impressive savings to the asset owner including cost and resource allocation.