Corporate News

WSC Architect receives Award

uploaded 10th October 2016

Water Services Corporation architect Mario Balzan has won an award in the Infrastructural & Engineering class of the Malta Architect Awards 2016. Mr Balzan was recognised for the work he did to plan, introduce and execute Horizontal Directional Drilling and Micro-tunneling for large projects in Malta.

The “New Water” reclaimed water project being carried out by the WSC will supply high-quality water reclaimed from wastewater for agriculture, industry, landscaping and other uses.However, this water needed to be piped to consumers through roads full of traffic and through locations of great natural and archaeological value. The solution was to carry out 6km of HDD in the North of Malta and 2 km of micro-tunneling in the south for “non-man entry” trenchless pipe-laying. This was a first in Malta.

The cost of these works was around € 10 million, a sum most of which was reimbursed through EU funding.

Mr. Balzan said that these trenchless systems were found to be very practical solutions in the local context, since practically nobody was aware of the considerable work going on below ground without disrupting both traffic and the top ground. The only locations which were temporarily disturbed were the pit sites which were eventually reinstated.

For the micro-tunneling in the south of Malta, concrete pipes of 1600 mm diameter grade C60 were lowered one by one and thrust through the launching shaft, and eventually pushed until reaching Ta` Barkat and Sant Antnin respectively. Micro-tunneling allowed the corporation to designs the system to work by gravity instead of pumping, thereby saving a lot of energy had normal trenching been used.

Site at Tas-Salib – Launching shaft for the microtunneling

A length of pipe about to be pulled into the HDD drilled bore thereby laying new 
infrastructure without any trenching works needed.

For the north project which used HDD, 6 km of flexible 450mm HDPE pipes were used. This length of pipe was pulled from one location to another below ground as opposed to the “pushing and jacking” micro-tunneling system mentioned above.