Begun as an expression of national pride in Australian produce and industry the ’Show’ – as it became known to generations – was first held in 1882. The final ’Show’ in 1997 attracted in excess of one million visitors over a ten-day period.
Stage 1 Production facility
Australia’s Sesquicentennial celebrations of 1938 led to a further building program, including the Government Pavilion, now Stage 1 at Fox Studios and the Commemorative Pavilion, now Stage 7. The occasion also resulted in further plantings within the grounds. The trees that line the former Cattle judging ring between Stage 1 and Stage 3 planted during this time also add to the character of the present site.
While these ‘further plantings’ have given the area an iconic number of large heritage listed trees, Sydney Water and Fox Studios were recently faced with the problem of sewer blockages caused by root ingress from these trees.Article continues below…
Stage 1 is located in a restored heritage-listed pavilion and is the largest at Fox Studios, providing 3,535 square metres of clear floor space. Films and television series shot at Fox Studios Australia include; Dark City, Babe: Pig in the City, The Matrix trilogy, Mission Impossible 2, Moulin Rouge, Star Wars 2 and 3, Superman Returns, Australia and Australian Idol 2007.
The area around the Stage 1 building had been experiencing an increasing problem with root growth into the sewer system and with production of The Green Lantern movie planned for Stage 1, Kembla Watertech was asked by Sydney Water to assess the problem and recommend a trenchless solution if possible.
Work as executed
The 249 metre length of 225 mm sewer had been lined some years earlier by another company using a HDPE lining. The CCTV survey video of the line showed a number of junctions almost completely blocked by roots as well as numerous bulges in this lining. A site inspection also revealed that one of the manholes was actually inside Stage 1 in the middle of the concrete floor.
Pipe bursting had been suggested as one option. Kembla has its own static pipe bursting equipment manned by an experienced crew but it was determined that the trenching needed for the launch and reception pits would be too disruptive to the site and could cause serious damage to the tree root systems. It was therefore proposed that the company would use its robotic cutter to remove the damaged HDPE liner and replace this with an Ex pipe lining. Ex pipe is made from sewer-grade PVC which is a much stronger material than HDPE, said Kembla. Ex pipe has been successfully installed for Sydney Water and other authorities throughout Australia for over 16 years, therefore Sydney Water had no hesitation in accepting that this lining would perform as required.
Once work commenced it soon became evident that while the team could remove sections of the HDPE liner using the existing junction reinstatement robotic cutter, this method was proving too time consuming. Kembla devised a sharp, steel slitting tool which was able to more effectively remove longer strips of the HDPE liner. As work continued it was discovered that in some locations it was physically impossible to clear the roots without some minor excavation. Kembla was able to do these excavations using its own civil works crew.
Finally, once all the roots and damaged liner had been removed, the Ex pipe linings were able to be installed. Because Ex linings are installed in less than a day, disruption was kept to an absolute minimum, said Kembla.
There was one short length of the sewer which only had trees in the proximity of one end. Roots had damaged the end of the existing lining but the rest was in a satisfactory condition. In this instance, Kembla was able to cut way the bulged area of lining and the offending roots and install a fibreglass patch over the end of the lining to seal it against any future root ingress. This was the most cost effective option to the client. Conclusion
Much to their disappointment, not one of the Kembla personnel working on the site was signed up by a talent scout for future movie stardom. However, the super heroes so successfully portrayed by Fox Studios could not have done a better job of multitasking in order to complete this difficult job in such an efficient manner.