Replace & Upgrade Cast Iron Reticulation Project

Project Description

The project required a Utility Survey to identify, locate utilities and complete a site features and utility survey to support engineering final design in a replacement plan for water mains constructed more than a century ago in Fremantle. The replacement of water mains was scheduled by the Water Corporation from August to October 2019.

The project was challenged by the heritage site in the City of Fremantle, obtaining the city obstruction access, including public notification and the arrangement and approval of the utility providers duty of care permits. These duty of care planning arrangements although timely when done in collaboration enabled Abaxa to keep the project moving for our client and to avoid delay to the program, while managing the business and public notice for safety and access.

The complex location of the project in a main central business district with consistent public traffic required detailed Main Roads (MRWA) and Fremantle City traffic management approvals, to manage safety of the project location and protect the public, site teams and allow for the area to continue business operations as best possible during the Utility Survey. Abaxa delivered the works in the project timeline, however the MRWA approvals delayed the start by 1 month, which can be problematic on projects with a high traffic area location. Abaxa managed the delay by re-planning the project program and re-sourcing multiple crews to the site to enable faster progress than planned and recapture lost time from planning approvals.

The Abaxa project manager set in place and maintained during the project a communication plan supporting active collaboration with Water Corporation and worked in addition directly with the City of Fremantle to ensure communication of work plans and project progression was maintained at all times.

The project location provided significant identification and utility locating challenges including many old, unplanned and unknown utilities, coupled with difficult ground conditions of limestone. Abaxa overcame this through conducting identification of planned utilities with reference documents and locating traceable utilities using electromagnetic location techniques to AS 5488, then utilising ground penetrating radar, pit investigation, and boundary alignments to investigate and deduct the position of unplanned utilities. This process allowed for identification of many unknown utilities to inform the project decision making on the design.

The investigation and utility location process were further complicated with the project location in a busy metropolitan location with cafes and businesses. This location posed a challenge for continuity of locating trace accuracy, and project efficiency whilst maintaining safety to site crews, public and access to local businesses.


The project was delivered on-site and with no safety incidents. Abaxa delivered the project with a full feature and utility survey, presented to the client with a utility report and handover meeting. The client was happy with the results of the Utility Survey.

  • Zero Injury
  • Zero Utility Strikes
  • Project Site Location Issues Management
  • Full Utility and Feature Survey for Final Design
  • Final Project Report in Utilities and Project
94000 projects
completed project clearances in the 20 years of our company's existence
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success rate on jobs for the past 12 months
16 accreditations
held and required to perform the work safely
12 technicians
ready and on-site

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