Next steps for Port Kembla Pool pipeline work – Wollongong

Council is moving forward on a plan to construct a new section of the seawater intake pipeline at Port Kembla Pool.

The current pipeline that feeds water into the pool is nearing the end of its design life. Over the last two years, sand build up over the existing intake pipelines has impacted the operation of the popular Port Kembla Pool.

We want to ensure that our community can continue to enjoy the pool. This project will see the construction of a new section of pipeline that connects to the existing pipeline and allows a more consistent supply of seawater to enter the pool.

Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said that Council decided to decline all of the tenders previously submitted for this project and instead negotiate with tenderers to reach a more positive outcome.

“This is a complex project and we require an experienced contractor who has a focused skill set to suit the particular environmental challenges and constraints of working in the ocean,” Cr Bradbery said.

“None of the tenders submitted to Council were able to fully meet the requirements of this project. Instead of going back to tender again, we’ve decided that the best use of our community’s time and resources is to negotiate directly with the contractors.

“This approach will let us achieve an appropriate construction methodology that meets the environmental and site constraints of Port Kembla Beach, complies with approval conditions and provides the best value outcome for our community.”

At this stage, subject to achieving a satisfactory negotiation outcome, we expect to start works in November 2021. Construction work will pause temporarily over the busy summer period to ensure community safety as people use the popular area. Work is expected to recommence in February 2022.

Port Kembla Pool is serviced by two separate intake lines and the pool will remain open to the public during the construction period, providing there are no issues with the remaining inlet.

For the time being, Port Kembla Pool and all other Council pools will remain closed to the public to comply with the NSW Health stay at home orders.

“We know that Port Kembla Pool is well-loved by both residents and visitors to the Wollongong region. By ensuring a consistent supply of saltwater to the pool we’ll hopefully reduce the need to close the pool due to intake issues,” Cr Bradbery said.

“At present, Port Kembla Pool and all other Council pools will remain closed to comply with the current Public Health Orders to limit the spread of COVID-19 within our community.

“Once we receive advice from NSW Health that our pools can reopen, we’ll let our community know. In the meantime, residents can cool off in one of our many rock pools or at one of our patrolled beaches from Saturday 18 September.”

This project is the next on our list to improve Port Kembla Pool. Council is currently completing an upgrade to the Port Kembla Beach and Pool amenities with a new Accessible Adult Change Facility. These upgrades included an adult lift and change table and hoist to assist people with high support needs and their carers to better enjoy their time at the pool and beach.

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