Veolia is future proofing assets for tomorrow

Veolia provides a comprehensive service offering that caters to all aspects of network management whilst minimising impacts to the environment. The company has committed to accelerating the development of new solutions with ecological transformation at its core.

Veolia designs and provides game-changing solutions for water, waste and energy management. These complementary business activities allow Veolia to provide access to, preserve and replenish resources. 

Veolia is a global leader in water technologies, and in Australia and New Zealand offers practical, high-impact solutions for a range of network issues faced by councils, water utilities and municipalities, to increasing operational efficiency and offering specialised solutions to a range of asset problems.

The company helps to improve customer service by delivering value across all stages of the water cycle, actively working to prevent climate change and protect biodiversity, all while enabling humans to continue to thrive.

Mission statement

Veolia’s water division comprises over 830 employees across Australia and New Zealand. Daniel Spiller is the company’s Chief Operating Officer for Water. According to Spiller, ecological transformation is at the core of the company’s modus operandi. 

“We believe there is a global climate emergency, and that it is the responsibility of companies such as ours to lead the way in practical solutions to that emergency. This is what we term in our mission statement as ‘ecological transformation’,” says Spiller. 

“Within the water space, there is a real challenge of an ageing asset base, with many pipes constructed in the early 20th century now reaching the end of their service life. From our perspective, there is a real element of ecological transformation in getting the most out of those assets and sustaining them for as long as we possibly can.” 

Veolia offers clients a full service, from analysing the client’s product, to understanding their needs, assessing the infrastructure they have, then working through the lifecycle of the potential interventions. “Because we are backed by that global grunt, we see we can offer a one-stop shop for clients to understand their network issues and deal with them,” says Spiller. 


New capability 

While Veolia has been active in Australia and New Zealand in network services for some time providing data analysis and modeling, inspections, condition assessments, maintenance, and  pipeline rehabilitation and renewal using trenchless technologies, the company has recently strengthened its capability,  by launching a new solution; Thermoform PVC fold-and-form technology. This reaffirms Veolia’s offering as one-stop shop to water municipalities, councils and other clients. 

“What we’re doing now is strengthening our ability to help councils and water utilities rehabilitate assets to get more life out of them through a PVC fold-and-form product, which is cost effective and produces consistent high-quality results,” explains Spiller. 

Thermoform is a new pipeline rehabilitation system for different diameter pipes, specialising in pipeline diameters DN150 to 300. Ziad Bushnaq is Veolia’s Market Development Manager. According to Bushnaq, flexibility of this solution not only offers a non-destructive trenchless approach, but it also provides a range of added benefits. 

“It is fit-for-purpose to suit different pipe sizes, wall thicknesses and conditions. It is moldable and provides a secure mechanical tight fit to the host pipe, minimising the reduction of the inner diameter of the host pipe and therefore improving the hydraulics of the rehabilitated pipe. With this solution, we can also eliminate the need for junction sealing,” says Bushnaq. 

The liner installation and removal process for the Thermoform system is significantly lower, reducing downtime to businesses and councils. The liner also extends the life of the assets by 50 years, preventing any spillage that would otherwise contaminate the surrounding environment.

“Introducing this service marks an addition to our network services capability that will allow us to provide an end-to-end solution for clients’ underground assets,” says Bushnaq. Despite the newness of the technology, Veolia has trialled and tested the system extensively. 

“We started with a trial in Tasmania, and another in Victoria in 2020, which included 500 m of DN150 sewer that required relining. We completed this trial to determine product suitability and success. Based on this trial, the results were positive and demonstrated a seamless installation of the process.

“When we looked at the post-installation CCTV inspection, we determined that the final product quality exceeded the market expectations and that all host pipe problems have been resolved.” 

Following the trials, Veolia launched the product and capability in 2021 and became the official partner of Downer to deliver the Greater Western Water sewer renewal program which commenced with the relining 1.1km DN225 and DN150 diameter pipelines. 

The company has also been awarded a contract by Tweed Shire Council to rehabilitate aging assets using the PVC Thermoform technology. Works will also include sewer cleaning, pre- and post-CCTV inspection, civil works, sealing of lateral connections, traffic management, flow management, and, very importantly, customer and community engagement activities.

Ecological ambitions 

Veolia aspires to reduce its footprint and exert a positive impact on the environment. As a result, the company makes commitments to decarbonisation and minimising environmental impact. 

“Australia is at a pivotal point in terms of network management. We have an increasing population and a range of challenges facing infrastructure. To make that work, we need to innovate and work with utilities to find practical solutions to the problems they are facing. What we’re doing with Thermoform is part of that holistic solution, that suite of products,” says Spiller. 

This most recent capability is consistent with the company’s manifesto for ‘ecological transformation’ by extending the lifespan of existing infrastructure and mitigating the need for open-cut methods of installation. Moreover, the Thermoform technology eliminates water wastage and environmental contamination. 

“Old pipes leak, so rehabilitating networks helps stop the infiltration and  exfiltration, and therefore significantly reduces potential soil and groundwater contamination,” Spiller explains.

“It also means the material doesn’t contain chemicals that can leach into the surrounding environment. We work within an existing trench and we make the most of that. It is a safe product, and it has a relatively low impact compared to other products in a municipal environment.” 

The Thermoform PVC is a small-footprint solution to decontamination and asset degradation, creating a more resource-efficient infrastructure system that is effective and sustainable. Veolia will be exhibiting this new technology at the No Dig Down Under 2022 conference and exhibition taking place in June.