Having been involved with the industry for two decades now, Mr Pace has seen changes in the sector, and the emergence of new trends.
“The changes over the past 20 years have been related to the enormous improvements in what varying pieces of equipment can deliver,” said Mr Pace. “For example, we are now seeing record HDD drive lengths being achieved in all sorts of remarkable situations, and rehabilitation liners have improved as the technology has. I have also noticed a stronger focus on the wellbeing of the operators of the equipment.”
One of the interesting trends Mr Pace has noticed is the shift from new installations to rehabilitation.
“Initially the trenchless industry was focused on new installation work, however this focus is now swaying towards asset management. Clients are now looking seriously at refurbishing their existing assets as they are getting older by the day.”
This is certainly something Mr Pace has experienced firsthand in his work as a Project Manager at Water Corporation.
“Until recently, my interest in Trenchless Technology has been focused on microtunnelling and directional drilling. However I am now responsible for the relining of several of Perth’s old main sewers, some in excess of 100 years of age. Because of this, I am now interested in rehabilitation. To date, I have found this quite an involved process – the repair of the pipe is the easy bit, the setting up of by-pass pumping arrangements, restoring house connections, the community engagement and so on is the challenge.”
A word of advice
“The advice I would offer new trenchless technologists is to understand the technology they are looking at getting into before becoming too involved and acquiring equipment,” said Mr Pace.
“New contractors need to understand the limitations of the machines. To me, it is like buying a car – do your homework first and make sure that you get precisely what you expect from the car and nothing else.