Lower Lakes Irrigation Project
Delivering water security for drought-threatened growers

Leed installed 3 pump stations and 172 km of pipeline in 12 weeks to supply critical irrigation water for drought-threatened horticultural and viticultural industries.


The Lower Lakes Irrigation project was developed by the SA government to urgently provide irrigation water security for drought-threatened horticulture and viticulture industries in the Langhorne Creek and Currency Creek region.


Leed was awarded the contract to design, supply, construct, install, test, commission and provide operational support for this key irrigation project comprising:

  • three fully commissioned pump stations—one 800 L/sec pump station and two 500 L/sec pump stations
  • self-cleaning intake structure at the River Murray
  • 172 km of pipeline including 102 km of GRP trunk water main and 70 km of PVC distribution water lines
  • additional work was awarded to continue 20 km of PVC main to Point Sturt and Hindmarsh Island including 65 Customer connections.


The project involved liaison with numerous stakeholders: five state and local government agencies (including SA Water, Alexandrina Shire Council and the River Murray Water Advisory Board) and 35 landowners.

Because of the high level of community anticipation for these critical public works, SA Water and the Alexandrina Shire Council were under considerable pressure. Leed also alleviated this pressure by:

  • liaising directly with landowners regarding permissions and payments for property access
  • obtaining all the appropriate land, service and planning approvals
  • working closely and cooperatively with SA Water to develop the design.

To ensure rapid completion of the works within 12 weeks, Leed:

  • undertook considerable planning in the design phase (five months), construction phase (three months) and testing and commissioning phase (one month)
  • carried out the M&E contract in parallel to civil and structure works
  • undertook a critical procurement phase.
  • separated the pump station works into separate packages, each with its own Project Manager.
  • separated the trunk main installation into eight work crews achieving 2 km of GRP pipe installation per day. We also engaged a subcontractor to concurrently install the PVC distribution water mains.

Leed also dealt successfully with a range of environmental management challenges including environmental sensitivities, the risk of fuel and hydraulic spillages into waterways and contaminated soil.


Leed was awarded the contract in December 2008 and mobilised quickly by January 2009 to deliver the project on time. Had Leed not been successful in providing this water, it is estimated that 30–40% of the 2009 grape harvest could have been lost to drought, causing significant economic loss in the area.

Based on Leed’s performance, we were awarded an additional 30 km of pipeline to supply water to Hindmarsh Island and Point Sturt.


Engineers Australia Engineering Excellence Awards (SA)

2010 Commendation for Project Management to SA Water Corporation and Leed Engineering and Construction Pty Ltd

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