AECOM scoops second award for trenchless innovation at Sanddrift

26 August 2019
Integrated infrastructure delivery company AECOM has been awarded the 2018/19 Joop Van Wamelen Award for Technical Excellence by the Southern African Society for Trenchless Technology (SASTT) for its innovative approach to the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Sanddrift Bulk Sewer in Cape Town. AECOM submitted the entry as part the project team consisting of the City of Cape Town, CSV Construction as the contractor, and Tuboseal as the specialist trenchless sub-contractor.
Document Downloads 
application/msword iconAECOM scoops second award for trenchless innovation at Sanddrift_approved31.5 KBDownload
PreviewA safe installation was implemented through excellent coordination and communication.1.77 MBDownload
PreviewCIPP was deemed to be the only viable trenchless rehabilitation alternative.4.74 MBDownload
PreviewThe bulk sewer had to be installed and rehabilitated beneath highly-active residential roads.2.98 MBDownload
PreviewThe close-fit inverted or pull-in cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) rehabilitation.2.24 MBDownload
PreviewThe main technical challenges were the installation and rehabilitation of the bulk sewer beneath the road surface.1.79 MBDownload
PreviewUpgrading the existing bulk sewer to ND 750 mm.3.91 MBDownload

In 2012, AECOM conducted a condition assessment of 13 km of asbestos fibre cement and reinforced concrete bulk sewers in the Blaauwberg and Milnerton Area, with nominal diameters from 300 mm 900 mm. The assessment revealed that various sections of the bulk sewers, installed originally in the 1960s and 1970s, required rehabilitation action.

However, a history of localised collapses and cavities meant that the 2-km-long Sanddrift Bulk Sewer (SBS) was given priority. What made the project particularly challenging was that the SBS not only passed under residential roads, but the Sable Square Shopping Centre as well.

Hence given the installation conditions and limitations, as well as the hydraulic and physical condition of the sewer, a close-fit inverted or pull-in cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) rehabilitation of the first 700 m and last 230 m sections of the SBS of the existing SBS was deemed to be the only viable trenchless rehabilitation alternative.

“The main technical challenges faced by the installation team were the installation and rehabilitation of the bulk sewer beneath the road surface of highly-active residential roads, as well as conducting the installation under, and from within, the underground parking garage of the Sable Square Shopping Centre,” AECOM Associate Engineer Konrad Röhrs comments.

“A safe installation was implemented through excellent coordination and communication, with minimal impact and disruption to the public. The end result was a set of seven cost-effective, well-cured and rehabilitated close-fit lined sewer sections, with a total length of over 700 m. The project was also achieved well within the programme schedule of the overall contract,” Röhrs highlights.

Commenting on the award, Röhrs points out that while AECOM was confident in the technical excellence of its entry, it was still a pleasant surprise to be declared the winner. “The entries are usually all excellent, with strong competition, so we were happy to win.”

AECOM has over the last decade formed part of various winning project teams for the prestigious award, confirming its expertise in trenchless technology in South Africa. The last time AECOM won the award was in 2016, together with CSV Construction and CCT, for Phase 2 of the Cape Flats 3 Bulk Sewer. This project included micro-tunnelling on a scale not yet previously executed for bulk infrastructure pipelines in South Africa.

The award is presented at an official ceremony as part of the SASTT AGM every year. Joop van Wamelen was a key founder of SASTT 25 years ago, serving on the board until he passed away in 2015. “The fact that we have formed part of the winning team four times over the last decade is not only recognition of our expertise and excellence in this field, but of the entire specialist trenchless technology sector in South Africa,” Röhrs concludes.


Notes to the editor

To download hi-res images for this release, please visit and click on the AECOM link to view the company’s press office.


AECOM is built to deliver a better world. We design, build, finance and operate critical infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organisations. As a fully integrated firm, we connect knowledge and experience across our global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, our work is transformative, differentiated and vital. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM had revenue of approximately $20.2 billion during fiscal year 2018. See how we deliver what others can only imagine at and @AECOM.

AECOM Contact

Lara Lombard

Communications & Marketing Officer, EMEA

Phone: (012) 421 3832

Email: lara [dot] lombard [at] aecom [dot] com


Media Contact
Renay Tandy
NGAGE Public Relations
Phone: (011) 867-7763
Fax: 086 512 3352
Cell: 082 562 5088
Email: renay [at] ngage [dot] co [dot] za

Browse the NGAGE Media Zone for more client press releases and photographs at