This picture shows pipes being laid at West Beach as part of the $23 million sand management project under the Adelaide Living Beaches Strategy.
The existing program of beach replenishment places 160,000 cubic metres of sand each year at strategic locations on southern and central beaches. This maintains the sandy foreshore, builds up dune buffers, and protects coastal infrastructure.
The strategy provides for existing sand supplies to be recycled more effectively using sand slurry pumping and pipelines. This will minimise the need for trucks to cart sand along beaches and suburban roads.
The pipeline transfer systems involves a sand acquisition system at Torrens Outlet to remove sand from the beach, mix it with seawater to form a slurry mixture, and pump this slurry into the pipelines.
Sand will be discharged from the pipeline to where it is most needed through a series of outlets directly onto the beach.
The sand will be distributed more evenly than it would be otherwise because of the multiple discharge points. It will remove most truck traffic from coastal roads and halve the amount of sand carted by truck.
The ongoing maintenance cost is estimated at $5.75 million a year.
As a local resident I’m pleased the work is being done in cooler months when fewer people are enjoying the beach.
The cost initially surprised me, but it’s worth the investment given how popular the beaches are in summer.
A report says the “do nothing” alternative would quickly result in the loss of sand from beaches and progressive damage to foreshore infrastructure and buildings.
“The cost due to loss of beach value alone would be very high, with further costs incurred for the management of subsequent debris and pollution.”