Team of specialists inspect the Blackall Range Tunnel and pipeline.
Team of specialists inspect the Blackall Range Tunnel and pipeline. Seqwater

The vital job not for the faint-hearted

A TEAM of specialists will make the claustrophobic journey through a 2.5km tunnel deep under ground to ensure water security for the Sunshine Coast.

The pipeline was built in the late 1980s and allows raw water from Baroon Pocket Dam's storage to travel through the Blackall Range to the Landers Shute Water Treatment Plant in Palmwoods.

Specialists negotiate the journey once every three years with the team including geotechnical and civil engineers.

Seqwater asset engineer Daniel Roche said the triennial inspection was to assess the condition of the pipeline and the rock walling of the tunnel.

"The tunnel was excavated through sandstone by drill and blast techniques.

"The tunnel is about 2.6m high and 2.5m wide and gets pitch black after 50 metres, so inside you have to be comfortable with confined spaces."

Mr Roche said if there were any concerns with the condition of the tunnel or pipeline, a renewal program would be launched to resolve those issues.

"The pipeline is not only important for the Sunshine Coast, it's also a critical component in southeast Queensland's Water Grid."

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