Case Studies

Willunga Pipeline Project

Willunga PipelineWillunga Pipeline Project

Industry: Water
Value : $500,000
Customer: Willunga Basin Water Company


The Willunga Basin (better known by wine aficionados as the McLaren Vale area) is one of the most richly varied and highly developed wine growing areas in Australia, producing intensely flavoured red wines and excellent white wines. With production in the 10 of thousands tonnes and demand for high quality wine ever increasing, the availability of water resources is a significant issue for the growers and wine makers in the area. When demands for a Government funded pipeline into the area fell on deaf ears, local water users decided to take matters into their own hands.

With their future at stake, the Willunga Basin Water Users Group formed the Willunga Basin Water Company.  Its aim was to gain access to some of the 10 Giga litres of chlorinated treated water, discharged into the sea every year from the Christies Beach (SA) Waste Water Treatment Plant and to build and operate a pipeline and management system, to deliver the water to its members.

Control system

Treated water is pumped from the holding dam at the Christies Beach WTP. Four 150 kW pumps and a booster pump deliver water through a 10.5 km pipeline to the Seaford holding dam.

The supply water is pumped from the Seaford holding dam through a distribution network of some 23 km to the end users.  A constant pressure is maintained regardless of the demand requirements that can range from 10 to 278 L/second. The station uses three 150kw main pumps and a 37kw jacking pump.

These pumps are operated by a single VF drive controlled by a Toshiba PLC and software designed by APC. The control system maintains a constant pressure by using PID control of the speed of one pump. The other pumps are cut in/out on mains operation using soft starter controllers as needed.

The control enables the rotation of pumps such that each pump has an equal pump usage. The pump changeover is fully automatic.

Cost savings are realised by using a single VF drive.


APC Integration designed and commissioned the control and radio telemetry system that links six sites over a 20 km network. A serial telemetry module links the Christies Beach and Seaford PLC system. Radio modems are used between the Seaford Booster Station and Christies Beach sites for PLC communications.


The supervisory PC is located at the Seaford Pump station. The Windows XP operating system was chosen for its security and reliability features together with a VISION 2.0 SCADA system to provide the Willunga pipeline 2following functionality.

·         Local monitoring and control.

·         Historical and current event and alarm logs.

·         Data logging and trend graphs

·         Monitoring of system performance

·         Setpoint and tuning configuration

·         Alarm paging functions

Remote monitoring and control.

A modem is used for the dial out of alarms and remote access via ADSL internet access.  The remote user can update program files and operate the local PC seamlessly.