A Casey plumber marks a milestone in a multi-year water infrastructure upgrade project

To build new water tanks, you first need to demolish the old ones...

The Casey Tank House project.

Projects on any Antarctica station seem to take a long time to complete due to weather conditions and their remote locations. One project that is becoming closer to completion is the removal of all three cast iron tanks from the tank house at Casey station. These tanks have been in place since 1986 (37 years). The people involved in the construction of the cast iron square tanks and plumbing system should be proud of the long legacy they have left at Casey and the importance it has for the station to operate.

The sludge that builds up on the inside of these old tanks has been removed many times since their installation and the walls re-lined with a thick bitumen based product to help slow down water rusting the cast iron. The tanks were starting to show signs of age and leaks were beginning to appear.

A project began in 2018/19 to replace the existing tanks with two 70,000 litre tanks and one 90,000 litre tank. All three tanks will be round.

In the winter of 2022 the first cast iron tank was removed and some months later, during the following summer, a clean base was poured and a new 70,000 litre galvanised round tank with liner was installed in its place. During the summer of 2022/23 additional plumbing was installed to accommodate the new tanks.

On 1 May 2023, the last wall of the existing cast iron tanks were dismantled, then the concrete floor of the tanks will be jack hammered and removed back to a clean base.

The team will then level a base ready for the new tanks and start building the last two tanks ready for the incoming summer population.

Pipework will then continue around the inside perimeter of the tank house to connect the tanks to the plumbing network. With every new cycle of change comes new technology in materials, hopefully these tanks will outlive their predecessors of 37 years. Time will tell.

Some of the expeditioners involved in Tank House project this season have been: Shaun Azzopardi, Steve Clibborn, Darcy Henderson, Brad Jackson, Dom Vidler, Ian Robinson, Justin Agius, Michael Howard, Duncan Logan, Brendan Cherry, Billy Merrick, Brett Sambrooks, Clint Cahir and the electricians who wander in every now and then to check on lights and re-run cables.

- Billy Merrick, Casey station plumber