Sand pumping along Adelaide's coast

Sand pumping uses pumping stations and underground pipelines to transfer a slurry of sand and seawater from beaches where sand is building up, to beaches where sand is eroding.

Two sections of Adelaide’s coast have sand pumping infrastructure – Glenelg to Kingston Park and the Torrens Outlet to the West Beach dunes.

As part of the state government’s additional $48.4 million investment in our beaches and coast, a sand recycling pipeline will be built from Semaphore to connect to the existing infrastructure at Torrens Outlet. The pipeline will provide a long term solution to keeping sand on our most exposed and vulnerable beaches.

The exact location of the pipeline and how it will be built will be determined in the planning and design period starting in 2019-20. Construction is expected to commence in 2021/22 and expected completion in 2022/23. Find out more

What are the benefits of pipelines for recycling sand on our beaches?

Pipelines provide more flexibility in managing our beaches, with multiple intake and discharge locations allowing sand to be picked up where there is an accumulation and delivered to locations most at need across the beach system.

Another major benefit of pipelines is reducing the use of trucks for sand recycling, making it safer for the community, as well as reducing noise, congestion and the impact of trucks on roads.

What happens during pumping?

During pumping, temporary infrastructure is assembled on beaches for several months. This machinery is removed when the pumping is complete. Pumping does not occur during the times of peak beach use over summer in order to minimise disruption to residents and beach users.

The pipeline from Glenelg to Kingston Park currently pumps approximately 100,000m3 of sand successfully each year.

Due to technical sand management issues, the pipeline located between the Torrens Outlet to the West Beach dunes (Cell 3) is not currently being used. Sand is being carted from the Semaphore South breakwater to replenish the beaches at West Beach and Henley Beach South.

Trucks continue to be used in some sections of the coast, such as from the West Beach boat harbour to Glenelg North and West Beach Parks dunes; and Semaphore South to West Beach and Henley Beach South.

More information

Contact us

Phone: (08) 8124 4928
Email: DEWcoasts@sa.gov.au 

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