Topics > Coasts > Managing Adelaide's Beaches

Sand pumping along Adelaide's coast

Sand pumping uses pumping stations and underground pipelines to transfer a mixture 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.

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

Underground 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. This equipment is removed when the operation 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 underground pipeline from Glenelg to Kingston Park pumps up to 100,000 m3 of sand successfully each year.

Whilst options for managing the beaches north of West Beach are considered, the pipeline between the Torrens Outlet and the West Beach dunes is not currently being used.

Trucks continue to be used in other sections of the coast for beach replenishment.

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