How the system works
The sand transfer infrastructure includes seven kilometres of underground pipeline from Glenelg to Kingston Park and two kilometres of underground pipeline from Torrens Outlet to West Beach Parks dunes. There are also two main pump stations, three booster pump stations, 16 discharge stations and a relocatable sand collection unit.
Sand is scraped from the beach surface in thin layers using a land plane and brought to a temporary fenced work area where it is screened to remove stones, beach wrack and other debris. It is then mixed with seawater (70% water, 30% sand) and the sand and seawater mixture is pumped southwards through the underground pipelines to the southern beaches where it is discharged at the back of the beach, at the toe of the dune or the base of seawalls. The sand settles out from the seawater forming a low, wide stable mound and the excess seawater returns to the sea.
When sand has built up at one discharge location, the sand and seawater mixture is redirected to another discharge location.
Waves and tides disperse the sand, and the wind and waves slowly moves the sand northwards (known as littoral or longshore drift). This keeps our beaches sandy and provides foreshore protection.
At the end of each pumping session the pipeline is flushed with seawater, to clean the line of any remaining sand.
Visit the Adelaide Beach Works page to find out when pumping takes place.