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.
The pipeline system was installed in 2013 and is quieter and less visible than using sand carting trucks because most of the permanent infrastructure is behind or under dunes or seawalls, under roadways or deep under the beach. This creates less disruption along roads, residential streets and beaches, allowing beach users and residents to continue to enjoy their local coastal areas.
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 original intent was for sand pumping to occur every year from 2013 to 2033, usually in spring at Glenelg and in autumn at West Beach. This helps the beaches and dunes recover from winter storms and prepares the beaches for the peak use summer season.
Currently the pipeline located between the Torrens Outlet to the West Beach dunes (Cell 3) is not being used, and 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.
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