Think Water Bunbury, which is run by Mark Sanders and his family, services the coal mining region around Collie. Dewatering is a critical part of the mining infrastructure in this region due to the high rainfall, which needs to be kept out of the open-cut. Having had many years of pumping experience since starting out as a trainee at Southern Cross, Mark is the expert that the mines have turned to for their dewatering needs.
Back in 2018, Think Water installed a major infrastructure pipeline that included 40 bores pumping into a ring main. The bores were between 200-252 m deep and the submersible pumps 80-150 kW. Mark knew he needed to use a flexible riser that could handle the high pressures of the Grundfos pumps. Mark chose to work closely with Crusader Hose for the right hose solution.
“The Flexibore hose was relatively unknown at the time,” said Mark, “but Francois Steverlynck, the MD, gave us and the customer every assurance that his hose would work. And they did.”
Out of the 40 pumps, 39 were installed with Flexibore, as one bore’s depth of 252 m was over the pressure safety margin. “That one pump for which Flexibore could not be used with really challenged me,” said Francois, “as I was unable to supply hose for large subbies over 250 m.”
Crusader Hose is an innovative company with a strong culture of continuous improvement and its engineering team has had a recent breakthrough: an ultra-high-pressure Flexibore 300 series.
This hose is the highest pressure lay-flat hose in the world for mine dewatering, with a burst pressure of 900 m equalling that of fibreglass. Fibreglass pipe, however, is not the ideal solution as it’s bulky, expensive, and cumbersome to install.
Mark re-entered into discussions with the dewatering supervisors at the mine about this new capability. “They were pleased to hear about this development and ordered a 252 m length to replace the fibreglass column,” he said. “It is so much easier to pull up with a crane as it is supplied in one continuous length.”
“This is a pioneering achievement in the history of our company,” said Francois. “This development will hopefully be keenly adopted by many Australian mining companies and enable them to keep at the forefront of productivity and continuous improvement.”