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Collaboration critical to flood clean-up and water supply

In a crisis, people often come together to help. Certainly, that was the case when irrigation supply business Think Water Northern Rivers reached out to Australian Advanced Products (AIP) to urgently assist in response to some of the worst flood waters northern New South Wales has ever seen.

Their collaborative efforts were instrumental in helping northern river communities dewater their area and get the water supply back up and running.

Think Water Northern Rivers (TWNR) is a water management solutions provider based in Alstonville on the northern coast of NSW providing pumps, irrigation, filtration systems, pipes fittings and valves. They work across public and private sectors and do essential work around the infrastructure for water transfer.

TWNR Managing Director Lee Rothwell explains that while locals were preparing for an SES response, the severity of flooding was unprecedented. 

“We are surrounded by river networks here with the Tweed to the north, Richmond to the south, Clarence below that and Wilson River to the west,” he says. “The difference this time was that all the rivers were already running full, and the soil was soddened from previous rainfall.” 

Once the rain stopped and the flood waters began to recede, the extent of the damage was apparent and urgent clean up required before water supply could be reconnected. But with road closures cutting off resource supplies, Think Water was quite literally under the pump to service the region. 

“Because of the type of service we provide, we work alongside lots of different industries – everyone needs water supply. We are connected with Ballina Shire Council, Lismore City Council, and Tweed Shire Council,” 
he says.

“All of the infrastructure for municipal sewage and water supply – like the many caravan parks in the area – went under, including all the electrical.” 

Fortunately, Lee knew he could rely on AIP, Australia’s most established supplier of industrial grade hoses, valves and associated fittings to come his aid. He put in an urgent request with Mark Hodson, Area Manager at AIP in Brisbane. 

“Lee rang me up on the Saturday. Normally I don’t look at work stuff on the weekend that much but with the floods, I was watching the news and suddenly noticed my phone ringing,” Mark recalls. “As soon as I could, I got in contact with our warehouse supervisor and organised to get the order put together first thing Monday morning.” 

As a well-known and trusted provider of hosing equipment, AIP has been playing a key role in the clean-up process across both Queensland and northern New South Wales. Upon hearing that Think Water Northern Rivers was desperate for stock, Mark knew he had to go the extra mile to make sure they had what they needed. 

“I went down myself to help pick the order – there was no way that courier transport could get through at that time, so we loaded up two utes with all the stock, drove down and exchanged the goods at Chinderah,” explains Mark. “We met them in the middle essentially, because otherwise it would have been days.” 

Most of the products Mark transported were from the Powerflex range, along with numerous fittings and accessories required to link and connect the hose pipe. The order included wash down and fire hoses and suction equipment to pump water out of low-lying basements. 

According to Lee, having enough of the right hosing materials is essential in a flood response crisis and AIP gave the help Think Water needed.

“The team at AIP were already working to keep up with demand from Brisbane, so we were incredibly relieved when Mark said he could transport the order himself,” concludes Lee. “It was such excellent service, and it gave us an opportunity to support our community in a time of crisis.”  

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