Sydney Water On Call

Each year, Sydney Water spends $100 million to reduce leaks, inspecting 18,000 kilometres of pipes for hidden leaks and replacing more than 100 kilometres of water mains.

On any given day, Sydney Water has around 60-70 maintenance crews responding to breaks and leaks. Crews are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure urgent main breaks are responded to as quickly as possible.

Sydney Water owns around 21,000 kilometres of pipes, which carry water to households, businesses and localities across Sydney, Illawarra and the Blue Mountains. They also maintain more than 16,000 kilometres of customers' pipes that connect Sydney Water's mains to individual properties. However, the property owner is responsible for the pipes between the meter and the house.

Sydney Water is extremely serious about fixing leaks across its network - water preservation is a serious issue today. The Active Leak Reduction Program is a major Sydney Water campaign to reduce water loss from leaking pipes. This program aims to detect and repair hidden leaks along Sydney Water's pipelines and the vast network water main to meter pipes owned by customers.

Water main leaks and breaks are generally the result of one of or a combination of the following:

  • drought conditions - as the ground dries out, the pipes can move and sometimes break
  • corrosion of the water main, due to some surrounding "aggressive" soils (mainly clays or loams)
  • movement of above ground pipelines - which make the joints susceptible to leaks
  • change of water pressure in the main (similar to "water-hammer" in the home) can cause a pipe's weak point to start a horizontal crack
  • ground movement around the main caused by dry/wet/cold weather conditions can cause a "broken back" crack on the main
  • constant impact of road traffic over a main can cause a pipe to crack
  • a poorly fitted main tap can cause metal corrosion and subsequent leaks
  • deterioration of aged fittings on a main (such as a hydrant or valve) can cause leaks
  • corrosion or damage to the house service line
  • faulty or old meter or meter tap can cause leaks
  • excessive water pressure can also lead to water main breaks and cause leaks. Sydney Water has a Water Pressure Management Program that will target those areas where water pressure levels are well above the average.

Following a call to report a leak or break, Sydney Water prioritises the job and logs it in a computer system which automatically sends the job through to a team of schedulers, who in turn assign it to a maintenance crew. All leaks and breaks are inspected to determine their severity and to assess what equipment might be needed for repair work.

If you notice a leak call 13 20 90 straight away!

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VJ Matthew Jenkin