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During November to April, the coastal regions of WA, particularly the north west coast, are cyclone prone.

Cyclone activity produces strong onshore winds and flooding rains that increase the threat of storm surge. It has the potential to cause major damage to infrastructure, and disruption to drinking water and wastewater services.

If you live in a cyclone-prone area, planning ahead for cyclone season will ensure you are prepared.

Severe cyclone events may disrupt your water supply and wastewater services

We take every precaution to prepare our facilities and people but your water supply and wastewater services can sometimes be impacted during, or after, a tropical cyclone. This means you may have low water pressure, or no water supply available, due to damage to our infrastructure or power outages affecting our equipment and systems. This may also result in you being unable to flush your toilet.

Typical impacts that may lead to service interruptions include:

  • Broken pipes due to washouts, uprooted trees, which could result in wastewater overflows or low or no water pressure.
  • Loss of power and communication infrastructure due to high winds.
  • Restricted access to water and wastewater treatment facilities due to debris and flood waters.
  • Loss of water quality testing capability as laboratories may be closed or damaged in regional areas and samples can't be transported for analysis due to road or airport closures.

Plan ahead and be prepared 

If you live in a cyclone-prone area, make sure you prepare your home and create a cyclone plan and emergency kit before the start of cyclone season.

DFES issues four stages of alert when a cyclone is coming. You need to know what the alerts mean, so you can complete final home preparations, including some important considerations for water and wastewater.

For cyclone safety information, visit the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) website.

Prepare your emergency water supply

On average, each person requires at least 20 litres of water per day for drinking, washing and cooking. At least 2.5 of the 20 litres is required for drinking. Make sure you fill containers, buckets and sinks with an emergency water supply. Drinking water should be stored in a clean, sealed container.

We also encourage you to turn off your reticulation / sprinkler systems, which will help ensure the water storage for your area is kept for drinking and hygiene purposes.

If you’re asked to evacuate your home, it is important to turn off your water supply using the stopcock located on your water meter. This will ensure your property is isolated from the water supply.

How we prepare for cyclones

We plan for cyclone season by readying our equipment and systems to cope with severe weather associated with cyclone events.

This includes:

  • preparing large transportable equipment such as generators, tanks and tankers
  • increasing storage levels in tanks
  • participating in cyclone season briefings
  • engaging with local and district emergency management committees
  • checking critical spares and inventory
  • assessing all assets prior to the cyclone season and immediately after a cyclone

We work closely with DFES during and after a cyclone event, so that disruptions or low pressure to customers are minimised.

What is a boil water alert?

Following a cyclone, a boil water alert is sometimes issued for areas connected to mains scheme water that are considered at risk of exposure to contamination.

When this happens, the Department of Health will issue a public notification advising how to take precautions and safely prepare water for drinking and food preparation.

For more information on water safety after cyclones, visit the Healthy WA website.

How can our wastewater system be impacted?

Heavy downpours and flooding from cyclones can impact our wastewater network.

We collect wastewater from homes and businesses, which is pumped into our wastewater treatment plants. If there is a loss of power, wastewater can’t be pumped to the treatment plants resulting in overflows from pump stations and manholes in the street.

If there are floodwaters present, assume it is contaminated and avoid contact with it, as it may contain various contaminants and harmful pathogens.

Dislodged manhole covers can be a dangerous, hidden hazard in floodwater.

Why should you stay away from drains during a cyclone?

During a cyclone, drains can become dangerous because flooding can occur quickly, turning them into fast-flowing water bodies, even when it’s not raining. For your safety, you should stay away from stormwater drains to avoid being knocked over, caught in a drain or swept away if there is a flood.

In fact, just 15cm of fast-flowing water can knock you off your feet and be enough for you not to be able to regain your footing.

Drains may also contain hidden dangers such as contaminated water or slopes and rocks, which are hard to see when it rains.

Assistance for customers affected by cyclones

We’re available 24/7 to help with any urgent issues such as damaged water meters and faults resulting from a cyclone. Please call us on 13 13 75.

If you’re experiencing payment difficulties after a cyclone event, please call us on 13 13 85 (8am - 5pm weekdays) to discuss the options available to you.

Where to stay informed

The Emergency WA website provides immediate access to emergency information and community safety warnings and incidents.

During a cyclone event, stay tuned to local ABC radio and local media for current updates on the situation.

For more information on preparing for cyclone season, visit the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) website

Frequently asked questions

Where clean drinking water isn’t immediately available, you can obtain limited amounts of safe drinking water by:

  • melting any ice cubes you have in the freezer
  • keeping a supply of bottled water on hand

For more information on treating water, visit the Healthy WA website.

If your property changes to a vacant land status, as a result of a cyclone, you’ll only be subject to vacant land service charges.


Life threatening emergency: 000

Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) website

DFES info line: 13 DFES (13 3337)

Bureau of Meteorology cyclone info line: 1300 659 210

State Emergency Service (SES) assistance: 13 25 00

Main Roads road closure info line: 
13 81 38

Water Corporation 24/7 line for urgent issues, such as damaged water meters and faults resulting from a bushfire: 13 13 75