Working near pipelines

Plan your site work and prevent damage to pipelines with this handy guide to working safely near pipelines.

Pipeline damage can be expensive, hazardous and highly disruptive to the community.

If you're a planner, constructor, supervisor or excavator you have a duty of care to carry out work in an appropriate and safe manner that won't interfere with other services or cause damage.

This section has important information to help you plan your site work and ensure that our pipelines are not damaged. Please be aware that you may be held responsible for any damage caused during your site work.

Pipeline damage 

Many pipes operate at high pressures and flow rates. The sudden release of large volumes of water under pressure may be dangerous to people nearby and could lead to significant damage and community disruption.

Common activities which can damage our pipes include:

  • excavations
  • ground anchors
  • boring and tunnelling
  • ground compaction using vehicular compactors
  • piledriving
  • movement of heavy loads and vehicles

All damage must be reported by calling our 24 hour faults line 13 13 75.

Damage can be prevented by careful planning and properly conducting the site works.

Apply the 4Ps: Plan, Pothole, Protect, Proceed 

About our pipelines

We operate vast water, sewerage and drainage pipe networks throughout WA. At any given location there may be multiple pipes in the ground of different sizes, depths, alignments and materials.

Sewer drainage and gravity mains are present in many streets and are often within property boundaries. Gravity mains may be located by the presence of an access chamber or manhole along the line of the sewer. Sewer property services are not marked on plans however their presence should be anticipated.

Contact us on 13 13 95 for additional information on private services.

Water reticulation mains are present in most streets with individual property services connected to these mains. These property services may be located by finding the property water meter. Property services are not marked on plans; however their presence should be anticipated.

Associated pipe assets include:

  • anchor and thrust blocks
  • sampling points
  • valves
  • valve pits
  • cathodic protection systems
  • underground tanks
  • manholes
  • flow measuring equipment.

Interfering with or damaging these assets can be hazardous. Some pipes operate at high pressures and volumes, and harmful gases may be present.

We offer free presentations to help your team be better prepared for working around our pipelines. Contact us on apo@watercorporation.com.au to request a presentation.