Pressure management for network efficiency

Pressure management is one component of our network efficiency program. It aims to reduce the water pressure in high pressure areas to a standard level.

What is pressure management?

Pressure management is one of our strategies to help reduce water loss. Once complete, it will help us save more than 7 billion litres of water every year – the equivalent of 7 Optus Stadiums, filled to the top. The program will also help reduce supply interruptions and enable us to provide a more consistent pressure during peak demand periods. It is one part of our broader program to improve network efficiency.

What are the benefits of water pressure management? 
Managing the water pressure will help the pipe network last longer as well as save around 7 billion litres of water each year. 

Why are you investigating my suburb? 
Suburbs are assessed and prioritised based on the water pressure they receive, the number of leaks and breaks in the pipe network, overall water use and suitability of the area. If your suburb is identified as a high pressure area requiring works, you will receive notification approximately six months in advance. 

Will other suburbs be investigated? 
The program is part of a state-wide program that is being implemented over 10 years.

What will my water pressure be? 
The water pressure will vary from service to service depending on the pipe network, contours in the land and customer types. However, all pressure managed areas will be designed to deliver a water pressure greater than our required minimum standard of 15 metres head.

What does metres head mean? 
Metres head is the measurement used to determine water pressure. It refers to the height (head) that water would rise vertically in a pipe. For example, 25 metres head of pressure would allow water to rise to a height of 25 metres. 

How does pressure management work? 
The process involves isolating a high pressure area from the general water network and installing specialised equipment. This includes advanced pressure control valves to gradually modify the water pressure until an optimum level can be maintained. This equipment will detect times of higher demand and ensure an increased volume of water is provided at the same pressure.  

Will I notice much change in my water pressure?
This is dependant on a number of factors, including your current water pressure, location of your house and internal plumbing. In our trial suburbs of Rossmoyne, Shelley and Waterford, over half of the residents reported seeing little to no effect on their water pressure. 

You may notice a change if you have special or unusual water using devices, such as dialysis machines, reverse osmosis units, water demisters, large aquariums, or if you think you may already have low water pressure. We want to hear from you if you use water for these purposes. Please contact the team on the details provided at the bottom of the page.

What if I have a problem with my water pressure?
If you think you may already have low water pressure you can carry out this simple test: 
Step 1: Write down the black and red numbers on your meter, making sure all taps and water using devices are turned off first. 
Step 2: Turn on your front garden tap for 60 seconds. Make sure you collect this water and use it to water your garden or pot plants. 
Step 3: Take another meter reading and subtract the first meter reading from the last. This will tell you how much water came out within the 60 second period. 

If your current pressure is a concern to you, Water Corporation can arrange to test the pressure for you at no charge. You will not need to be at home when they do this, they will just be accessing your water meter and a front tap. 

Will my garden irrigation still work with changes to pressure? 

Advice from industry experts indicate correctly installed and maintained systems will work with pressures of 20m to 25m, and the majority of our network will receive pressures greater than this. 

You may experience reduced “throw” from your sprinklers. We will visit you free of charge if you would like someone to offer advice about the configuration of your garden irrigation system. If your irrigation system operates from a private bore then there will be no change to its operation. 

Will my dishwasher, washing machine, hot water system and toilets still work the same? 
Some appliances may take slightly longer to fill after pressure management has been introduced into your area. 

Most hot water systems and dishwashers are designed to work with pressures of 15m to 20m and pressure management will deliver pressures greater than this. You may want to contact the manufacturer of your appliance to seek reassurance. 

Will network efficiency projects impact the pressure of fire services? 
Please refer to the fire flows brochure available for download at the top of this page.

I run a business in the area, what impact will the pressure changes have on my business? 
This will depend on your business and its location within the identified area. All non-residential customers will be identified from our records and we’ll contact you to outline any potential impacts. 

Will the water pressure management program be rolled out to all water services across the State? 
No. Suburbs are assessed and prioritised based on the water pressure they receive, the number of leaks and breaks in the pipe network, the overall water use and the suitability of the area. For example, pipe configuration or lots of hills may make an area impractical to implement pressure management. 

Water pressure in my suburb is already low – will these pressure works reduce my pressure even further?
No. Areas currently receiving low pressure will not receive water pressure management. 

Where else is water pressure management implemented across the world? 
Water pressure management is common in Europe, and is also in place in parts of Queensland and Sydney. Many water utilities throughout the world have existing programs to manage pressure or are working towards it. 

Here are some ways to prepare:

  • Ensure taps on all your appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and air conditioners are open by turning them all the way to the left, and with a slight turn back to the right to prevent them from sticking.
  • Make sure all your showerheads and taps are clean and not blocked by calcium build up.
  • Many washing machines and dishwashers have strainers at the water inlet pipe. Make sure they are clean and do not restrict water.
  • Check your irrigation system is running  well and you have no broken or blocked sprinklers.
  • Check your water pressure. We are required to supply at least 20 litres of water a minute; but we expect most customers in an area that will receive pressure management to receive more than 30 litres of water a minute.

So far, we are managing the pressure in Rossmoyne, Shelley, Waterford and parts of Beckenham. We will soon commence pressure management in Maddington, Kenwick, Martin, Cannington, East Cannington, Wilson, Bentley, Queens Park, Welshpool, some remaining parts of Beckenham not already being pressure managed, as well as Erskine and parts of Falcon.

The purpose of investigations is to determine the areas suitable for pressure management. We focus on areas where water pressure is very high and residents experience a large number of water interruptions from leaks and breaks in the pipe network. 

Is my property being investigated or pressure managed?

Type your address into the search function of the map below to see if you are in an area being investigated or pressure managed.

If we are investigating your area for pressure management, we will let you know approximately 6 months in advance.

Please ensure you type in your full Western Australia address.

Shaded areas are currently involved in the program. Click on the arrows in the information box for the area you are interested in to know more about the status of Pressure Management in the area.

Contact details

For more information about our Pressure Management Program please email pressure.management@watercorporation.com.au

If you are in a pressure managed area, we don’t expect you to notice any change to your water pressure, but if you do, please contact us on 13 13 75.

If you live in one of the suburbs we are investigating, we encourage you to complete the form below, which will enable us to notify you via SMS and/or email of any works that might impact you.

Disclaimer
Please note we will only be providing updates on the Pressure Management Program to customers whose area is going to be pressure managed or is under investigation for pressure management.

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