Water pressure management

Pressure management is about bringing areas with very high water pressure down to a more 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 10 billion litres of water every year – the equivalent of 10 Domain Stadiums in Subiaco, filled to the top of the goal posts. The program will also help reduce supply interruptions and enable us to provide a more consistent pressure during peak demand periods.

What are the benefits of water pressure management? 
Managing the water pressure will help the pipe network last longer as well as save around 10 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? 
Water pressure will vary from household to household depending on the water pipe network, contours in the land and customer types. All pressure managed areas are designed to deliver a water pressure of at least 35 metres head (3.5 bar or 350kPa) at all times. This is around the average pressure received across Perth and well above our service obligation level of 15 meters 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, 35 metres head of pressure would allow water to rise to a height of 35 metres. 

How does pressure management work? 
The process involves isolating a high pressure area from the general network and installing specialised equipment, including advanced pressure control valves, which gradually modify the water pressure until an optimum level is reached and maintained. 

Specialised equipment detects changing demands as they occur, providing more water at the same pressure in times of high demand.

Will I notice much change in my water pressure?
That will depend on a number of factors, including your starting water pressure, the location of your house and your internal plumbing. At the end of our pressure management trials, most residents reported seeing little to no effect to 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. 

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 irrigation specialists indicate that correctly installed and maintained systems will work with a pressure of 20m to 25m, and pressure management will deliver pressures of 35m or greater. 

You may experience reduced “throw” from your sprinklers, the distance the water is dispersed from the sprinkler head. 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 35m or greater. You may want to contact the manufacturer of your appliance to alleviate any concerns. 

Will variation to the water pressure impact the pressure of fire services? 
The system is still suitable to supply water for firefighting. 

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 discuss any potential changes in water pressure. 

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 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. 

Our representatives will be available at the following locations to answer any questions you may have.

Falcon e-Library and Community Centre, Corner Flavia Street & Cobblers Road, Falcon
Saturday 22 October
10:00am until 11:30am
Wednesday 2 November 10:00am until 11:30am
Car park, Erskine Central Shopping Centre, Old Coast Road & Oakleigh Drive, Erskine
 Saturday 22 October 12:00pm until 12:30pm 

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.

Contact details

For more, 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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