Leak Detection Program

Our Leak Detection Program runs in all areas of greater Sydney. 

Two workmen digging hole on side of footpath

Our teams are on standby 365 days a year to fix water leaks.

About leak detection

We have a network of over 21,000 kilometres of water pipes. Leak detection and repair is one of the main ways we reduce water loss.

We monitor rainfall and soil moisture levels to predict where leaks are likely to occur. Soil expands and contracts with changes to moisture levels in the ground. This can cause pipes to crack.

We reduce leaks from pipes through a number of initiatives. In recent years, our leak detection programs have reduced water loss by about 30 billion litres each year.

Replacing cast iron pipes 

About 90% of our leaks and breaks are from cast iron pipes. The structure of cast iron changes over time as it reacts with soil and water. This causes pipes to break. 

We haven't used cast iron pipes since the 1980s. We now use a variety of ductile iron, steel and PVC pipes.

Monitoring and responding to water leaks

We use acoustic devices to pick up the noise water makes as it leaks from pipes. This helps us quickly identify and repair hidden leaks. We'll inspect up to 8,000 kilometres of pipes this year.

In areas that have high water pressure, we install pressure reducing valves to reduce the stress on pipes and lower the number of leaks and breaks in pipes.

When you report a water leak, we'll send out a crew to attend. Our response time will depend on the amount of water flow and risk to the surrounding area.
Our work to manage and repair water leaks is ongoing.

Our teams work 365 days a year to repair leaks and save water.

Some work may take as little as a few days, while other projects can take several months.

In longer projects, such as replacing large water pipes, work often happens across a few streets. It's unlikely that we'll work in front of your property for the whole length of the project.

If we're working in your area, we'll write to affected customers. We may also door knock your property to discuss the work and its impacts in detail. If you'd like more information about work we're currently doing in your area, call us on 13 20 92

Why can’t we prevent all water leaks?

To stop all water leaks would cost billions of dollars.

Instead, we identify leaks through ongoing maintenance and inspections. We have teams on standby 365 days a year to fix any water leaks that are found.

How much water do we save by repairing leaks?

We save about 30 billion litres of water each year through our Leak Reduction Program. That's enough to supply about 250,000 homes.

By replacing the most critical pipes first, we minimise the risk of pipes breaking and water loss.

How can you find out more about saving water?

Read our Water wise tips.

To report a leak or fault on Sydney Water’s pipes or assets, call us on 13 20 90         (24 hours, 7 days).

To learn more about our water program, contact our Community Relations Team by:
Sydney Water, Community Relations - Water program
PO Box 399, Parramatta NSW 2124