Water Pressure Management Program

How we minimise leaks and breaks

When water pressure is too high, it can lead to breaks and leaks in our water pipes. Our Water Pressure Management Program ensures we can provide a reliable and constant water supply, at a consistent pressure. This important program runs in all areas of Greater Sydney.

Excessive water pressure can lead to breaks and leaks in our water pipes. Water pressure management ensures we can provide a reliable and constant water supply, at a consistent pressure. Water pressure management targets areas where pressure levels are well above average and there's a history of breaks in our water pipes.

Most properties across Sydney have pressure between 15 and 65 metres. The current average pressure across our area of operations is 52 metres.

We use pressure reduction valves to achieve more consistent water pressure levels.

Program benefits

Water pressure management has a number of benefits, as it:

  • reduces water demand and leaks to help meet water conservation targets
  • improves the reliability and continuity of supply by reducing pipe breaks
  • reduces pressure fluctuations to achieve more consistent water pressure across our system
  • extends the life of our water supply pipes and assets.

Water pressure management areas

We target areas where water pressure levels are higher than average, and we're currently planning the next areas to manage.

What is water pressure?

Water pressure is the force needed to move water from our main supply pipes into customers' private pipes.

How does water pressure management work?

We reduce water pressure gradually. We use pressure reduction valves and monitoring points to achieve more consistent, lower water pressure levels across our water supply network.

How could water pressure management affect you?

Most residents and businesses in pressure managed areas won't be significantly affected.

Reducing the water pressure doesn’t mean you’ll have less water. You may need to turn on the tap more and it could take a little longer to fill a bath or washing machine.

In areas where we manage water pressure, we'll help you prepare for any changes in pressure. Some instantaneous hot water systems, corroded galvanised pipes or existing pressure reducing valves may not work as effectively with reduced water pressure. If you have these, you may need to upgrade them.

Private infrastructure (like a fire protection system) that depends on water pressure may also be affected. Property owners are responsible for the design and working order of fire protection systems and other water pressure dependent systems and devices on their property.

Why do some areas have higher pressure than others?

Water is distributed to customers through a network of water supply zones. Water reservoirs are located at high points in each supply zone and water is distributed from the reservoir across the zone using gravity.

Water pressure varies at different locations in the zone, depending on:

  • how far you are from the reservoir
  • your property’s elevation in relation to the reservoir.

This means properties in low areas receive higher water pressure. Properties in high areas receive lower water pressure.

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What should I do if I have a water pressure problem?

Check that:

  • the tap on your water meter that controls flow to your property is fully turned on
  • any taps that control flow to your hot water system and other devices are fully turned on.

To find out more, call us on 1300 466 820 or email waterpm@sydneywater.com.au.