Maintaining our water supply

Sydney Water maintenace crew fixing leaks on footpath with truck

We'll inspect 15,000 to 18,000 kilometres of water pipes during the year.

To ensure a reliable water supply, we're continually:

  • maintaining the quality of our drinking water
  • checking for leaks and repairing them
  • managing water pressure
  • improving our water network infrastructure
  • looking for other ways to better manage resources to save water.

Why do leaks and breaks occur on our network?

We manage 22,000 kilometres of water pipes so dealing with leaks and breaks is a normal part of operating a water utility.

Changing weather or ground conditions, tree roots and construction work can all contribute to breaks. We have ongoing proactive maintenance programs to try to manage the impacts of these and prevent leaks occurring, as well as programs to find and fix leaks on our systems. You can read about some of these programs below.


What we're doing 

We replace aged and damaged water pipes, valves, hydrants and may repair private water service pipes to improve the water supply system.

We also maintain and upgrade our water reservoirs and pumping stations.

This work reduces the risk of pipes breaking. It also helps maintain the reliability of our water supply and provide good quality drinking water.

Water asset maintenance and renewal  

  • Location - various suburbs across Sydney
  • Timeframe - ongoing

We assess the condition of our large water pipes to get information about which pipes need to be repaired or replaced before they break.

As part of our maintenance program, we also clean and refurbish our water reservoirs and replace aging electrical monitoring equipment.

Learn more about our Water Asset Maintenance and Renewals Program.  

High water pressure can lead to breaks in water pipes and cause leaks in our water system.

The aim of our Water Pressure Program is to adjust and achieve more consistent pressure levels in our water supply system. This helps to:

  • reduce the number of pipe breaks
  • improve the reliability of the water supply system
  • save water.

Water pressure management

  • Location - various suburbs across Sydney
  • Timeframe - ongoing
We're reducing water pressure in various areas across Sydney where the pressure is excessively high.

Learn more about our Water Pressure Management Program.

Water pressure monitoring

Water drops

Managing water pressure helps prevent leaks and breaks.

  • Location - various suburbs across Sydney
  • Timeframe - ongoing
We're monitoring and improving water pressure levels in various areas across Sydney. This involves replacing old pressure gauges and installing booster pumps in areas with very low or inconsistent water pressure.

Learn more about our Water Pressure Monitoring Program.

Changes in rainfall, temperature, soil type, water pressure and ground movement can cause leaks or lead to breaks in water pipes.

We use world's best practice to find hidden leaks and repair our water pipes.

This saves about 30 billion litres of water each year and helps maintain the reliability of our water supply system.

Leak detection

Man kneeling on grass holding metal equipment

We use acoustic devices to find hidden water leaks.

  • Location - various suburbs across Sydney
  • Timeframe - ongoing

We have a network of over 22,000 kilometres of water pipes. Leak detection and repair is one of the main ways we reduce water loss.

Learn more about our Leak Detection Program.

Our new approach to water conservation

To help us get value for money on our water conservation investment, we developed a new approach.

How does the method work?

When we decide whether to invest in water conservation projects, we look at the potential costs and benefits for:

  • Sydney Water
  • our customers
  • the environment.

This method adapts to changes in dam storage levels so we can make sure we're making the right investment at the right time. 

How does the method affect our Water Conservation Program?

Each year, we report to the government on how we conserve water

The Water Conservation Report outlines our plan for the next five years and how we prepared it using the new method. It also reports on costs and water savings from our program across the year.

Find out more about  Determining Sydney Water's Economic Level of Water Conservation.

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Report a leak

If you've seen water leaking in a public space such as on a road or footpath, please tell us so we can investigate and fix the problem. We prioritise leaks depending on how severe they are, but also on how much disruption they'll cause to the community. We fix them as soon as we can. 

Report a leak  

If the problem is urgent, or you're reporting between 11 pm and 6 am, please call us on  13 20 90

Report a leak - Flowing

If you see a leak on the road or footpath, even if it's just a trickle, please let us know.

Have your say about our projects

Female staff member talking to a man next to a metal fence

Your feedback is important to us.

Visit Sydney Water Talk to learn more about our projects and provide feedback.