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Western Water smoking out cross-connections

21 January 2021

Western Water is ‘smoking’ its sewer network to detect any cross-connections to their system, as part of its ongoing investment program.

Cross-connections exist when a pipe is incorrectly connected to the Western Water system, allowing stormwater to enter the sewer network.

This can cause major problems for their infrastructure and is particularly stressful to the system during periods of high rainfall where it can cause pipe blockages and sewer spills.

The innovative ‘smoking’ technology involves blowing non-toxic smoke into the network, which passes through sewer pipes before it eventually evaporates. If a pipe is cross-connected to the sewer network, the smoke escapes and becomes visible in the air, alerting Western Water to the incorrect connection.

Western Water launched the program recently in Hopetoun and several cross-connections into their network were detected.

Since identifying the cross-connections, Western Water has had more than a 90% success rate with rectifying them.

Following the successful launch of the program in Hopetoun, Western Water is expanding the program further across their service area, with the next inspections to occur in Maddingley, Bacchus Marsh.

Customers are advised to engage a licensed plumber if they suspect there are any issues with their connections.


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