We aim to provide a minimum pressure of 220 kPA in the City's water mains. This pressure is at the point of connection to each property that is serviced by the City's public water supply network.
Water pressure in the City's water supply network can vary between 220 kPA to around 900 kPA. We try to keep water pressure below 900 kPA in order to:
- reduce leakage from pipe joints, valves, hydrants and fittings, thus reducing water loss and costs
- reduce burst pipes which lowers repair costs and water loss
- reduce damage to private plumbing.
Managing a water pressure issue
The Australian Standards AS/NZS 3500 states that provisions must be made so that the maximum operating pressure within a building, other than a fire service outlet, does not exceed 500kPa. As a result buildings constructed or renovated since 2003 may have a pressure reduction valve fitted.
Sometimes you may experience water pressure issues due to:
- problems with your property's plumbing (like a blocked pipe, concealed leak or faulty pressure reduction valve)
- new water appliances being installed on your property
- a burst pipe or leaking water main
- short periods of extreme water demand
- fire-fighting activity in your area
- City maintenance activities (like hydrant flushing or flow testing)
- natural pressure variations due to your location (e.g. being very high on a hill).
If you have low pressure
- Do a simple bucket test to see if you have low pressure:
- Find the tap nearest to your water meter (this is usually the front outdoor tap).
- Turn the tap on full and record the time it takes to fill a 9-litre bucket.
- If this takes a lot longer than 30 seconds, you may have low water pressure.
- Check with your neighbours to see if they are also experiencing low water pressure. If they don't have low pressure, this may indicate a problem with your private plumbing.
- Check the City's Alert page to see if there are any unplanned or planned water interruptions in your area. We may be undertaking maintenance works in your area which could lower the water pressure.
- If you can't see a water interruption in your area, check the water pressure at all your cold water taps, inside and outside. If the low pressure is only at particular taps, then you have an internal plumbing issue.
- Check your stop tap or valves on your water meter and make sure they are fully open. These valves control the flow of water into your property.
- Check for internal leaks on your property. Learn how to check for leaks on your property.
- Check the time and frequency of low-pressure occurrences. Pressure can be impacted by demand and most people use more water in the mornings and evenings before and after work.
- Check your internal plumbing infrastructure. The main cause of low pressure in houses built after 2006 is a blockage or restriction in a pressure reduction valve. These are normally installed on your side of the water meter and are put in place to protect your internal plumbing from pressure variations in water supplied to your property. Sometimes these fail and need replacing or adjusting. A licensed plumber will be needed to repair or adjust a pressure reduction valve.
If you have tried all of the above and cannot work out why your water pressure is low, please call us on 1300 000 928.
If you have high pressure
There may be a number of reasons why you may experience high water pressure:
- You may be located in an area that naturally receives a higher water pressure (e.g. at the bottom of a hill where a water storage reservoir is located).
- You may not have a pressure reduction valve installed on the side of the water meter to maintain the water pressure to your property to below 500 kPA.
If you are concerned about your pressure being too high, we recommend engaging a plumber to fit a pressure reduction valve on your side of the water meter.
Managing fire-system testing compliance problems
Fire systems will occasionally fail to deliver the expected flow and pressure. This could be due to:
- internal issues (most common issue)
- flow and pressure, which decreases over time
- an issue in the City's water distribution network.
The fire system failure investigation guidelines outline the steps you should take and the information you will need to gather before calling our customer contact centre.
Download Fire system failure – investigation guidelines(PDF, 41KB)
Once you have followed the investigation guidelines in Step 1 of the fact sheet, call our customer contact centre on 1300 000 928 to report a problem.
Flow and pressure testing
The City offers an advisory service to hydraulic consultants to ensure that internal plumbing and firefighting systems meet fire safety standards.
A Water Network Hydraulic Information Report provides information about the flow and pressure in the existing water supply infrastructure. This information is required in order to design and construct water supply and fire fighting services in accordance with Australian Standards referenced by the National Construction Code.
A Water Network Hydraulic Information Report is not normally required for single dwellings or non-habitable structures such as garages.
Flow and pressure tests for private on-lot fire hydrants or tests required for fire safety compliance purposes should be done by private operators.
Lodge an application for a flow and pressure test report
Find out more about flow and pressure testing and Water Network and Hydraulic Information Reports in the Water and Sewerage Connections Policy or call us on 1300 000 928.