- Project No 1091
- Project Name Management of potential contamination risks from pipeline repair or renewal works
- Lead Organisation Water Research Australia
- Research Lead Atom Consulting
- Main Researcher Natalie Crawford, Annalisa Contos
- Completion Year 2018
Water treatment plants (WTP) produce safe drinking water that does not contain harmful microscopic pathogens, but subsequent pipe-leaks or valve or hydrant malfunctions en route to the customers tap increase the risk of pathogens entering the public water supply. International studies indicate a small increase in gastroenteritis for some customers downstream of mains pipeline breaks and repairs. This research compiled Australian cases and found that health risks are probably lower than international examples for many reasons, including that sewer and drinking water pipes tend not to be laid in the same trench. After improving understanding regarding the contamination risks of renewal and water main repair activities in Australia, a control and management framework was produced in accordance with the ADWG. This gives guidance to water utilities about staff training, risk assessment and optimal documentation processes for dynamic site evaluations and repair control mechanisms.