Pipe rover heading underground to check network

New technology being trialled in the region could allow Western Water to find leaks and repair pipes without having to excavate or switch off customers’ water.

The Pipe Rover Project, an Australian first, is a partnership between Western Water and Ballarat’s Central Highlands Water as part of the Intelligent Water Networks Program.

“This technology could revolutionise the way we maintain our network of pipes, but more importantly, could provide great benefits for customers,” Western Water’s acting Managing Director, Rob Franklin, says.

“We are trialling three different methods for scanning the inside of pipes to identify leaks, weak spots or other problems, with no interruption to customers’ water supply,” he says.

“The pipe rovers then send back video footage and other information about the condition of the pipes, allowing us to prioritise our maintenance and fix small problems before they become big ones.”

Western Water recently spent two weeks with contractors trialling the technology in water mains across the region.
“Over the next few months we will be working with our partners in the IWN program to share trial results and look at the best way forward,” Mr Franklin says.

The Intelligent Water Networks Program is a partnership between VicWater, 19 water corporations and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries, in consultation with Office of Living Victoria.

The program is investigating new technologies and innovations to meet common challenges such as population growth, ageing infrastructure and climate variability in a more efficient manner.