Setting the scene

About Us

Inland city

A big difference for us is Canberra is an inland city which means we have to treat the sewage to a much higher standard because we have to put it back into a river, not the ocean.

During dry periods, our sewage treatment plant can provide up to 100% of the total flow of the Molonglo and Murrumbidgee Rivers.

Spread out

Canberra's pretty spread out; although this adds to its charm, it does mean more work goes into getting water to the same amount of people.

We have almost twice the length of water pipes per person here in Canberra than they do in Sydney (8.5 metres per person compared to 4.5 metres) - and this has implications for how we maintain our network.

Less rainfall

Typically, inland cities have less rainfall than coastal cities and although we aren't the only city that suffers from dry seasons, this is a challenge we can't overlook. 

Aside from ensuring water security for our households, we need to make sure we have enough to help fight fires in and around town.

Thirsty trees

Another challenge of a dry climate is that trees get thirsty and extend their roots in search of water which they often find in our pipes. 

This means more blockages and bursts - and we have to shut off your water while we fix it.

There are two things we can do about this; ensure water security so you can keep your trees quenched and make sure we've got the resources to fix bursts and blockages when they occur. 

Ageing infrastructure

As Canberra grew rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s, we laid a lot of water and sewer infrastructure to keep up. These are now around 50 years old and some are reaching the end of their expected life.

This means proactive work to replace the highest-risk areas before they fail and making sure we're ready to respond to lower-risk assets if they do need more reactive maintenance. 

These issues and many more are all the things we worry about, so you don't have to.