Inside TasWater - Episode 11

24 July 2019

An increase in burst mains and leaks in an area of Launceston prompted a full investigation by TasWater recently.

Over a two week period TasWater crew members had been called to a number of burst mains and leaks in the West Launceston area, some worse than other. A number of water outages had also affected customers while water was isolated to repair the breaks.

An investigation was completed due to the number of incidents which confirmed the cause to be broken spring valves, which are believed to have been made in 1938. Spring valves are used throughout the water network to reduce and control water pressure within the mains. In this case, as the spring valve was not operating correctly, high or uncontrolled pressurised water was flowing through the area and proved to be too much for certain sections of the water mains to handle.


Once the issue was identified the Launceston coordinator urgently organised replacement valves and a crew to complete the work.  Works commenced on Monday, 22 July 2019. A pit around the valves was excavated to 1.5 metres deep. The old valves were carefully lifted out with the assistance of machinery as they weighed in excess of 250 kilograms each.

Two days after the work commenced crews lowered the new 200mm pressure relief valves into place.


TasWater carried out a number of tests to ensure the new valves were operating correctly before reinstating the site.

The replacement of the valves will ensure West Launceston continues to have a reliable water supply.


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