If you’re a commercial property owner or body corporate, you need to maintain your fire service and the amount of water you use during testing.
Private fire/sprinkler services form part of the building infrastructure that they are attached to and are therefore the responsibility of the property owner. Importantly, this includes maintenance of pipes running through other properties such as under roads or neighbouring properties.
Leaks and repairs
It is the responsibility of the owner to undertake any repairs including any works on other private or public land, including any roads or footpaths that may be affected.
- In emergencies, we may assist to minimise the damage caused by leaking fire pipework. If we provide assistance, the cost of the work will be billed to the owner of the fire service.
- Where there is doubt over the location of a leak on a fire service, we may undertake excavation and repairs. If the fault is found to be located on the owner’s section of the pipe, we will issue a bill to recover our costs.
- Occasionally, a passer-by or neighbour may report a leak to Yarra Valley Water relating to a fire service. When this happens, we notify the owner of the service and ask that the leak be fixed. If the leak is substantial, Yarra Valley Water will shut down the fire service and notify the site occupier of the need for a repair. We also notify the fire brigade of the risk. If the owner is unable to arrange for a plumber, Yarra Valley Water is authorised to undertake the repairs at the owner’s expense.
In all cases, we prefer to negotiate on these matters so that all parties can be satisfied. If you are served a notice to repair, please don't hesitate to call us to discuss how the repair is best managed. If the leak is not repaired in accordance with notices issued by Yarra Valley Water, we may shut off the fire service or may undertake spot repairs at the owner’s cost.
Reducing water use
You are charged for the water used for general use, during testing or if there is a leak. In only a small number of cases, water is used for firefighting. But with responsible and efficient testing and management, you can save a significant amount of water and reduce the amount you pay.
Here are some ideas to help you reduce the amount of water you get charged for:
- Monitor your water usage and determine how much water you use lose through leakage.
- Test fire sprinklers monthly instead of weekly.
- Adjust the sprinkler system settings.
- Consider reusing cooling water from fire service pumps.
- Recirculate water from pressure relief valves.
- Recirculate water used in testing by installing a water tank.
- Undertake regular leakage detection checks.
It is important to work closely with a fire service consultant to ensure that your fire services continue to meet your needs.
If you want advice on these matters, please call us on 1300 651 511.