Sydney Water is collaborating with universities and industry participants in a $16 million international research project to investigate when and why water pipes burst.


Sydney Water’s Managing Director, Kevin Young, said that Sydney Water has contributed $5.5 million to the project.


“Sydney Water is providing a 1.5 km real life pipe test bed in Strathfield to research and assess the condition of pipes. Various access chambers and sensors will be placed along the pipe to trial equipment and make observations.


He said research data would then be used to develop software tools to help assess pipe defects in larger pipes, and to evaluate the remaining life of pipes.


The project is the largest international research collaboration led by Australia on buried water pipes. Research activities will include, analysing and forecasting pipe failure mechanisms and pipe loadings, developing models for pipe stresses and deterioration and improving data analysis for condition assessment.


 The five-year project is a collaboration between Sydney Water, Monash University, University of Newcastle and University of Technology Sydney. Six other Australian water authorities (including Water Corporation, Melbourne Water, Hunter Water, South Australia Water, South East Water and City West Water), the Water Research Foundation and Water Environment Research Foundation in the US, and UK Water Industry Research Ltd (UKWIR), are also partners in the project.


More information is at