Fire services

Find details of private and public fire services.

What is a fire service?

A fire service is a privately owned asset that provides direct access to the water supply system installed for the sole purpose of extinguishing fires. Water authorities allow properties to connect to this system for firefighting.

Fire services have a variety of functions and can be made up of a number of types including:

  • hydrants
  • sprinkler systems
  • hose reels
  • a combination of these types.

Generally, a Fire Service Consultant or Hydraulic Designer specified the size and type of fire service required to protect a building and meet the relevant Australian Standard.

Need to find details of private and public fire services for building and design?

In some situations you might require information on pressure and flow details available within water mains for fire fighting purposes. This information is used by hydraulic consultants to design fire fighting systems for new and existing buildings.

We can provide these details. To make a request, visit Property+ and apply online.

Use and maintenance of private fire services

Using water from a fire service for purposes other than firefighting constitutes a misuse of the fire service. Misuse of a fire service is illegal under the Water Industry Act 2000.

Misuse may include activities such as:

  • Washing footpaths and driveways.
  • Watering gardens.
  • Washing vehicles.
  • Using the fire service to supplement a property's general water supply.

All water usage for the above activities must go through the general meter.

Maintenance of a private fire service

Greater Western Water is responsible for maintaining the water main and the fire service valve up to its outlet flange.

The property owner is responsible for maintaining the private fire service and its components which include the bolts, nuts and rubber insertions that secure the private fire service to the fire service valve.

Maintenance will also include testing at least twice a year in line with the Building Code of Australia.

If changes are made to a property's plumbing system, it is the owner's responsibility to ensure the fire service continues to function correctly and remains compliant with regulations. It may be necessary to request the services of a hydraulic consultant to assess the premises before and after any works are completed.

Example of a fire service is pictured below.

Fire services

Repairing a private fire service

The property owner is responsible for undertaking any necessary alterations or repair any leaks or bursts on a private fire service. The Water Industry Regulations require a registered plumber to carry out all repair works to a fire service.

If we become aware of a leak or burst on a private fire service a 'Notice of Repair' will be issued to the owner specifying a date by which the repairs must be completed.

This also includes all road openings, traffic management and supplying temporary water supply for domestic use unless prior arrangements have been made with us.

In an emergency we may enter the property and carry out any required works. If the leak or required works become dangerous or pose a possible health risk, we may restrict water supply to the property or arrange for the works to be completed at the owner's expense.

Please note that the property owner is responsible for the payment of repair work, and may also be liable for any damages that occur as a result of a fire service's pipe failure.

Operating a fire service valve

Operation of the fire service valve may only be undertaken by our authorised officer or a licensed plumber acting on behalf of the property owner.

The detector check valve

All new fire services and any modification to an existing fire service must include a detector check valve assembly in the fire line system. A detector check valve comprises a spring loaded check valve in parallel with a by-pass meter assembly.

In a non-flow condition, the mainline check and by-pass check are closed and the meter is idle. High pressure flows will open the mainline check, providing unrestricted supply for firefighting duties.

During operation at low flow rates, the mainline check remains closed so that low flows through the fire line system are registered by the by-pass meter.

Fire Service Charge

From 1 July, 2019 Greater Western Water introduced a Fire Service Charge of $103.24 annually and charged at $25.81 per quarter, which impacts customers who own a private fire service connection.

The charge covers costs related to the design, operation and maintenance of our water network to ensure it is capable of supporting the high pressure flow necessary from a private fire service, in the event of a fire. A private fire service can include fire hydrants, hose reels and sprinklers.

The charge brings Greater Western Water into alignment with industry standards and other metropolitan water corporations who already have such charges in place. Costs are outlined in the 2018 Essential Services Commission (ESC) pricing submission.

How do I know if my property has a private fire service?

A fire service is a privately owned asset that provides direct access to the water supply network and is installed for the purpose of extinguishing a fire. Water authorities allow properties to connect the network for firefighting. Features of these fire services likely to be apparent on your property include hose reels, fire hydrants, and automatic sprinkler systems. These surface fittings can be easily identified by their red colour.

What is the Fire Service Charge?  

Greater Western Water provides some customer sites with private fire services connections to our water network, to deliver water in the event of a fire. In response to changes in our responsibilities under the Water Regulations 2014, we are introducing a private Fire Service Charge that will cover the cost of operations and maintenance of the water network and fire service connection to allow for high pressure water in the case of a fire.

How much does the Fire Service Charge cost?

The Fire Service Charge is $103.24 annually per fire service, billed quarterly ($25.81 per quarter).

Am I affected by the new charge?

The charge will only affect you if you own a property that has a private fire service connection. A charge will be levied on a per-connection basis. This means that customers with multiple fire service connections are charged for each private fire service connection at their property.

What is the charge paying for?

The Fire Service Charge pays for costs associated with the operations and maintenance of the water network as well as the fire service connection. This ensures continuous access to high-pressure flow is available in the event of an emergency fire. The charge also provides programs to identify unmetered water use through private fire services, resulting in a reduction in water use in identified cases.  

How does it benefit me?

The Fire Service Charge pays for costs associated with the operation and maintenance of the water network as well as fire service connection. This ensures access to of high-pressure flow which is required in the event of a fire. A fire service connected to the water network means customers are able to minimise costs for private fire-fighting infrastructure.

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