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We are a medium-rise block in a hilly part of Sydney. Late last year, residents of our top floor found that water pressure was fluctuating to a point where their supply sometimes failed. They complained to Sydney Water and were told that nothing had changed; they should ask a plumber to check the building’s water pipes. So we bought a pressure meter and discovered that the supply pressure at the building’s main connection fluctuated and could be as low as 340 kilopascals. We complained again and were told that was within standards.
Then we asked the building next door. They’d noticed it too. Armed with this information, we complained a third time and fortunately Sydney Water accepted our complaint and restored pressure in our area to more than 400 kPa which solved the problem.
A booklet was enclosed with our quarterly water bills recently, Reading the fine print, one sees that the minimum pressure standard is 15 metres’ head at the point of connection. That’s just 147 kPa or 21 psi.
I don’t know why 340 kPa won’t get water up to our top floor. But I do know that if supply pressure drops to 147 kPa then residential buildings all over Sydney will have to install and maintain booster pumps. No doubt the pumps will fail occasionally and then everyone’s supply will fail.
Has anyone else worked through this matter?
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