As our cities and towns grow, local government faces continued pressure to provide a safe and pleasant environment for the public. High pressure steam cleaning of pavements and plazas, and even graffiti removal, can create breaches of EPA regulations.

What is water pollution?

By definition of the act, water pollution is introducing any matter into waters which changes the physical, chemical or biological condition of the water.

Cleaning with wastewater, which carries whatever contaminates are being cleaned off the job, into stormwater drains is a breach.

Analysis of breaches indicates that some local government bodies or their contractors have been forced to pay substantial fines for illegal disposal of the contaminated waste into the water catchment.

Fines of up to $5 million or seven year imprisonment for individuals can also be applied. In other words, this is a very serious matter.

One Sydney-based company, Australian Pump Industries, has developed a machine designed to allow high pressure steam cleaning of streetscapes to be carried out while practicing “clean and capture”.

This system means that the pressure cleaning of flat or vertical surfaces can be captured, vacuumed into the machine, filtered and reused.

The trailer or truck mounted system comprises a minimum 1000 litre water tank, a steam cleaner and integrated vacuum system, becoming a mobile cleaning station that reuses its own captured water to carry out cleaning tasks.

Called the Aussie Hydro-Loop, the machine means that cityscapes like plazas and outdoor eating areas can be easily cleaned with the machine’s high pressure steam capability.

The main drive for the system is a water cooled Kubota diesel engine, with a top quality ‘Big Berty’ Bertolini triplex high pressure pump providing 4000psi and 20lpm flow at the heart of the system.

“We’ve designed this machine with councils and government departments in mind.

“Contractors also use the unit because of its unique loop system that leaves the job completely clean without polluting the environment,” Aussie Pumps’ Chief Engineer, John Hales, said.

The strength of the system is not only its high pressure but the fact that the unit can operate at water temperatures of up to 120 degrees celsius.

“When temperature is applied with pressure to graffiti it just peels off the wall,” Mr Hales said.  

“Other jobs like sanitising amenity areas and sports facilities, or removing oil stains from council operated car parks or streetscapes are easy due to the machine’s high steam capabilities.”

Like all systems, operators need to be properly trained to make sure they carry spare filters for the clean and capture systems.

In the event of filters becoming blocked during a job, they can be changed out quickly, in a matter of minutes.

Diesels are noisy

Yes they are! The latest version of the Aussie Hydro-Loop high pressure cleaning system operates at 75dbA.

Chores like cleaning of the Sydney Opera House forecourt or the back alleys around nightclubs in the CBD, can all be carried out without disturbing residents – even at night.

Silencing is not achieved by the machine being cased in a large sound proof box.

Rather, a high-tech engineering approach has been used to develop stainless steel panels that absorb the noise without creating the danger of overheating.

“The real benefit of the Hydro-Hush system is that we can provide low noise levels and at the same time not run the risk of breakdowns due to lack of airflow in and around the machine,” Mr Hales said.

Some councils have made a valiant effort to comply with EPA rules by using truck mounted high pressure steam cleaners, some of them silenced with big enclosures.

A mobile street sweeper goes behind to pick up whatever residue runs into the gutter.

This requires two vehicles and three men to achieve what could be done by one operator with a Hydro-Hush Loop system.

Where vertical cleaning is concerned, a berm, supplied with the machine, will dam the wastewater. It is then vacuumed up into the filtration system and reused.  

“The Hydro-Hush Loop system is a revolution. It provides huge labour savings but also, more importantly, enables local government bodies and their contractors to comply with the EPA’s strict approach,” Mr Hales said.

This partner content is brought to you by Australian Pump Industries.  For more information, visit

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

©2024 Utility Magazine. All rights reserved


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?