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Urban Utilities has undertaken a $400,000 project in partnership with industry to develop a valve locking device designed to improve safety and water network security.  

The project involved designing a fit-for-purpose lock-out device which allows valves in the water network to be securely locked and isolated. 

Urban Utilities spokesperson, Michelle Cull, said that the innovation would help protect workers and members of the public during network maintenance activities. 

“The water network is pressurised to ensure a safe and reliable service for customers, but this means there can be hazards if water is released when or where it shouldn’t be,” Ms Cull said. 

“This device means operators can’t inadvertently open or close a valve, improving safety for our workers and the wider community. 

“It also prevents the potential tampering of valves which could lead to unnecessary water supply interruptions.” 

While there are similar devices already on the market, Urban Utilities identified a gap, working with Mass Products to custom design a lock specifically for round valve boxes. 

These types of valves are commonly found throughout the water network in the Brisbane CBD. 

Mass Products Managing Director, Paul Harazim, said that the company is really proud to have collaborated with Urban Utilities on this project.  

“Like Urban Utilities, safety is our number one priority, and we’re glad we’ve been able to come up with a solution that enhances just that,” Mr Harazim said.  

Mass Products developed several prototypes which were tested in the field and adjusted following feedback from crews.  

Urban Utilities is now conducting internal training ahead of the devices being rolled out.  

They will be used on all compatible valves during network isolations, and a mandatory condition of network access permits issued to delivery partners. 

Featured image: The valve lock device. Image credit: Urban Utilities.  

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