Victoria’s Western Water is trialing a new pipe-flushing method that can clean water mains without requiring the water supply to be turned off.

The neutral output discharge elimination systems (NO-DES) aims to reduce water main downtime and decrease water wastage.

Western Water Manager Field Services and Network Operations, Dean Barnett, said the water is cleaned and filtered as it recirculates through the main, ensuring little to no water is lost.

“This avoids having water wastage gushing down the street from a hydrant, which can be concerning for customers,” Mr Barnett said.

The NO-DES uses a truck fitted out with a filtering system that is connected to two adjacent hydrants.

Water is then pumped at high speed between the hydrants to stir up sediment and biofilms.

The ‘dirty’ water is cleaned through a 24-chamber filtration system and a small amount of chlorine may be added if needed.

“We are hoping this will prove to be a quick and effective method that will also allow us to clean mains that we have previously been unable to clean because we could not shut down critical infrastructure,” Mr Barnett said.

“It also has the advantage of saving water, especially as we head into the summer period, when water conservation is critical.”

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