Why a third pipe?

    Your property is served by a third pipe scheme. This means that in addition to the two pipes that serve many properties – water and wastewater – your property is also served by a pipe that provides non-drinking water for irrigation. Over 40 per cent of drinking water supplied to residential customers is used to irrigate lawns and gardens. Third pipe schemes save our precious drinking water supplies by using other water sources for irrigation.

    If you have any questions or concerns about the operation of this service, please contact us on 13 13 75.

    How will I be charged for this service?

    You will receive a non-drinking water service charge based on the size of your block. This will be billed two-monthly or annually based on your billing arrangement with Water Corporation. This charge will appear on your Water Corporation service account.

    The charge is based on the non‑drinking water service being available to your property, so vacant land and properties that have not connected will be charged for the service. This is the fairest way to charge, as it means all properties contribute to the cost of providing and maintaining the non‑drinking water service.

    The charge is in addition to our other service charges for drinking water, wastewater and/or drainage. However, it is anticipated that the non-drinking water service charge will be offset by savings in your drinking water use charges. You will be charged service charges even if you do not actively use the service.

    In future, non-drinking water schemes may be metered, meaning residents will be charged for the volume of non-drinking water they use.

    If you have any enquiries or concerns about the charges related to this service, please contact us on 13 13 85.

    How will I know about planned and unplanned outages?

    We make every effort to minimise interruption to your water supply but sometimes we need to carry out planned maintenance and we will advise you when this occurs.

    If unplanned interruptions occur, these will be attended to during normal business hours. We will endeavour to restore the service as soon as possible.

    What is the quality of the water?

    Our non-drinking water sources meet the Department of Health’s requirements for garden watering only.

    Although unlikely, the trace levels of iron and calcium in some groundwater sources may gradually stain buildings or pathways. We cannot guarantee that this will not happen if the buildings and pathways are regularly sprayed.

    To prevent this from happening, we encourage you to set up your irrigation system so water only sprays onto your lawns and gardens. This will also ensure the water is used efficiently.

    How can I tell which pipe is the non-drinking water service?

    The non-drinking water is supplied to your property via a purple pipe. At your property boundary, this service is connected to your garden irrigation system and distributed throughout your garden via your irrigation pipes.


    What can I use the water from my non-drinking water service for?

    The water supplied by your nondrinking water service must only be used for watering your lawn and garden through your automatic garden irrigation system. Water from this service is not to be used for anything else.

    The water is also not suitable for pets and animals. You are responsible for the correct use of the non-drinking water service within your property. All external taps must be connected to your normal drinking water service.

    Do I have to connect to this service?

    We strongly encourage you to connect to this service. A Section 70A Notification has been lodged on your land Title advising potential purchasers of the existence of the non-drinking water service and its appropriate use.

    When will my irrigation come on to water my garden?

    Your non-drinking water service may be allowed to operate outside the watering roster for scheme (drinking water) users, except for the permanent winter sprinkler ban from 1 June to 31 August each year.

    This is because the third pipe schemes have been designed with the following water efficient features:

    1. Watering times will be programmed to irrigate public open spaces, road reserves and residential gardens based on pre‑agreed schedules.

    2. Your household irrigation controller will ensure that water is only delivered to your property in accordance with the Irrigation Association of Australia’s Domestic Irrigation Standard (IAA Standard).

    3. At the time of installation of your garden irrigation system, your controller will be programmed. After four weeks the watering program will be adjusted to meet the ongoing watering needs of your garden in accordance with the IAA Standard. Waterwise gardens and garden irrigation systems may be provided by the land developer as part of your landscaping package.

    We recommend you seek expert advice of your local Waterwise Garden Centre for suitable plant selection and care.

    Can anything impact my service?

    While we will make every effort to ensure we deliver the level of service outlined above, there may be factors that affect the operation of this service:

    • Repairs and maintenance

    • Infrastructure breakdowns or faults

    • Restrictions imposed on the scheme as part of the Allocation Licence issued by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

    • Accidents or emergencies

    • Drought

    What can I expect from Water Corporation in relation to my non-drinking water service?

    The water from your non-drinking water service will:

    • Meet the Department of Health’s requirements for water quality for this service. We continually monitor water quality. If our monitoring finds that the water quality does not meet these requirements, we will undertake actions to address this as approved by the Department of Health.

    We will:

    • Maintain the infrastructure necessary to deliver the non‑drinking water service to your property boundary.

    • Notify you well in advance of all planned work that may require entry onto your property.

    • Conduct cross-connection checks to make sure the non-drinking water service has not been connected in any way to the pipes used to supply drinking water to your property

    • Inspect the irrigation controller programming and make sure the controller is still programmed according to the IAA Standard.

    Will Water Corporation be responsible for maintaining my sprinklers and the irrigation pipes in my lawn and garden?


    No. As with your drinking water supply, our responsibilities stop at your property boundary. You are responsible for maintaining your household garden irrigation system.

    What else am I responsible for?

    You are also responsible for:

    • ensuring the water supplied by your non-drinking water service is used for lawn and garden irrigation only

    • notifying occupants, visitors and guests of the presence of the non-drinking water service and its appropriate use

    • promptly notifying us of any service difficulties. If it is found that you are experiencing these issues as a result of a fault in your internal irrigation pipe work or sprinklers, you will be responsible for meeting any costs associated with reinstating the service

    • notifying us if your irrigation controller needs to be replaced or isn’t functioning correctly. If required, faulty controllers will be replaced by Water Corporation.

    • observing the permanent winter sprinkler ban which applies to all scheme (drinking water) and bore water users in Perth, Mandurah and some parts of the South West, from 1 June to 31 August each year.

    What are my watering days and times during sprinkler season?

    From 1 September to 31 May each year, your irrigation system is programmed to operate three days a week, in line with the Department of Water and Environment garden bore user regulations. Watering times are:

    • Odd numbered houses - between 12 midnight and 3am on your standard watering days
    • Even numbered houses - between 3am and 6am, on your standard watering days

    Still not sure? Look up your watering days.

    What kind of water does the scheme use?

    The third pipe scheme draws water from the local shallow aquifer via five bores in the public open space. Pressure is used by the bores to push groundwater to connected properties through a series of pipes (known as a collector main system) to each individual property.

    We maintain the bores, meters and pipes that make up the collector main system. All reticulation systems, pipe work and sprinklers located on individual properties are to be maintained by property owners.

    As this is non drinking water, the water supplied from the third pipe scheme must only be used for watering your lawn and garden through your irrigation system. All external taps are to be connected to normal drinking water supplies.

    The water meets Department of Health standards for garden irrigation and is monitored regularly, with the system automatically programmed to operate between 10pm and 6am to minimise exposure.

    Please do not use this water for drinking, making beverages, ice or food preparation, bathing, showering or any purpose which may result in the water being consumed or inhaled.