Registered water carters are authorised to take and transport water from our hydrants.
Hydrants in our service area are usually used for firefighting. When you have a water carting permit, you can use the hydrants for water carting.
Here’s how to do it safely.
Carry your permit with you at all times
We will send you a permit once you have completed all the steps to become a registered water carter.
Always carry this permit with you as we may ask water carters for their permit as they are accessing our hydrants.
You no longer need to display a sticker on your truck.
Find the right kind of hydrant
An L-type hydrant and a below-ground hydrant with a marker pole.
There are a few types of hydrants in our service area.
You can draw water from L-type hydrants with red tops and below ground hydrants across our service area.
You can use ground ball hydrants in the Macedon Ranges, Moorabool, Hume and some parts of Melton and Wyndham.
Do not collect water from pillar ball hydrants (with round, red tops) and L-type hydrants (with black flat tops). These types of hydrants are connected to distribution water mains.
Use the correct equipment
When you access a hydrant, use a hydrant key and a hose with the correct kind of nozzle.
Make sure you have backflow prevention measures in place and that they are working. This includes using an approved reduced pressure zone device (RPZD) or having your vehicle equipped with an air gap.
Be safe around traffic
When you are accessing a hydrant near the road, use signs and traffic cones around your truck and wear a safety vest.
If possible, park your truck in a parking bay while you are accessing a hydrant.
Fill out your logbook
Every time you access a hydrant, fill out your logbook. Calculate your usage at the end of the month and email copies of your logbook to us.
It is illegal to access a hydrant without a valid permit. If you access a hydrant without a permit, you may face prosecution and fines.
Operating a hydrant
Always turn hydrants on or off slowly. Turning the water on or off too quickly can result in a shockwave (or water-hammer) running through the pipes. This will cause significant damage to the pipes and may affect the community’s water supply. Always turn hydrants on and off slowly.
Connecting to a hydrant
Before you connect to a hydrant, make sure you have working backflow prevention measures in place. This includes using an approved reduced pressure zone device (RPZD) or having your vehicle equipped with an air gap.
If you are connecting to a ground ball hydrant make sure that the ball is not damaged prior to connecting to the hydrant.
Connect to the hydrant using the correct equipment, including the hydrant key.
Slowly turn the water on in an anti-clockwise direction. Don't spray water over the road.
Disconnecting from a hydrant
Slowly turn the water off to avoid the hydrant seizing.
Disconnect from the hydrant and check that there is no water around the site.
Replace the hydrant's cover.
If something goes wrong
There are a few things that may cause hydrant and fire plug leaks, like stones caught in the fire plug, worn insertion rubbers or a damaged hydrant ball.
If something goes wrong while you are accessing a hydrant:
leave the connection in place, do not try and remove the connection with force
leave the water running, or if possible, turn the water off slowly.