Yarra Valley Water trials tree-root preservation technology

Monday, 16 February, 2015

Yarra Valley Water is trialling new, environmentally friendly technology to help preserve as many tree roots as possible growing in the vicinity of the utility’s water pipes.

Managing director Pat McCafferty explained that Yarra Valley Water wanted to be able to conduct pipe maintenance around the trees while still providing the best possible service to its customers. He noted, “In the past we have actually built pipes around large trees, but this can impact water pressure and is also a costly exercise.”

Now the company is working with council arborists to trial hydro-excavation technology, which uses water pressure to remove the dirt around the tree roots causing minimum disturbance to the roots. By using water pressure the structural integrity of the tree is more likely to be maintained, reducing the risk of possible tree removal.


Left: pipe cleared by hydro-excavation. Right: tree roots following hydro-excavation.

“By using hydro-excavation where possible, we are saving around $4000 each time, whilst maintaining the service we offer to our customers,” McCafferty said.

“By embracing new ideas and techniques, we hope to achieve the best outcome for the community by preserving the local environment wherever possible. We are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve the way we do things for the benefit of our customers.”

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