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What is a fire service?

A fire service is a privately owned asset that provides direct access to the water network installed for extinguishing fires. 

Applications to install and connect a fire service can be made to GWMWater. See Connect to an urban water main.

GWMWater will approve of the meter assembly, backflow prevention and connection to the water network. 

You will also need approval from a relevant building surveyor. A building surveyor is responsible for issuing an Occupancy Permit specifying the Essential Safety Measures under the Building Code of Australia.

Your building and fire engineering consultants will need to make sure the fire service is designed and constructed in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards and the Building Code of Australia for approval by a relevant building surveyor. 

Fire service design is a regulated activity in Victoria. Ensure your fire service is designed by a registered fire safety engineer. 

For more information see Essential Safety Measures - Responsibilities Framework.


Fire service valves and fittings

GWMWater supply the meters (at the owner’s cost) and a licensed plumber installs the appropriate fire service valves, fittings and meters in accordance with GWMWater requirements and conditions of connection, the relevant Australian Standards, and the Building Code of Australia. 

The fire service meter and backflow prevention device cannot be installed in a pit and must be installed 0.3m - 2.0m within the property, or common property, boundary fronting the GWMWater main. 

Standard Drawings:

  • R2022-29583 - Drawing 20 - Minimum Clearance for Private Fire Service Assemblies
  • R2022-29582 - Private Fire Service Tapping Configurations - Typical Arrangement 
  • R2022-29579 Drawing 14 - 100 mm Booster Connection Around Metered Private Fire Service - Low Hazard 
  • R2022-29578 Drawing 10 - 80+ Private Fire Service - Medium Hazard - Typical Arrangement 
  • R2022-29575 Drawing 9 - 80 mm+ Private Fire Service - Low Hazard - Typical Arrangement 


Maintenance and repair of fire services - who is responsible?

It is the property owner's responsibility to maintain fire services. Tenants may also be legally obligated to maintain the fire service as indicated in their insurance policy. 

The property owner is responsible for maintenance and repair of piping into the property from the outlet of the sluice valve, including the bolts/nuts/gasket connecting the pipe to the sluice valve. 

This includes works within a road reserve and within the property, and all costs associated with and/or resulting from a leak. 

The current plumbing regulations require a registered plumber to carry out all repair work to fire services. 

If the leak becomes dangerous or poses a health hazard, after due notification GWMWater may shut off or restrict your water supply. The restriction may also affect your domestic supply. This action is taken to help conserve water, protect water quality and for safety reasons.

GWMWater is responsible for maintenance of the water main, the branch connection and the stop/sluice valve and associated surface fittings, as shown in Private Fire Service Tapping Configurations Typical Arrangement (R2022-29582). 

Where there is a noticeable change in the water supply pressure, or if supply ceases without notice, please contact us on 1800 188 586.



Testing a fire service

Owners must test their fire services periodically in accordance with Australian Standard AS1851 Maintenance of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment. 

A fire protection service company should conduct this test to ensure that it is in correct working order. 

Other than in a fire, testing is the only time water should be used through the fire service. 

Testing can disrupt network operations.  Notify GWMWater at least 5 business days before any testing by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

During testing, care should be taken to conserve water where possible. Consumption of water other than firefighting purposes is billed.


Modify or abandon a fire service

Should the fire service connection require upsizing or removal, an application can be submitted for approval to GWMWater. 

An application form and further servicing information is available on the GWMWater website

If the fire service is no longer required, it must be disconnected at the water main.


Why a fire service must not be used as a supplementary water supply

Unless written approval has been granted, it is a breach of GWMWater's conditions of connection and contrary to Australian Standard AS2419 - 2021 Fire Hydrant Installations to use water from fire services for purposes other than firefighting. 

Failure to comply will result in a Notice of Contravention being issued. 

Misuse of the fire service can result in you becoming liable for:

  • contamination of the drinking water supply
  • significant loss of water pressure in the system needed to fight a fire
  • significant loss of water pressure for surrounding properties within a supply zone
  • water quality issues: the quality of water may become poor and discoloured.
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