An immense amount of work goes on behind the scenes to maintain a secure water supply during a bushfire.

This year's devastating bushfire season in the Great Southern caused significant damage. Our staff, contractors, and the local community came together to safeguard critical services.

Thank you to all our employees, firefighters and community members

Rising from the ashes are the stories of many faceless heroes.

Contractors drove semi-trailers for 14-hours a day to cart water. Procurement teams were up all night arranging logistics. Countless employees ended their day and ran straight to the frontline to volunteer. Clean up committees and donations poured into neighbourhoods. Communities all over the region displayed empathy and understanding to water restrictions. We couldn’t be prouder of the spirit and resilience that shone through.

Water Corporation crews fixing damaged water pipe
Water Corporation work crew fixing a damaged pipe

Raging fires took February by storm

The season culminated in a devastating start, with two fires raging at the same time. The impacts were very damaging to critical water infrastructure in Jerramungup and Wickepin. This included a water treatment plant left temporarily inoperable. Securing a water supply for people and their animals was a priority. Crews leapt to the challenge of arranging 24/7 water carting.  

As the huge scale clean up began, a second fire broke out. The blaze started just outside of Wickepin. It tore through a watermain connecting Wickepin to Dumbleyung. This main serviced around 265 customers and 450 farmlands.

Quick action kept the community and livestock safe and prepared with adequate water.

Reaching out to the community

Our local team sprang into action, working with nearby grocers and general stores. They arranged bottled water for residents and non-drinking water for livestock. Free water collection points soon popped up all over the region.

The State Government, through Water Corporation, established an assistance package for affected customers. Anyone whose property was lost or fire damaged could access the support.

To manage the increased demand on the remaining scheme water, we had to make a difficult decision. We asked customers in the shires of Dumbleyung and Wickepin to limit their water use. Repairs and considerable carting efforts were undertaken to help secure supply. Our employees voiced their appreciation for how receptive the community was. As a result, we maintained water supply for most customers.

Fixing the watermain

There were 20 separate work crews working long days in scorching temperatures. Together they replaced 170m of damaged pipe. One of the most challenging elements was needing to weld 120 joins over 2km of pipework in tough conditions. But a one-team effort saw this extraordinary task completed to help secure the water supply.

Two Water Corporation crew members watching a colleague fix a damaged water pipe
Getting on with the job to fix 170m sections of damaged pipe

We couldn't have done it without you

Thank you for banding together in a time of need. Whether you were on the ground repairing pipes, running refreshments to the crews, providing technical support, or working extra shifts to relieve first responders - we are grateful. Together we protected lives, property and our water supply. We are also very appreciative the understanding shown while we carried out repairs. Your support is greatly appreciated.