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A team of leak detection experts has been roaming the streets and keeping an ear to the ground in an exercise which will save the Douglas Shire treated water previously lost from the system.

The Shire’s pipe network has been put under strain due to the saturation of soil and ground movement following Cyclone Jasper.

More than 300 kilometres of the water network was covered, with 178 leaks (101 customers and 77 on council water reticulation) identified during the eight-day operation.

Detection Services’ Terry Baker said the team of eight had been using listening sticks and ground microphones in Mossman, Port Douglas, Cooya Beach, Newell Beach, Whyanbeel, Wonga Beach, Upper and Lower Daintree to identify the leaks.

“We can pinpoint them to a one-metre square section,” Mr Baker said.

“Leaks can have a different noise profile and different frequency range.

“If you’ve got a small crack in a pipe there can be a higher-pitched noise, if there’s a hole in the pipe it’s a lower noise.

“When you turn on a tap you hear that hissing. That’s the noise of water pushing through a restricted space ….so that’s what we are listening for.”

The identified leaks will assist in a targeted valve replacement and leak reduction program. Our water reticulation team has already completed 40 repairs over the eight days, saving the system 371 litres per minute.

This proactive approach underscores Douglas Shire Council’s commitment to preserving water resources, maintaining infrastructure resilience, and ensuring the continued wellbeing of our community following the unprecedented storm event.

The Council is also working with the larger resorts on the network to determine if any leaks are occurring in their sites.

If residents are concerned about leaks on their properties they are encouraged to login into their Smart Water Meter at and check their usage. Smart water meters provide residents with real-time data enabling them to identify potential leaks promptly and take action to address them.

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