Denis Dalla Fontana and Jeff Oehlman in the Emergency Control Centre

When the weather gets rough in Australia, Ventia teams are dispersed across the country, working to support our clients in the maintenance, repair or replacement of key infrastructure. 

The Operational Maintenance and FM team on our Sydney Water contract experienced this earlier this year with a spate of heavy rain and flooding across parts of Sydney. 

Emergency Control Centre (ECC)

The storms earlier this year triggered a major incident response from Sydney Water. The Emergency Control Centre (ECC) was activated with Ventia team members working alongside the client to assist in allocation of emergency works and logistics.

Numerous wastewater pumping stations were submerged in floodwaters - impacting equipment like switchboards, pumps, electric motors, lighting and telemetry. These stations must be returned to normal service as a matter of urgency. 

Contract Manager Joanne Lynch says that team members negotiated fallen trees, downed powerlines, flooded roads and washed out bridges to repair the pumping stations - all ensuring safety above all else. 

Not only are our teams in the field responding to urgent repairs, but our regular work needs to continue. Our other teams are busy filling the gap left by people responding to urgent works', says Joanne. 

Given the conditions that our people are working in, safety is a crucial element for team members. Working around mobile plant, electrical safety, working around live services, remote and isolated work and managing hazardous energies and safe driving are some of the critical safety risks the team are consciously managing, as they strive to ensure each job is done the right way, every time.

Ventia crew undertaking asset inspections for Sydney Water


Maintaining critical infrastructure

Maintenance of back-up generators on sites is crucial to ensure that should power go down, Sydney Water assets can continue operating. 

At one of Sydney's largest pumping stations — the Narabeen pumping station in Sydney's Northern Beaches, completed in 1916 — the quick actions of one maintenance team made sure that everything continued operating as usual throughout the wild weather. 

Dave Dennehy, Delivery Team Leader, says "If it wasn't for the swift thinking and competence from the team on site, the outcome could have been different."

Across town in Camden in Sydney's south west, the pumping station was one of two critical assets causing problems following the downpour.   

Joanne says that the actions taken by the team to assess and make temporary repairs relieved the pressure on the overall system.

"After assessing the situation, the team were able to diagnose faults in the equipment," Joanne says. "Following that, a number of steps were taken to repair and replace parts where needed and undertake a clean-up of the site and machinery."
Read more about Ventia's contract with Sydney Water, and how we make infrastructure work for our communities here