Unitywater has partnered with the utility for two years to share knowledge and expertise to help them build network capacity.

In August, Unitywater Manager of Asset Knowledge and Performance Ivan Beirne travelled to Java to tour PDAM Surabaya’s sites and understand their challenges – the biggest one is delivering safe water via infrastructure that has been, in some areas, installed during the Dutch Colonial era.

PDAM Surabaya Distribution Monitoring staff member Deni Kurniawati said the partnership would help them adopt a number of Unitywater’s practices to help improve their network.

“We are focusing on pressure management in our network as we have high pressure in some areas and low pressure in others,” Ms Kurniawati said.

“Unitywater has given us advice about pressure reducing valves and how this could benefit us to supply to wider areas.

“We have also learnt about asset management at Unitywater and disinfection following repairs which we don’t currently do but this could help us to improve water quality.

“Our vision is that our water is drinkable from the tap – our raw water quality is low and we have a long way to go but we will do little by little to eventually achieve this.”

Mr Beirne said the group had visited a number of sites, including Unitywater’s Control Room where all assets and networks are monitored, and a Seqwater water treatment plant. They also took a leak detection class and spent time with Unitywater crews to witness water main repairs.

“The team has been very eager to learn from us and we are proud to be able to offer our technical knowledge to help them,” Mr Beirne said.

The Indonesia-Australia Water Utility Improvement Program supports the Australian Government’s New Aid Policy (New Aid Paradigm) and is an initiative of the Australian Water Association and the Peak Water Supply Association of Indonesia (PERPAMSI), supported by the Australian Water Partnership (AWP).

Three Australian utilities and three Indonesian water utilities are participating in the program.