Sydney Water ready for Y2K

There will be no need to hoard water when Sydney ushers in the millennium just in case Sydney Water is not Y2K compliant.

This week, Sydney Water Board launched its Y2K Web site ( to keep the public informed of its progress.

Alex Walker, managing director, Sydney Water said, "we started working on Y2K in 1996 and all systems will be Y2K compliant by the end of June this year. This includes all testing. There is only 1.57 per cent of the systems remaining to be tested. " Y2K rectification included the mainframe systems, a program for desktop and assessing 90,000 embedded chips in operational plants and telemetry.

A very small percentage of the chips were non-compliant but there were 36,000 with potential problems and 10,000 of those needed special assessment. Of these 10,000 Sydney Water found between 1000 and 1,500 needed something done. This work is virtually finished, Walker said.

Don Wharton, group information manager, Sydney Water said, "we have replaced the old mainframe Geographical Information System (GIS) with a new one named Hydro but Y2K was only one of the drivers for this. Y2K gave us the opportunity to add rigour to our usual business processes."

As well as preparing its own contingency plans Sydney Water is working with the NSW Government as part of State-wide contingency planning and organisation for Y2K critical dates.

Sydney Water has a budget of $30 million to meet Y2K activities but expects the work to be completed for less than that amount.

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