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06 FEBRUARY 2019

Dust released into the air by construction and mining activities can be hazardous to health. Not only for your workers, but also for local communities.

As well as causing symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and irritation of the eyes, airborne dust can have more serious and long-term health effects if it's inhaled, including heart and lung disorders and possibly asthma. It's essential that site owners and managers take steps to prevent or reduce dust creation on their sites.

Water carts are the most effective solution for controlling dust. They also serve other useful functions to help improve safety and avoid problems on many types of sites.


Unlike most trucks, which are designed to transport solid loads, water carts or water tankers are specially designed to carry a moving load: water.

A water tank is mounted on the trailer, connected to spray nozzles at the front and rear of the truck that can be switched on to wet the ground when needed.

How do they control dust?

Spraying water onto surfaces and materials is an effective control measure to prevent dust from being released into the air, and for capturing dust that may already be airborne. This lowers the risk of dust- related illness.

Water carts are often used on construction sites and mines that may be breaking rocks and releasing dust into the air, as well as in industrial settings. Water trucks on mines are required to meet mine specification standards.

Water carts are also used to control dust during road construction and unsealed road maintenance./

What else are they used for?

As well as suppressing dust, there are other good reasons to consider water trucks for your site. These include:

 Soil compaction – wetting soil when preparing foundations for a building or sub-bases for roads, paths and other infrastructure.

 Fire prevention – assisting firefighting crews by supplying water, although water carts are not designed to fight fires themselves.

 Potable water transport – water tankers that are designed to food grade standards can transport safe drinking water to remote sites

How to use a water cart

An appropriate heavy vehicle driver's licence is required to drive a water truck. Operators should also be trained in use of the high-pressure hoses and pumps to ensure that water is targeted accurately, correct pressure is maintained and waste is minimised.

Without proper care, water used to prevent dust and fire hazards can cause more problems such as slips and other workplace accidents. A safety assessment should be completed to identify possible hazards before using water carts on your site.

What types of water carts are available?

Water carts are available in a wide range of sizes to suit different needs. The types of hoses, pumps and spray nozzles used can vary between applications.

If you need to hire water carts anywhere in Australia, Coates Hire has an extensive fleet of manual and automatic trucks from 5,000 litres to 18,000 litres. These include safety features such as an approved roll over protection system (ROPS), work lamps, rotating beacons, collapsible hand rails and new mounted access ladders.

Contact your nearest Coates Hire branch to find out more.


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