THE Fiji Water Authority's $2.5million wastewater relining project got off the ground on Monday evening.
The project involves repairing damaged pipes in the Suva City areas but doesn't involve digging up roads.
"We are using this technology for the first time in Fiji," said WAF chief executive Opetaia Ravai.
"The first stage involves scanning of the pipes by inserting a camera through the pipes. The pipes are then steam blasted followed by sealing of the inner walls by a membrane.
"Obviously, WAF does not have the expertise to do this on their own, so we have contracted Fletcher New Zealand."
Mr Ravai said the same technology was used to repair damaged pipes after the earthquakes in Christchurch in New Zealand.
He said it was the first stage of the project which involved two and half kilometres of pipes, mostly within the city.
"Some of these pipes are under shops, so after careful evaluation, we have decided to go with this option.
"Imagine us digging inside the shops. There will definitely be some angry businesspeople and considering that there are new roads as well."
Mr Ravai said digging would also cost an extra $2m.
An investigation last year found the pipes to be damaged mostly by tidal water influxes.
Work along the pipeline will end in January, after which the authority will decide on other areas of the project.