Hunter Water forced to step up repairs in Salamander Bay

SATURATED: Worimi Drive, Salamander Bay, the source of a water utilities leak. Picture: Supplied
SATURATED: Worimi Drive, Salamander Bay, the source of a water utilities leak. Picture: Supplied

Hunter Water has been forced to carry out a string of repairs to water utilities in parts of Salamander Bay only 20 years after they were installed.

While it says the PVC mains have a 100-year service life Hunter Water has had to respond to numerous complaints from residents in the Worimi Drive and surrounding areas.

“The leaks on Worimi Drive have occurred on the services from the watermain to the resident’s water meter, which does not warrant replacing the watermain,” a Hunter Water spokesman said, of the most recent incident.

Worimi Drive resident Colleen Taylor has been among those residents who have logged complaints with the authority.

“This has been going on for years,” she said. “To have three serious leaks in the space of four houses suggests a serious problem. One person in Mariner Crescent even put a sign up at her front door, ‘yes, I know there’s a leak and I have reported it’.”

The most recent fault (pictured) was reported to Hunter Water on January 17 but wasn’t repaired until January 23. It was initially logged as a “low priority” and “attended to within a day” after the leak worsened, Hunter Water said.

Mrs Taylor said it wasn’t good enough.

BUBBLING UP: Water rises through the turf from a leak below. Silt partially covers a fire hydrant. Picture: Supplied

BUBBLING UP: Water rises through the turf from a leak below. Silt partially covers a fire hydrant. Picture: Supplied

“Coming off the land, before we lived here, our family knows the value of water,” she said. “Our children used to shower with an egg timer. There’s thousands of litres going down the drain yet they tell us we can’t even wash our car on the driveway when they send out the bill.”

Residents who have spoken to Hunter Water contractors were told the issue stems from fittings that are “no longer available”.

“PVC pipes as per what has been used in the area have a 100 year lifespan,” the Hunter Water spokesman said of the mains installed in 1996.

“While the service materials may have changed over the years Hunter Water has access to alternative fittings and materials. Hunter Water apologies for the inconvenience caused to residents on Worimi Drive and is investigating potential causes of the leaks including deficiencies of fittings used and the potential for roadworks to have affected the service mains.”

Hunter Water said it took leaking mains seriously.