Water woe sparks hygiene fears

By Lawrence Gullery

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Flushing the toilet has become a public chore for people in a Hastings street who have been without a constant water supply for almost a week.

Residents on Manuka St, near Mahora, say a "busted pipe" cut off their water and daily attempts by the Hastings District Council to fix the problem had failed.

Resident Gerry Heremaia said it was tough not being able to have a shower or wash in the morning before heading to work, or not even being able to wash clothes or the dishes.

"Every day they just come back and dig up the road again and again. Sometimes the water comes on in the afternoon but then at night it goes off again," Mr Heremaia said. "This morning I woke up and it was the same thing. No water."

On Monday morning, the council delivered a 1000-litre tank of water at the end of the cul-de-sac for people to use.

Residents said carting a bucket of water from the road into their homes every time they needed to flush the toilet wasn't ideal, while others were worried they couldn't properly bath their children each day.

Hawke's Bay Today visited the street yesterday afternoon and met Harold Reedy coming out of his home to collect water from the tanker.

"It's the children living here that I'm worried about," Mr Reedy said.

"They need water to drink water and to wash, and at the moment there's only this tanker for us. I reckon the council should just replace the whole pipe network and do a proper job, get it all done properly."

Other people said they were worried about home hygiene. Some were upset work on the road had started about 6.30am, when people woke to the sound of machinery.

The council's water services manager, Brett Chapman, said the supply had been affected by six ruptures to the supply pipe at different times and locations over the six days.

"The reason for the ruptures is unclear but the pipe was due for replacement in the next three to five years," Mr Chapman said.

About 16 metres of pipe was put in yesterday, replacing some of the old pipe in between the new pieces which had been installed as a result of the ruptures.

The council was working to stabilise the problem and would then decide whether to replace the remaining pipe.

"A valve has also been installed in the supply pipe at the intersection of Manuka and Kauri streets to better manage the repairs," Mr Chapman said.

Work on the repairing the pipes would no longer be done between 9pm and 7am.

"However, any emergency repairs required during those hours will still be attended to."

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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