Hot, dry conditions can cause issues for MidCoast Water Services in more ways than one.
Crews are currently battling a higher than usual number of water main breaks.
After an unusually long, dry spell this winter, the dry ground is shrinking and cracking, which is taking its toll on the area’s water network.
As a result, MidCoast Water Services’ crews have been called to a much larger than usual number of mains breaks in over the last week.
“Our crews have dealt with six major water main breaks during a four night period alone last week,” said MidCoast Council’s director of water services, Brendan Guiney.
A number of the breaks have been in the Taree CBD, in particular in Victoria and Manning Streets, with water out to businesses during the early hours of the morning while crews repaired the breaks.
Mr Guiney said most breaks happen in the early hours of the morning as that is when water pressure is highest.
“While it is impossible to predict specific pipe breaks, environmental conditions are a major factor with water main breaks,” he said.
We do apologise to the community for the inconvenience this causes. Our crews do their best to restore water services as soon as possible.MidCoast Council’s director of water services Brendan Guiney.
“By examining trends in water main breaks over time, MidCoast Water Services proactively targets water mains for replacement.
“This year we have budgeted more than $1 million to our annual water mains renewal program, a significant proportion will be focused on difficult built up areas such as the Taree CBD.
“We do apologise to the community for the inconvenience this causes. Our crews do their best to restore water services as soon as possible, which involves turning off the water main while the repair is completed.”
On one occasion last week a Victoria Street business was affected by water when a 150mm asbestos cement water main burst in a difficult location in the early hours of the morning.
Water a number of centimeters deep flowed from the arcade into the business. It is understood the damage is being assessed by insurers.
While the occurrence of broken pipes is expected to reduce as rain is received, Mr Guiney stressed the traditional message during the current weather conditions to reduce water use to conserve water supplies still applies.
“We are asking our community to do their bit to conserve our water resources by taking part in our voluntary summer water saving program, the main message of which is don’t spray in the middle of the day,” he said.
As part of the summer water saving program residents are asked to reduce their outdoor water use between the hours of 9am and 4pm.