Council to launch tap-fixing service

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 12:00 28/01/2014

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Palmerston North is looking to follow the Manawatu District's lead in offering free help to hard-up residents to stop leaking taps.

The city council has advertised for a plumber to volunteer time to check faulty taps and change washers for people having trouble getting the job done.

Council water and waste services manager Rob Green said the goal was to conserve water.

He said the council recognised the commercial reality, that plumbers were in business to make money, but hoped the service would generate goodwill that could attract more customers for the volunteer.

If a willing plumber came forward, the service would be tried for one day a week during March.

The service would involve replacing washers, fixing leaky toilets, giving water saving advice, and identifying the source of any substantial water loss on properties. It would be targeted toward people who could least afford to call a plumber and had trouble changing washers themselves.

The Manawatu District Council has been running a similar service for several years in partnership with Trev's Plumbing.

Plumber Trevor Hendra visits up to 20 homes a day during the annual blitz, changing standard cold water tap washers only.

The scheme dates back more than a decade, when Feilding was struggling with annual summer water shortages.

"I asked if there was anything I could do to try to hold back on water restrictions, and we came up with this idea."

Mr Hendra said the water savings could be substantial.

"If a dripping tap is losing up to 10,000 litres a year, and I can do 20 houses in a day, that's just phenomenal, as an example of how much water people waste."

Mr Hendra said he saw his donation of time, labour and materials as a community service.

His goal was to help people who could least afford to hire a plumber, and although he did it for free, some people remembered his name and came back with paying jobs years later.

"It gets your name out there."

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- Manawatu Standard

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