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Water leaks neglected by Hamilton City Council

CHRIS GARDNER
Last updated 05:00 23/01/2014

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Hamilton residents are hosed off with the city council, which they are accusing of breaking its own rules over water conservation.

A second complaint has emerged of the council ignoring a leak in its water reticulation, while telling residents to restrict the use of sprinklers because the city is on a water alert.

The criticism comes as the council cancels its Summer in Garden Place Soak'n'Wet Carnival - which was to be held on Saturday - because of water restrictions.

Hamilton City Council issued a Water Alert Level 1 on November 20 restricting sprinklers to between 6am and 8am and 6pm and 8pm daily.

Deanwell resident Kath Howland has phoned the council several times after discovering a leaking stopcock on the corner of Saxbys Rd and Morrison Crescent about six weeks ago.

"The lady who who answered said they would get straight on to it so I left it a couple of weeks," she said.

"Between Christmas and New Year I rang again and I was told the same.

"On Friday [January 17] it was still leaking so I rang them again and they said they hadn't done it due to a shortness of staff over the Christmas and New Year period, the cost and blah, blah, blah they had priorities. I could have put a trap down and filled it with water for my lawn which is shrivelled and brown."

The Deanwell leak is the second that a resident brought to the attention of the Waikato Times after getting nowhere reporting it to the council.

Cliff Warrender, who since mid-December had repeatedly reported a leaking stopcock outside of his Ayshire Drive home in Grandview Heights, said the leak was still filling the roadside gutter on Monday morning, but was fixed when he returned from work.

The council apologised to Mr Warrender on Friday after he called the Times in frustration at the council's inaction.

The council's reticulation team leader, David Phillips, said only "urgent" council leaks were attended to over the Christmas period.

"Unfortunately in Cliff and Kath's case, there were some issues with this prioritisation system.

"We definitely encourage residents to ring through to [the] council's Customer Service Centre if they see a leak throughout the city."

The council's community development and leisure manager, Deanne McManus-Emery, said the Soak'n'Wet Carnival could be seen as an inappropriate use of the water resource.

"[The] council needs to lead by example and as we ask the community to conserve water we need to make prudent and responsible use of it ourselves."

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- Waikato Times

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