Water cut to 700 homes

Delta worker Peter Andrews inspects the water main at the top of Featherston St, trying to find...
Delta worker Peter Andrews inspects the water main at the top of Featherston St, trying to find the site of the failure. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Hundreds of households in Macandrew Bay and Company Bay were without water for several hours yesterday after a main burst.

Between 700 and 800 households were affected when the main, at the top of Featherston St, in Macandrew Bay, burst about 1pm, Dunedin City Council water and waste services manager John Mackie said.

Water was reconnected about 8.30pm after Delta workers replaced 15m of pipe.

The likely cause was the ground shifting due to the deluge of rain in the past few days.

From 4.30pm, water supply company Otakia Ltd was stationed at the Macandrew Bay shops filling residents' buckets and bottles.

On site Delta workers told the Otago Daily Times they inadvertently cut a telephone line when excavating to find the burst, cutting landlines to Featherston St.

Chorus spokeswoman Melanie Marshall said contractors were connecting the landlines one by one, and they should have all been reconnected last night.

On Saturday, West Taieri residents were asked to conserve water due to a blockage at the treatment plant's raw water intake which staff initially could not reach because of flooding.

Dunedin City Council asset planning manager Laura McElhone said the blockage was subsequently cleared and the restriction lifted first thing yesterday.

Meanwhile, Dunedin man John Clemo was disgusted on Saturday to see sewage that had seeped from a drain, strewn on the footpath on Great King St opposite Otago Museum.

Tampons, toilet paper and other waste were clearly visible, he said.

"I find this disgusting and clearly the city's wastewater system is ineffective during periods of high rainfall.

"While the past week's rain has been heavy and continuous, this is a public health hazard and I feel that people deserve to know about it."

Mr Mackie said sewage seepage was an issue "all over the city" in Dunedin on Saturday, due to the "astounding" amount of rain the drainage system had to cope with.

- eileen.goodwin@odt.co.nz

 

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