Waikato residents annoyed at brown tap water issue

By Tamati Tiananga

Residents in Huntly, Tūākau and Raglan have once again turned on taps to brown water filling bathtubs, wash basins and washing machines. 

Huntly resident Lynn Haumaha took to social media to share her concerns, “Our tap water is brown this morning (14th Jan). The recommendation is to run your taps till it clears  ... approx. 20mins. Sounds great but.... hang on.... we are metered."

"That's an awful lot of water going down the drain that I'm paying for. So then I buy bottled drinking water, not for convenience but for necessity. An extra added expense in this unstable economy. We pay for our water by means of being metered. We pay again because we have to let water run down the drain to help eliminate the brown water.”

Another Huntly resident Kelly Ann wrote, "Now that I know the pipes of our water is supplied from is asbestos based I'll be drinking bottled water from now on."

For months residents have been voicing their concerns to the Waikato District Council and are now wanting action. 

Huntly general ward councillor David Whyte says, “The brown water is caused by rust build up in the pipes and they require cleaning. The challenge with cleaning the pipes is they are decades-old fibrocement. This means they are asbestos cement, so cleaning is more (of) a challenge.”

Whyte says an action plan has been developed to clean a large area of pipeline in Huntly to help reduce the water problem.  

“My understanding of the approx. 20km to be cleaned. I hope this overlaps with folks who are having issues and have reported issues."