Regular water outages and our provider and regulator just don’t care

by Mars

Since moving in, we have had about 15 lengthy regular water outages in 18 months. Each outage has lasted a minimum of 8-9 hours. We have complained to the water provider and the regulator, and no one cares.

We’ve just had our longest water outage earlier this week – almost 18 hours. When you’ve been at home at all day, sanding and painting, and then not being able to wash, shower, cook and use the toilets, this is major thing.

regular water outages

Our previous two recent outages were around 10 hours long, and the Christmas evening one, going into Boxing Day, was a real treat as we couldn’t even wash up the dishes after Christmas dinner.

We’ve complained to our water provider numerous times, and they finally wrote to us after the mid January outage.

The bottom line is they don’t care. They know we can’t change water suppliers, so we’re stuck with them. We never complained to get financial compensation. We just want to know why we’re getting so many water disruptions and for them to sort it out.

We’ve lived abroad and visited many third world countries, and what we’ve experienced over the course of the last 18 months has been unacceptable.

The thing that struck me about their letter is that they have to resolve issues within 12 hours (in accordance with regulator guidelines) so that they don’t have to financially compensate customers. So they ensure that problems are fixed in that timeframe.

In reality, 12 hours is a stupidly long time to be without water if you’re sick, old or in dire need of water. There’s a reason why water is a human right.

We’ve now always got bottles filled with water so that we can at least have a drink or make tea because of the regular water outages… but that’s a ridiculous mindset to get into when you’re living in a first world country with supposed first world services.

You couldn’t make it up

This summarizes our plight perfectly. The water company sent out an inspector to check our water pressure after the 18 hour outage this week because after the problem was “fixed” we continued to have very low water pressure.

When we were wrapping up with him, we stood on our driveway and he looked around. After a thoughtful pause, he turned to me and said, “Do you know what I always say?”

I shook my head, as we’d only met for the first time five minutes ago.

He turned around and pointed. “You can’t have great views and water.”

I kid you not. He really said that. If you’re rural, don’t expect to have a first world water supply, even though you’re paying for it.

In light of this, my summer project has been pencilled in to activate our well, so that we have a reliable source of water when the mains stops working.

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