Maylands water woes

IT’S not Flint, Michigan: this was the water coming out the tap in Maylands last Friday.

Similarly murky water was spat out of taps across half the suburb.

Water Corporation Perth regional manager Garth Walter apologised to locals and says despite the appearance the water is safe to drink.

“Discoloured water is caused by the sediment in pipes being stirred up by changes in flow rates,” he explains.

• Photo supplied | Sonya Green via Maylands Community Facebook page

• Photo supplied | Sonya Green via Maylands Community Facebook page

“This generally happens when the weather warms up and water use increases. The sediment is mostly iron and manganese, which occurs naturally in the groundwater that supplies this area and settles in the pipe over time.”

While it’s safe to drink the WaterCorp provides bottled water while the system’s flushed. If anyone had a load of whites in the washing machine it’s got a special cleaning agent that’ll get any stains out of your clothes, and you can get that by calling 13 13 75.

We also heard water was out for a couple days at Maylands Peninsula Primary school, but that was an internal plumbing issue (now fixed) and not related.

by DAVID BELL

———–

THE lakes in Maylands are ailing, with Lake Bungana and Brearley suffering from toxic levels of algae and with nasty stenches encroaching on nearby houses.

Bayswater city council has been fielding calls from concerned locals and over the past six months and has sent out a series of letters to households explaining the situation.

But residents’ own actions could be to blame, with fertilisers and other pollutants heading straight into the lakes from nearby stormwater drains. Some residents have even been spotted emptying pools right into drains, chemicals and all.

The council’s letter reads in part: “The issues associated with the water quality of these lakes are complex and solutions are potentially very costly.” It says “band-aid” solutions will do little to solve the problem in the long term.

• The lakes in Maylands are crook. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

• The lakes in Maylands are crook. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

A year of water quality monitoring is underway and the council plans to bring in an expert to look at solutions starting mid year.

Locals aren’t happy the pretty fountains have been turned off to prevent them kicking up nasties into the air.

Ward councillor Catherine Ehrhardt tells us once the monitoring is complete and budget time rolls around she’s planning a motion to move the fountains away from houses so they can be turned back on. While they’re mainly decorative, any aeration they provide to the lake can’t hurt.

In its letter, the council lists several things to avoid doing.

“Fertilisers, grass clippings, leaves, soil, pet waste, leakages from septic tanks, household cleaners, irresponsible water usage etc are major contributors to this problem and therefore, you should consider the potential impact the next time you think about washing the car on the driveway instead of the lawn or fertilising the garden.

“Ask yourself, does the garden really need it and is it fertiliser free?”

04. 921NEWS 3

by DAVID BELL

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