Crimp and save

• Chris Hair at Robertson Park. He suggested the design for this bridge between the old Moreton Bay fig trees back when the Town of Vincent was updating the park. Photo by David Bell.

ONE man’s vigilance has hopefully ended untold litres of drinking water being wasted at Robertson Park in Vincent.

Over the last few months leaks have been mysteriously springing up in the park, leading to huge pools of pristine water at the Palmerston Street side.

Chris Hair lives across the road and is a long-time member of the Friends of Robertson Park.

He first noticed the unofficial “return of Lake Henderson” in early February, when a pond appeared in the middle of the grass.

Mr Hair got onto Vincent council staff: they located the leak and fixed a pipe, but the next day the water started bubbling up at another spot in the park.

“Over a couple of weeks it then popped up at another location, and then another, and then another,” Mr Hair says.

Council workers eventually discovered the bursting pipes were a pre-1970s sprinkler system still connected to the mains.

Across the street a valve had rusted through, allowing fresh drinking water into the old sprinklers, which had been superseded by bore reticulation.

Mr Hair reported the leaks to the Water Corporation, but it took two months and nine lakes before workers finally got down to temporarily crimp the pipe and stop the leaks.

Water Corp Perth regional manager Gary Monaghan said a permanent fix will be carried out next week.

Mr Monaghan said work crews responded to three reports, but initially thought the problem was the council’s reticulation system,.

Mr Hair said he made it clear in his reports the water was from a Water Corp main.

“In response, it refused to fix it, and given the size of the leak, there must have been many thousands of cubic meters of water lost over that period,” he said.

Mr Monaghan said Water Corp took reports seriously.

“Thankfully, Robertson Park is a rare situation, and it is fantastic to see the City of Vincent, who has gold status under the Waterwise Council Program, being so determined to find the cause of the mystery leak in its reticulation.

“We thank Mr Hair and other members of the public who report leaks. We manage more than 15,000 km of water mains in the metropolitan area, which means reports from the public are vital.”

by DAVID BELL

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