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Water pressure in the hills.
Lee Renton is sick of poor water pressure at his Mt Helena home. Pictured with son Elijah, 3.

Water woes dampen hills life

A FRUSTRATED young family is calling on local members of parliament and rallying support for a petition after recently moving to Mt Helena and discovering the town is struggling with abysmal water pressure.

Lee Renton moved into his newly-built property on Princess Road six months ago with his wife and two small children.

It was to be an exciting new chapter for the family after moving to the hills from Ellenbrook, but their dream slowly faded when they discovered the water pressure was so low they struggled with basic functions such as using a dishwasher, having a reticulated watering system and taking a bath.

After raising his concerns with Water Corporation and the builders of his home, Mr Renton discovered he wasn’t the only person locally living with the same problem.

“You don’t know if this is supposed to be normal, you don’t know what to expect when you’re new to an area, but lots of people I spoke to said the problem has been getting worse over time,” he said.

“We have water trickling out of the tap, we have to run the dishwasher twice and running a bath takes forever.”

Convinced the issue was systemic to the area, Mr Renton launched a petition stating he was “calling on the Water Corporation to improve the infrastructure as home building increases in the area, not only in Mt Helena but in the surrounding suburbs as well”.

It has garnered more than 150 signatures so far with one commenter calling the water pressure in the town “ridiculous”.

However, Water Corporation Perth regional manager Michael Roberts said they have had only a handful of calls from Mt Helena residents regarding water pressure issues and that in all instances, investigations revealed that levels were “within minimum operating standards”.

“Testing has found water pressure and flow rates to be within operating standards,” Mr Roberts said.

“Notwithstanding this, Water Corporation plans to install data logging devices at various locations in a further attempt to identify instances of water pressure in the network below minimum standards.

“The data gathered will help inform whether further intervention is needed by Water Corporation, or whether customers can improve water pressure to their property by engaging a licensed plumber.”

If the water pressure is lower than it should be, there is concern among locals that extinguishing a bushfire could be challenging.

Shire of Mundaring chief executive Jonathan Throssell said they were not aware of water pressure issues in Mt Helena but that pressure levels were likely to drop in the event of a fire and that residents should be prepared for that.

For Mr Renton, who has measured the water pressure in his home and found it falls way below that which is measured at the meter, his only options are spending thousands of dollars on a water tank, a new meter, or accepting things the way they are.

“We pay rates, I’m paying a water bill, we paid to get it installed,” he said.

“If it was just us, I would get a plumber in and do the tank thing, but because I found other people with the same problem, I thought well I should do a petition because it’s my community now, we live here now and I want to be a part of it and make it better.”

To sign the petition, search ‘Higher water pressure in Mount Helena, Sawyer’s Valley, Stoneville, Chidlow and surrounds’ via www.change.org

By Rebecca Peppiatt

About The Editorial Team

Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.

One comment

  1. We are in Stoneville, our water pressure is hit and miss at the best of times, however roughly 4 years ago the water company installed a hydrant opposite our property.
    Bowsers fill every 20 mins or so completely cutting off our water supply, we get zero water, this happens 10 to 15 times a day and is causing us real problems, washing machine not filling properly, not able to have a shower during the day. What happens if there’s a small fire I can’t put it out? Low pressure is one thing, but zero water is ludicrous. The Hydrant should never have been positioned where it is, we are the last but one house before the scheme water ends.
    It’s making our life a misery.

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