Several hundred metres of Narrogin’s water pipes will be replaced but local residents are calling for the whole network to be reviewed after repeated outages. Burst and leaking water pipes have been an ongoing issue in several areas in Narrogin including Kipling Street and Barron Street, leaving residents without running water in the morning. Most of the Water Corporation pipe network in Narrogin was installed in the 1960s, which is within the 80 to 100-year lifespan of the pipes. More than 400m of pipe will be replaced along Barron street in mid to late 2022 to help “improve the reliability of the water supply”, according to the Water Corporation. Local resident Laurie Seton — who lives on the eastern side of Narrogin — said his neighbourhood had woken several times without running water in recent months. “This is about the third time in the last six months that we have been without water in the morning,” he said. “There always seems to be a major pipe burst somewhere along Kipling Street or somewhere in the valley. “Because we are at the top of the hill, any time a pipe bursts somewhere, we run out of water.” Mr Seton said he believed the problems stemmed from the pipe network receiving only temporary fixes. “We call the water authority but all they ever do is come out and patch the problem, but obviously what needs to happen is someone higher up the food chain needs to make a decision about replacing the aging infrastructure,” he said. “If you’ve got 500m of pipe that is tired and you just keep patching each piece as it fails, it’s just going to be an ongoing problem. “There really needs that critical decision made to budget for replacing however many kilometres of pipe that need replacing.” Water Corporation acting Great Southern regional manager Michael Sillifant said there were several reasons for the “rare” bursts and leaks in Narrogin’s pipe network. “While rare, leaks and bursts are influenced by a number of factors including the material and location of the mains, age, and local conditions such as soil types, nearby construction and tree roots,” he said. Mr Sillifant said Water Corporation crews responded to the leaks and bursts as quickly as possible. “The time needed to complete repairs, and the extent of required work, differs depending on the size of the asset, the cause of the break and the depth of the pipe,” he said. “Occasionally, a temporary water supply interruption is required so repairs can take place and where possible, work is planned outside of peak times or through the night to minimise disruption. “Bottled or tankered water is made available to impacted residents, depending on the length of the outage.” Local resident Shirley Kulker, who lives on the south-east side of Narrogin, said she used to fill up her kettle at night to make sure she had water for a cup of tea in the morning. “We have had times where we have gone just about every month where we have woken up in the morning with no water,” she said. “They keep doing patch jobs on the pipes rather than replacing them. “It’s not the boys who work for the Water Corporation, they do a brilliant job and they have to come out in the cold to fix it, but they keep having to do band-aid jobs.” About 420m of the water pipe network will be replaced along Barron Street this year, according to the Water Corporation. “Work will take place along Barron Street, between Homer Street and Herald Street, and will improve the reliability of water supply in the vicinity,” Mr Sillifant said. “Water Corporation invests significantly in the reliability of our network, and in 2022-23 will spend $13.8 million on upgrading existing and delivering new water infrastructure in Water Corporation’s Great Southern region.” Ms Kulker said replacing the water pipes along Barron Street should help with the water issues near her property. But she said the “bigger picture” still needed to be addressed. “It needs to be more than just replacing the pipes in one area, they need to replace all the areas where they have been bursts,” she said. “I don’t think any major work has been done for years. “I just feel that they need to do more than just replace that one little bit of pipe near our home, although it’s nice to know I won’t have to put up with broken pipes again.” Mr Sillifant encouraged Narrogin residents to call the Water Corporation’s 24/7 operations centre on 13 13 75 to report issues with their drinking water supply. “Water Corporation apologises to Narrogin residents impacted by recent supply interruptions and thanks them for their patience and understanding while repairs were carried out,’’ he said.