Tanks run dry as water cri­sis hits home

Sunshine Coast Daily - - NEWS - Francesca McMackin Francesca.McMackin@sc­news.com.au

SUN­SHINE Coast fam­i­lies re­ly­ing on tank water are at cri­sis point, with sup­plies at zero and a wait of three to four weeks for re­fills.

Bald Knob res­i­dent John Brown has been try­ing to get water for about two weeks and has con­tacted about 20 water car­ri­ers.

The ear­li­est they may be able to de­liver water is next week but he, along with his wife and mother-in-law, are down to the dregs of their tank water sup­ply.

“We’ve run out of op­tions,” Mr Brown said.

He said they could run out of water “any day”, and have been show­er­ing at friends’ homes and buy­ing bot­tled water when­ever pos­si­ble to ra­tion out the re­main­ing tank water.

But the water short­age has even hit Sun­shine Coast su­per­mar­kets, Mr Brown said, with larger water con­tain­ers in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to find.

“Their shelves are run­ning empty as well,” he said.

“The big 10 litre con­tain­ers at Wool­worths and Coles, as soon as they’re on the shelf they get taken.

“Peo­ple are buy­ing 10, 20 at a time.”

Mr Brown has taken to buy­ing the 24-pack of smaller water bot­tles for drink­ing, brush­ing teeth and giv­ing to the dog, while he car­ries con­tain­ers of water from the dam on his prop­erty most days for flush­ing the toi­lets.

He said he would use the water fill­ing de­pots made open to the public as coun­cil retro­fit­ted taps in parks to fill con­tain­ers, but without a trailer or a ute to trans­port large quan­ti­ties of water it wouldn’t solve res­i­dents’ prob­lems.

The tank water short­age has be­come the talk of the hin­ter­land as com­mu­ni­ties face weeks of wait­ing as their sup­ply de­pletes, with al­most all Bald Knob homes run­ning on rain­wa­ter tanks.

“Ev­ery­one in town is talk­ing about it and des­per­ate for water,” he said.

But the Sun­shine Coast com­mu­nity is pulling to­gether, with res­i­dents on town water of­fer­ing their help.

“I’ve got a cou­ple of friends on town water, so they’re more than happy to let us go down and have a shower, and fill up some bot­tles,” Mr Brown said.

“Ev­ery­one is do­ing what they can to help out.”

The Sun­shine Coast Coun­cil has urged those fac­ing water short­ages to seek help from friends and fam­ily.

Mr Brown said the water car­rier com­pa­nies were run ragged, but the quote he had re­ceived for the water was the usual price.

“I’ve ac­tu­ally got a friend who runs water tanks, and they’re run­ning 14-hour days, seven days a week, and he can’t even fit me in,” he said.

PHOTO: PA­TRICK WOODS

DES­PER­ATE: John Brown, like most Bald Knob res­i­dents, is down to the dregs of his rain­wa­ter tank.

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