Hunter Water has been forced to undertake repairs to water utilities decades before many expected.

A string of leaks in the town of Salamander Bay have the authorities scrambling to respond, and has some residents wondering when the 100-year lifespan of the PVC pipes is meant to begin.

Residents say they have been complaining for some time.

“This has been going on for years,” one local told the Port Stephens examiner.

“To have three serious leaks in the space of four houses suggests a serious problem. One person in Mariner Crescent even put a sign up at her front door; ‘Yes, I know there’s a leak and I have reported it’.

“There’s thousands of litres going down the drain yet they tell us we can’t even wash our car on the driveway.”

Reports say Hunter Water contractors have told residents that the issue is caused by fittings that are “no longer available”.

The PVC mains were installed in 1996 and are meant to hold for 100 years, so some are wondering why there are issues after just two decades.

A Hunter Water spokesperson says it is not as bad as it seems.

“The leaks on Worimi Drive have occurred on the services from the watermain to the resident’s water meter, which does not warrant replacing the watermain,” he said.

“PVC pipes as per what has been used in the area have a 100 year lifespan.

“While the service materials may have changed over the years Hunter Water has access to alternative fittings and materials. 

“Hunter Water apologies for the inconvenience caused to residents on Worimi Drive and is investigating potential causes of the leaks including deficiencies of fittings used and the potential for roadworks to have affected the service mains.”