Burst water main damages Suttor Street property for second time

DIGGING IN: A water main off Suttor Street is repaired on Wednesday morning. It caused damage to a nearby investment property when it burst on Tuesday night. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 061417cwater2
DIGGING IN: A water main off Suttor Street is repaired on Wednesday morning. It caused damage to a nearby investment property when it burst on Tuesday night. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 061417cwater2

THE elderly owner of an investment property in Suttor Street is facing a fresh bill after the house was damaged by a burst water main for the second time in less than a year.

Juliana O’Connor’s investment property was damaged in August 2016 when a nearby main burst and water gushed through the area.

Her nephew, John O’Connor, estimates he and his aunt are out of pocket $8000 to $9000 from that original incident when the cost of lost rent and repairs is tallied up.

He believes the total cost will be in the mid-$20,000s because he says the driveway will need to be replaced.

The family has yet to have its insurance claim settled from that original incident, however, so another burst main on Tuesday night has come as a blow.

“It’s been over 10 months since the [insurance] claim,” Mr O’Connor said. “And now we start back down that road again.”

Mr O’Connor said the “nice young couple” living in the house, who are not the same tenants who were in the property at the time of the first incident, did some “sand-bagging and mitigation”, but the water still got into the house.

He was at the property on Wednesday morning when, he said, water started to bubble out of the ground, leading to a return visit from council workers.

Mr O’Connor said the damage during this new incident was not as extensive as the damage in August 2016, but he is still concerned his aunt will lose her new tenants who have only been in the property for five months.

A Bathurst Regional Council spokesperson said staff responded immediately to Tuesday night’s burst main “and worked throughout the night to ensure the water was contained and to remedy the fault”. 

“Council is investigating and monitoring the situation on Suttor Street to determine the cause of the break. Council staff have spoken with both the tenant and the owner of the property at the time of the incident and again today [Wednesday],” the spokesperson said.

Mr O’Connor was concerned his aunt’s tenant, a tradesman, had not been allowed to turn off the water main on Tuesday night, but the council spokesperson said shutting down the main can only be done by council staff “and this occurred as soon as they were on site”.