'It's absolutely revolting' - Marton residents fed up with decades of brown tap water

When you turn on the taps at home tonight are you holding your breath to see what colour the water will be?

For some Marton residents, what is coming out of their taps is anything but clear. Source: Seven Sharp

Well for some Marton residents in the Rangitikei District that’s a daily uncertainty - and they’re fed up with it.

"Sometimes I don't even feel like I want to go and have a shower cause I just don't know what colour our water's going to be," Marton local Matt says.

"When you run a bath, that's when you notice it more.

"And you've got to bath your kids in this, we've got to bath in it, we've got to wash with it, we've got to cook with it."

The Rangitikei District Council admits there have been problems in the past caused, it says, by broken pipes.

"So this is an infrequent occurrence. In the last 14 or 15 months we've only had two incidents of a pipe breakage and this sort of pulse of dirty water going through our network," Ross from the local council says.

But on a random visit to Marton there had been no pipe breakages that day, and yet Stacey Dornbusch's bath water also ran dirty.

"It's revolting it's absolutely revolting. I mean I've lived in so many places in New Zealand and Marton has got to be the worst place I have ever lived in for water," Stacey says.

The council says pipe breakage is due to the town's old asbestos cement pipes, but it does carry out routine flushing maintenance work, and it's working to replace the original pipes.

There has been around 40 water related complaints in the past year or so.

Marton has struggled with water quality for decades, and 10 years ago the council agreed on a plan which saw the creation of a new water treatment plant.

The focus now is upgrading all remaining asbestos cement pipes.

But residents like Matt are not optimistic.

"They said that like twelve years ago, said they're going to get it done within the first nine years and nine years have been and gone and they still have not fixed it,” he says.