Need tank water? It's a long wait ...
SOME water carriers in Noosa are no longer returning calls to new customers, as they have no chance of being able to service them.
Regular customers solely reliant on tank water for their household use are waiting up to three -or even four - weeks to get a basic delivery as the big dry continues.
And carriers using the Noosaville water station were being hampered by a broken mains pipe, reducing water pressure and increasing load times, they say.
"A main pipeline went down Wednesday last week, but Unitywater said it would not be fixed until yesterday,” Blue Water Delivery water carrier Colin White said.
"This is right in the middle of a water crisis.”
He said claimed Unitywater was reducing water pressure at the pipe "to reduce maintenance” but combined with the reduced capacity and simultaneous use by tankers and truck queue back-ups meant tankers were taking up to 35 minutes to load.
"It used to take seven or 8 minutes,” Mr White said.
He said he was currently getting up to 125 calls a day from households, and showed Noosa News more than 50 unanswered calls on his mobile phone from desperate customers.
"It's not just people topping up - they've run out of water,” he said.
"(Water) is a lifeline, not a game.”
Another owner-driver, who asked not to be named, said he had a woman crying on the phone the other day because he could not help her.
"There's at least two weeks' wait (for delivery),” he said.
"Now I'm only taking calls from known numbers - I can't even supply them properly. People are in despair.”
Unitywater executive spokeswoman Judy Bailey confirmed the broken pipe was to be fixed yesterday and sympathised with tanker drivers.
But she urged them to utilise other outlets at Tewantin, Lake Macdonald and Pomona - all open 24 hours a day - until the broken pipe was fixed.
"The leak had been isolated but as the break was under the road, we worked with Noosa Council to arrange traffic management and undertake the repair,” Ms Bailey said.
"This was not a simple repair and has required planning due to the location of the break under the road.”
Ms Bailey said records showed due to the main leak the current fill time at Noosaville fill station had increased by an average of only six minutes.
"It is operating at about two thirds of its capacity,” she said.