Penny Duggan, the manager at the Lithgow Tin Shed, first saw water coming out of Bridge Street on Tuesday night, April 11.
“We ran up to council and told them there was water coming out of the road and they got people down here in half an hour,” she said.
The next day, Wednesday April 12, residents of Lithgow reported mud coming through their taps.
“It caused havoc throughout my kitchen, laundry and bathroom,” Lithgow resident Glenda Phipps said.
“It didn’t even wash off going through the dishwasher… and has stained the bathroom vanity too!”
Six water mains burst in Lithgow between April 11 and April 12, provoking plumbing and roadworks throughout the town.
“What usually happens is if you get one burst you get a couple more because the first one causes a shock wave through the pipe system,” explained Lithgow City Council operations manager, Iain Stewart.
“Bursts cause sediment in the pipes to be stirred up, which gives you dirty water. I would let the sediment settle before drinking it.”
The council said the muddy water was safe to drink. Houses between Maple Crescent and Chifley Road were worst affected by the dirty water.
The burst pipes were cleared on Thursday, April 13.
As of Tuesday, April 18, works were still being performed at six burst sites around Lithgow.
“The works on the mains are all finished,” Mr Stewart said.
“We are just performing restoration works, which involves hot mix patching over the roads where there were bursts.”
“There is a broken service in Lithgow Street. But services go off all the time.”
Mr Stewart said the broken service would not affect houses nearby.
Main bursts occurred in Bridge Street, Pau Street, Tony Luchetti Showground and Barton Street. A pipe also burst in Wallerawang.
Mr Stewart said the pipe system in Lithgow is in a reasonable condition.
“Mains can burst for a variety of reasons including old age or a flaw in the pipe, even if a heavy truck drives over it.
“We have to progressively replace pipes and we have a program in place for that.”