HIGH AND DRY: Andrew Pearce with his Old Dog Drinking Water truck.
HIGH AND DRY: Andrew Pearce with his Old Dog Drinking Water truck. DEIRDRE SMITH

Customers say tanks

HE'S got a huge truck and he worked for eight years as a truck mechanic but still some people try and take Andrew Pearce for a ride.

AS the drought deepens and dams run dry, the owner of Old Dog Drinking Water been working non-stop.

"I've sort of got a full slate for at least two weeks,” he said

"Since Christmas, because of the drought, I've been very busy.”

He's a generous man and he is aware that many people are struggling to pay for water on top of their everyday expenses. For many, it's something that they've never had to budget for before.

Occasionally, there are some who he feels have no intention to pay.

"After doing it for a while, you can pick it on the phone,” he said.

But most of his customers are genuine people and very happy to see him. And while he usually operates through bookings, he also keeps room for emergencies.

About six times per week, he gets calls from people who have run out of water, they didn't realise how much water they are using or didn't keep track of water levels in their tanks.

"If there's water coming out of their tap, they're happy,” he said.

"If there's no water coming out, they're not happy.”

Mr Pearce's truck holds 17,000 litres and the cost for customers depends on where they are located as 'most of the cost is in the transport'.

A family of four, complying with the council-mandated usage of 100 litres of water each per day would require a load of water about every six weeks. At outlying locations such as Dalveen, a tank costs around $300.

Even prior to the drought, Mr Pearce enjoyed a regular flow of business.

"If it rains, it goes quiet but after two or three weeks you start getting calls,” he said.

The unusual name of his business comes from an old Mack truck with its bulldog emblem, that he restored.

Another Stanthorpe water carrier, Blue Topaz, is currently doing six loads a day and is booked into the start of September.