When residents bought into the newly developed Cairnlea area just over a decade ago, they thought they were buying properties with picturesque water views.

But these days the man-made lakes are hardly flowing – dry weather has meant the lakes are rapidly drying up.

Joe Azzopardi bought into the area when it was established and said promises were made to keep the lake topped up.

“VicUrban … told us the lakes would be topped up by storm water, but in the event of drought, mains are in place,” he said.

“About 10 years ago we had a drought and someone came down, turned the tap on and it was topped up. The valve is there, anyone can see it.”

Mr Azzopardi said he can hear the mains at the lake go on each morning.

“The water pressure in my house drops significantly for about an hour every morning, but the water isn’t going into the lake,” he said

“We suspect it’s being used to water sports ovals.”

Michael Thandi, also a resident by the lake, said a lack of maintenance of the lakes is an ongoing problem.

“When I first bought I was told I was paying more in rates for maintenance costs because I have a water-facing property. If that is the case I’d like to see them maintain the lake, because it clearly is not happening at the moment.”

Residents say they were made promises that haven’t been kept.

However Brimbank council’s chief strategist financial and organisational excellence Shane Marr said only storm water is used for the lakes.

“It is not sustainable to fill the lake with drinking water [mains water],” he said.

“Water bodies in the Cairnlea area, including Cairnlea Lake and Wetlands, Shearwater Meadow, Waterfield Park and Station Waters are filled by storm water [rain water].

“In periods of low rainfall, as has been the case in the last three months, the level of the water bodies will drop to a low point …[but] the water bodies will be recharged with autumn and winter rains as has occurred in previous years.”

Mr Marr also denied claims the residents were paying higher rates for water-facing properties.

He said all residential property rates are calculated based on the same rate in the dollar.

Mr Marr said residents having issues with mains water should contact their water utility.