Source: Whangarei District Council
Updated: 3/12/2019 10:01 a.m.
In a bid to make sure stormwater is not being piped into the District’s sewer system, Council will be inspecting gully traps and downpipes in the Woodhill area over summer.
“Our work over past years to prevent sewage overflows has been very successful,” said Waste and Drainage Manager Simon Charles.
“Multi-million dollar projects like the Hatea storage and treatment facilities at Whareora Rd and storage and treatment system at Tarewa Park, major upgrades to the District’s largest waste water treatment plant at Kioreroa Road, large pumps at Okara Park pump station and network renewals in the wider network have significantly reduced harbour closures caused by sewer spills during storms in the past.
“Even so, preventing stormwater and groundwater getting into the system is a constant issue. Our work on this will be on-going, and will benefit the whole District by reducing the wastewater that enters our harbour and waterways,” he said.
“The wastewater system should only carry wastewater. Instead it gets heavily loaded in wet weather when stormwater and groundwater get into the sewer network through damaged sewer pipes or through gully traps that may not be properly installed, or through incorrectly directed downpipes. This inflow, along with ground water seeping into cracked pipes, puts much more water in the system than should be there and risks overloading the treatment plant.”
Council has engaged ProjectMax to undertake the inspection of gully traps in various suburbs that connect to the system, and this year it’s Woodhill’s turn.
Inspection staff will go onto people’s properties to do 15-minute inspections of gully traps and drainage pipes outside people’s homes. The staff will carry identification cards, which they will be happy to show. They will not need to enter houses and residents do not have to be present during the inspection.
“If our teams find any problems with the gully traps or drainage pipes on a property, they will contact the owners so they can make arrangements to fix them. For most properties no further action will be required.”
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