Broken wastewater pipe at Milford


Two properties required interior commercial cleaning following the wastewater spill in Alma Road, Milford on Sunday. One household organised their own cleaning- today Watercare is helping to organise carpet cleaning for the second property.

A third and fourth property require additional cleaning underneath their houses. Watercare is organising for a hydro-vac to be brought in to deal with the hard-to-reach areas.

All residents returned to their properties by Sunday night- apart from two household, where an adult son was living in a converted garage and the carpet was affected by the wastewater spill and a second family whose garage and area under the house was affected.
Watercare is arranging for contractors to return to restore bark, pebbles and help tidy gardens.

Watercare wastewater transmission manager, Chris Harbour has more than 25 years’ experience in the wastewater industry and says this is one of the worst wastewater spills he’s seen:“ I have certainly seen much bigger pipes than this one break but in terms of impact on residents, unfortunately  this is one of the worst incidents I’ve dealt with.

I would like to thank all the residents who were affected for their co-operation. Not only did they follow instructions and take our advice, they also showed a lot of kindness and generosity to our staff, by providing cold drinks and snacks as they worked away in extreme heat over many hours.”

Temporary repairs to the broken pipe have held and now Watercare will now move onto instigate a permanent repair.

Investigations into the cause of the breakage are on-going but it is believed that possible third party damage, may be to blame: “This was a strong concrete pressure pipe. These pipes don’t typically corrode because they are 100% full during normal operating conditions, with no access to air. Therefore that leads us to believe that the pipe has been damaged at some stage, creating a weakness, leading to the pipe blowing out in such a dramatic way,” says Harbour.

The Alma Road wastewater pump station has been operating normally since Sunday night (6.00 pm).