We are working with Auckland Council, testing pipes for illegal stormwater connections in Glen Innes as part of a new Auckland-wide campaign to reduce wet-weather overflows.
The drainage systems at 900 residential properties are being tested for damaged pipes, surface runoff, incorrect stormwater and wastewater connections and non-compliant gulley traps. The three-week inspection work began last week and it’s hoped the work will directly benefit the environment by reducing the amount of stormwater entering and overwhelming the wastewater network, which can result in overflows to streams and beaches, including nearby Omaru Creek.
A third of homes have been tested so far and faults have been found with 15 houses.
Watercare network efficiency manager Anin Nama says: “Every little bit helps. Remembering that stormwater from a single house can displace the equivalent wastewater from more than 40 households, removing even a few non-compliant connections can make a real difference.
"This is a combined approach, with Auckland Council working alongside Watercare to try to help residents to look after the environment. Many people don’t realise the impact something as simple as a downwater pipe that has been wrongly connected can have.”
Cold, non-toxic smoke is blown through manholes pipes, highlighting any problems such as leaky or damaged pipes and incorrectly connected stormwater downpipes. Auckland Council will notify property owners of any issues and will follow-up to make sure problems are fixed.
The smoke-detection work follows on from CCTV inspections of more than 4.5 kms of the public wastewater network and 1.5 kms of stormwater pipes in Glen Innes. Cracked or broken pipes have been identified and will be repaired. Large amounts of sediment from nearby residential building sites have been discovered and removed —as well as a set of building tools!
The work is welcomed by Maungakiekie-Tamaki councillor Josephine Bartley: “It’s good to come out here and see what Watercare and Auckland Council are doing together in collaboration because that’s how we’re going to sort out our water quality issues— our Government, our industry and community need to play a role too.
"You see how much pollution is going into the Omaru Creek and you wonder why we’re not making a dent. We’ve got a whole load of development happening in this area, so it’s good to see this work in action.”
Local resident and Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board member Chris Makoare was pleased to see the work being undertaken: “This is about our waterways. If we want clean beaches, if we want to swim at our beaches then this is about putting wastewater where it should be and putting stormwater where it should be. In the end we’ll all benefit from this initiative.”
In addition to the inspection programme, we are undertaking a $38 million wastewater upgrade in the Glen Innes area. Later this month, a large new wastewater pipe will be constructed along Taniwha Street and Elstree Avenue, leading to a pump station in Maybury Reserve. The 2.1-metre-wide pipe will act as storage tunnel, storing the equivalent of 50,000 bathtubs of wastewater. The current pump station will also be demolished and replaced. The project is due to be completed in 2020.