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Digging the dirt on drains


A massive stocktake of drains throughout the Wairoa district is underway.

Cyclone Gabrielle put local drain networks under enormous pressure, with Wairoa District Council using the opportunity to reset and ensure the stormwater and wastewater networks are running at optimal quality and to upgrade where needed.

Drains have been cleaned out, checked, repaired and details compared against the database and updated where necessary.

Wairoa District Council Chief Executive Kitea Tipuna said the Council’s assets are all loaded into a database. That stored information is being reviewed to ensure we have an accurate handle on our drainage network.

“The situation is constantly changing, and stored information is only as good as the data fed in. By checking on the ground now, we can ensure we have an accurate picture.

“We are also looking at how drains have been set up historically. In town, all our stormwater drains go into the river, so when the river is in a flood, the drainage flow stops and sometimes comes back, which can flood town streets. It’s not because the drains are blocked. It’s because the water has nowhere to go, so we are listening to people and investigating solutions on how this historical issue can be changed.

“Changing climate and weather patterns mean it is appropriate to review all drainage in the district and a focus over the next three years will be to upgrade culvert sizes where appropriate.”

18 December 2023

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