Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


North Shore City wells now grilled

North Shore City wells now grilled

August 12, 2004

North Shore City Council wastewater engineers and safety experts have developed a simple engineering solution that should make a major contribution to protecting the health and safety of its sewer system workers and the general public.

The engineers have developed the design for a standardized safety grille for 69 of the city's sewage pumping station wet wells or sumps - and are working toward having the design accepted and approved by Australasian safety authorities.

Wastewater network operations engineer Pieter Stellingwerf says that in developing the ideal design for a protective cover for the wells - which can be up to six metres deep - it wasn't just a question of designing and installing a simple grille. The challenge was to find out whether there were any existing Australasian standards, establish whether any other local authorities were already working on the problem, and research the literature.

After finding there was little to go on, he says NSCC engineers then worked with design consultant Thor Associates Ltd to develop the design, have it accepted by the industry, approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH); and have the grilles built and finally installed in all the city's pumping station wells.

Mr Stellingwerf says almost every council pumping station has a wet well, and these need regular inspection, cleaning and maintenance to function efficiently and reliably.

Previously most wet wells were protected only by a solid metal hatch on the outer opening, and if this was vandalized or broken open, the well could represent a serious hazard to workers or general public.

Even when opened by experienced and properly trained workers, the wells still present a potential hazard as workers could fall, suffering serious injury. And there is potential for fatalities, with one recent death occurring in Australia.

Pieter says the council's design is for a grille of stainless steel that is strong, light, lockable, able to be hinged and lifted, able to take the weight of a person falling on to it, have an opening grille small enough to prevent a boot slipping through the gap, and large enough to allow the well to be water blasted or cleaned by hose through the grille. What's more, provision has to be made to reach down and pull float valves and measuring devices up through the grille for service.

Mr Stellingwerf says the North Shore City grille design is now an accepted OSH solution, which will lead to greater safety for workers in an environment where there are already other potential hazards.

One less hazard will make wet wells safer places for all staff, contractors and public, says Mr Stellingwerf.

Other North Shore City Council staff who have worked long and hard to achieve the result were health and safety co-ordinator Blair McMichael, and wastewater network operations manager Keith Morris.

Mr McMichael says associated training and safe working procedures also apply when cleaning wet wells. Should a worker need to enter a wet well, North Shore City's confined spaces entry requirements apply.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election