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Pump Station Thieves Put Lives At Risk


Pump Station Thieves Put Lives At Risk

Manukau City (9 April) – Thieves are putting peoples lives at risk by stealing aluminium covers that are designed to shield potentially- dangerous wastewater pumping facilities in Manukau.

This week two sets of covers have been stolen from sites in parks in Manurewa, while a further set of covers was tampered with. Manukau Water Limited is asking the public to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity around pumpstation facilities in the Manukau district.

The thefts are of particular concern because many of the pumpstations are in public parks or reserves where children play, said Manukau Water Limited Communications Manager Mark Reynolds

“By stealing these covers, burglars are exposing open pits that are around 7 metres deep. If a child or a pet were to fall into one of these holes then they would be at serious risk of harm,” Mr Reynolds said.

Many of the facilities have sensor-driven pumps, meaning that if a person were to fall into them a pump would be activated automatically - increasing the risk of harm.

“The facilities are well protected with metal doors over control mechanisms and covers over drains, but some low-lifes out there are ripping them off and exposing people to harm for the sake of a few bucks worth of scrap metal,” Mr Reynolds said.

There are nearly 100 wastewater pumpstations in Manukau City, the majority of which are in parks or suburban areas. The protective metal doors and covers at the pumpstations are generally about 2 metres long by 1 metre wide. The pumpstations have upright stainless steel doors on control panels, as well as aluminium covers over sewage drains.

Legitimate work on the facilities is always carried out by people in marked vehicles and all Manukau Water Limited staff have valid identity cards.

“The public can therefore help us by reporting any suspicious activity they see at these facilities by people who do not appear to be authorised. They can either call our Call Centre on 262 8989, or report the activity to their local police station,” Mr Reynolds said.

“We are also keen to hear as quickly as possible if any doors or covers are missing so that we can protect the facilities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Manukau Water Limited has replaced the missing doors at the Manurewa facilities.


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