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Taylor river sewage leak identified

16 July 2018

Marlborough District Council staff have identified what they think is the main source of sewage contaminating the Taylor river by Riverside Park.

Council Operations and Maintenance Engineer Stephen Rooney says after the Kaikoura earthquake, many old earthenware sewerage pipes had cracked and some were leaking into the ground, where the sewage mixed with groundwater.

“We have a very efficient stormwater system which conveys groundwater out into the river.”

However, that leaking has helped the Council find where the worst damaged pipes are, including the sewer main in Third Lane, behind the Westpac Bank in the central business district, which is where most contamination in the Taylor River by Riverside Park seems to be coming from.

“The sewer main is in such bad condition it can’t be relined the way other cracked pipes in the district are being fixed, it has to be replaced.”

Stephen says the nearby water main will also be replaced at the same time, as it is nearing the end of its life.

“There’s nothing wrong with the water main at the moment, but it’s getting older.

“But if we’re going to dig it up for the sewer line, we might as well take the opportunity to do everything - water, wastewater and stormwater - making it neat and tidy at the same time.”

Council will contact other utility operators to see if they need any work done in this location at the same time, he says.

No timeframe has been set for the work yet, as design issues have yet to be resolved. Stephen says the site has real constraints as the lane is narrow, nearby shops need to continue to operate, and the trenching will be close to buildings.


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