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Council serious about improving wastewater resources

20 August 2018

A two year programme which has seen a large portion of the Waikato district wastewater network cleaned and inspected shows Waikato District Council is serious about improving the state of its assets.

Council now has a better understanding of its wastewater network thanks to work being done on the Wastewater Overflow Continual Improvement Programme (CIP).

Approximately 80 kilometres of wastewater pipes have been cleaned and inspected via Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in Raglan, Huntly, Ngaruawahia, Meremere, Te Kauwhata, Tuakau and Pokeno.

Smoke testing has also been carried out in Pokeno to see if rain water gets into the wastewater network.

Council has been able to use this data to assess the condition of the pipes. This information will now mean staff can prioritise pipes that pose a risk of an overflow.

Waikato District Council General Manager Ian Cathcart says this work shows that the wastewater overflow programme is incredibly important.

“The data received from CCTV inspections has given us a better picture of what needs to be done where, and will allow us to prioritise any replacement or rehabilitation work.

“This district-wide assessment into the condition of Council’s underground pipes is part of Council’s ongoing commitment to improving wastewater infrastructure so that we can minimise any wastewater overflows or leaks,” he says.

The public also has an important part to play helping Council reduce wastewater spills in the district.

About 80% of wastewater overflows in the Waikato district from 2014-16 were caused by blockages.

The main causes of these blockages were foreign objects such as wipes, clothing, sanitary pads and nappies being flushed down toilets, and grease, oil and food scraps being poured down the kitchen sink.

Council will continue to roll out a public education campaign that aims to inform the community that they should only flush pee, poo and paper down the loo and that grease, fats and oils should be disposed in the bin instead of down the sink.

Mr Cathcart says that if the public buy-in to messages contained in the education programme it’ll be a win-win situation for the council and the community.


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