Three waters upgrades increase resilience in Te Kūiti north-west

23 Nov 2022, 4:17 PM



Waitomo District Council is gearing up for a busy season of infrastructure improvements, with several projects underway or in the pipeline.

One such project which started this month, is upgrading the reticulation network and improving the level of service in the north-western area of Te Kūiti. This area includes
Te Kūiti Hospital and Te Kūiti High School.

This has been a continuing concern and was again highlighted during the construction of the Indoor Sports and Recreation Centre.

Waitomo District Council’s General Manager Infrastructure Services, Shyamal Ram says the area is a mixture of steep grades that level off to large flat areas that are difficult to drain, and the existing pipes are presently operating at capacity when extreme weather occurs.

“The project is progressing well, and we are on target to complete the work in the new year, weather permitting.”

Work includes laying new watermains and rerouting wastewater and stormwater pipelines to relieve the pressure during heavy rain events. The outcome of this will be a vast reduction of flooding and wastewater overflows during such extreme weather events and should make a big difference for residents; the area more resilient, which means less maintenance work is required in future.

“Inflow and infiltration is the main cause of wastewater overflows. Inflow and infiltration mean that stormwater is ending up in the wastewater network,” says Shyamal.

“Wastewater systems are not designed to handle stormwater. Residents could assist with improving the situation by ensuring that the stormwater from their property does not end up in the wastewater network.

“This could be done by removing any downpipes from houses connected to the wastewater pipe and by ensuring that the wastewater gully traps do not get flooded by groundwater.”

The project is part of a larger programme of upgrades across the Waitomo District to ensure Council’s infrastructure is more resilient.