Blockage busters clear city sewers

SEND IN THE ROBOT: Intergroup project manager Kepa Roberts with a robotic camera used to check the drains for blockages. Pictures by Liam Clayton
Mr Roberts at the screens that receive live video footage from the camera.

CONTRACTORS are inspecting and flushing Gisborne’s wastewater network to clear any potential blockages.

The maintenance and renewal work is part of Gisborne District Council’s DrainWise programme to reduce wastewater overflows on private properties and discharges into the rivers.

Contractors from Intergroup began flushing the eastern interceptor pipeline this week in the Carnarvon Street, Anzac Street and Churchill Park areas.

The work involves checking what is in the pipeline with a robotic camera, clearing it with high-pressure water jets, collecting materials cleared and rechecking to make sure it is cleared.

Council water utilities manager Neville West said flushing parts of the network was a proactive approach to prevent dry weather overflows.

In May a seven-metre pile of rags, baby wipes and even kitchen utensils was the cause of a blockage in wastewater pipes along Oak Street.

Contractors cleared the blockage, but the scour valves were opened into the Taruheru River to prevent wastewater backing up on to private property.

“Clearing out the pipeline will help us better understand what has entered our wastewater network, and improve our ability to measure its performance in the future,” Mr West said.

“An interceptor can carry a third or more of the city’s wastewater so if it does not function properly a lot of people can potentially be affected.”

The interceptors are the main trunk pipelines that transport wastewater to the wastewater treatment plant.

Mr West said it was a good reminder for everyone to be aware of what they were flushing down the toilet and tipping down the drain.

“The more foreign objects that wind up in our network, the more likely we will get blockages and overflows.”

Items found include wet-wipes, towels, toys, rocks, concrete, cutlery and fat from cooking.

Contractors will be working mostly during the day in residential areas and through the night in commercial areas to reduce the impact on businesses during the day and residents at night.

Those people who might be affected have been notified in person or by mail.

Traffic management will be in place during the day in affected areas, and contractors will be operating at night in urban areas.

CONTRACTORS are inspecting and flushing Gisborne’s wastewater network to clear any potential blockages.

The maintenance and renewal work is part of Gisborne District Council’s DrainWise programme to reduce wastewater overflows on private properties and discharges into the rivers.

Contractors from Intergroup began flushing the eastern interceptor pipeline this week in the Carnarvon Street, Anzac Street and Churchill Park areas.

The work involves checking what is in the pipeline with a robotic camera, clearing it with high-pressure water jets, collecting materials cleared and rechecking to make sure it is cleared.

Council water utilities manager Neville West said flushing parts of the network was a proactive approach to prevent dry weather overflows.

In May a seven-metre pile of rags, baby wipes and even kitchen utensils was the cause of a blockage in wastewater pipes along Oak Street.

Contractors cleared the blockage, but the scour valves were opened into the Taruheru River to prevent wastewater backing up on to private property.

“Clearing out the pipeline will help us better understand what has entered our wastewater network, and improve our ability to measure its performance in the future,” Mr West said.

“An interceptor can carry a third or more of the city’s wastewater so if it does not function properly a lot of people can potentially be affected.”

The interceptors are the main trunk pipelines that transport wastewater to the wastewater treatment plant.

Mr West said it was a good reminder for everyone to be aware of what they were flushing down the toilet and tipping down the drain.

“The more foreign objects that wind up in our network, the more likely we will get blockages and overflows.”

Items found include wet-wipes, towels, toys, rocks, concrete, cutlery and fat from cooking.

Contractors will be working mostly during the day in residential areas and through the night in commercial areas to reduce the impact on businesses during the day and residents at night.

Those people who might be affected have been notified in person or by mail.

Traffic management will be in place during the day in affected areas, and contractors will be operating at night in urban areas.

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