After a successful trial in Raglan last year, Waikato District Council’s wastewater education campaign kicks off around the rest of the district in 2018.
The wastewater education programme forms part of Council’s commitment to improving the state of the district’s wastewater network as part of its Wastewater Overflow Continual Improvement Programme (CIP).
Work on this overarching programme has seen a vast improvement in knowledge of the wastewater network over the past 12 months.
In total, 42km of wastewater pipes have been cleaned and inspected via Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in Raglan, Huntly, Ngaruawahia, Meremere, Te Kauwhata, Tuakau and Pokeno.
Council is using the CCTV data to assess the condition of the pipes. This information will then mean staff can prioritise pipes that pose a risk of an overflow.
A generator is also due to be installed at the Greenslade Road pump station in Raglan later this month. The generator will ensure the pumps in the area continue to work if there is a power outage and will protect the harbour from overflows. Portable generators were used in Raglan during the recent storm to keep the pump stations operating while the town experienced a power cut.
Waikato District Council Acting General Manager Service Delivery Jacki Remihana says the work done so far has shown that the Wastewater Overflow programme is incredibly important.
“The data received from CCTV inspections continues to give us a better picture of what needs to be done where, and allows 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,” she says.
The public also has an important part to play in the objective of reducing 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.
Recent Facebook posts have widely publicised the fact that undies and concrete do indeed get flushed or placed in the network.
Ms Remihana 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.
“If the council and the public can work together to reduce the number of blockages in our wastewater network it will go a long way to achieve our goal of protecting our environment and ensuring our wastewater pipes are working more efficiently.”
A further 40km of wastewater pipes are scheduled to be cleaned and inspected this year across the district, including smoke testing.
Council is also working to improve the electronic communication system the network relies on, the resource consent process for wastewater discharge and the way water and wastewater services are delivered by Council.
ENDSFor more information please contact:
Waikato District Council
027 706 5776