Robot's Go Underground

 WDC Article


Many of the good things to happen in Hikurangi in recent years are above ground and enjoyed by many – like the new playground, snazzy looking entrance way and completed walkway. 

But one of the biggest improvements to the town in the next few months will be all but invisible as it happens mainly below ground. 

The $1.8 million renewal of the town’s sewer network, by contractors Quik-shot aims to put an end to decades of weather related sewer problems that have dogged the locality. 

Hikurangi is a very old settlement which means its sewer system is one of the oldest in the District. 

It is also low-lying which has seen ground and flood water flowing into sewer pipes and causing overflows and loss of service whenever it rains heavily. 

Solving the waste water problem was such a big job that it had to be completed in stages.  

Stage One involved upgrading the sewer mains to ensure they will be big enough to take all the sewage to the treatment plant once the network is improved. This part of the job involved two new pump stations and pressure mains between the rugby clubrooms and the treatment plant at Jordan Valley Rd.

Now that job is complete work has begun on Stage Two, renewing and rehabilitating the entire local network of pipes.

“This is the final part of this wastewater network upgrade for Hikurangi. We did Stage One followed by property inspections to check gully traps and downpipes last year. Some of the faults have already been notified and fixed,” said Waste and Drainage Engineer Casper Kandori. 

“Renewing the pipework in this stage will reduce the amount of stormwater and groundwater that enters the system, reducing overflows in the area.  This had been a menace for properties at Union St that, for a while, used portaloos to avoid flooding the sewer system. Their situation has been sorted out and residents confirm there has been no more flooding and that the new system is working well.”

Mr Kandori said in the upcoming work all nine kilometres of sewers in the settlement would be inspected by closed circuit television (CCTV), two kilometres of pipes would be re-lined and 1.2 kilometres of pipes would be replaced.

 “The company completing the work will also use new technology, including ‘pipe bursting’ technology that replaces existing pipes without any digging.  Other new technology will allow pipes to be relined without digging, and some connections to properties will be cut using a robot. This will minimise disruption and speed up installation.

“Residents will be notified in writing and many will be visited where we can discuss access arrangements and project details.”





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