Pipe testing concludes in Mellons Bay

INSPECTION: Watercare contractors Michael Thompson and Bernie Wallace demonstrating how they would be testing pipes. Times photo Wayne Martin.

Watercare’s extensive pipe testing programme in Mellons Bay has finished, with problems found at 54 properties of the 1500 properties that were inspected.

Inspectors found 19 properties had stormwater pipes illegally connected to wastewater pipes, 12 houses had gully traps that were too low, 18 properties had suspected cracked pipes and in five instances, there were defects in Watercare’s manhole covers.

Watercare’s Network Efficiency Manager, Anin Nama, was satisfied with the outcome: “Every little bit helps. Remembering that stormwater from a single house can displace the equivalent wastewater from more than 40 households, removing even a few non-compliant connections can make a real difference.

“The homeowners we have spoken to in Mellon’s Bay seem happy to take responsibility for the changes they need to make. More time will be allowed in cases where the cost of repair is an issue.”

Letters will now be sent advising Mellon’s Bay owners that faults have been found on their properties. Auckland Council will also be notified.

Watercare has been testing public and private wastewater pipes in Mellons Bay as part of an Auckland-wide programme to decrease the volume of stormwater entering the wastewater network, which is a major contributor to wet-weather overflows onto private properties and the wider environs, such as beaches.

Watercare teams used white, non-toxic smoke to test the pipes. The smoke billowed through the pipes and pinpointed where stormwater was entering the wastewater network.

The inspection operation attracted a lot of interest −Watercare staff received many supportive comments from passers-by who stopped to chat and see what was going on.