Ashburton District Council is set to start work on a new project auditing the drainage systems of all residential properties in the urban Ashburton area to ensure stormwater runoff is draining into the correct pipe network.
Starting on 3 November 2014, the 'Right Pipe' project will enable Council to identify where incorrectly constructed drainage systems are resulting in stormwater entering the Council's sewerage network.
Where incorrect piping is identified, Council will advise properties owners to get the necessary changes made to ensure stormwater flows are going to the right pipe.
Council Assets Manager Andrew Guthrie says drainage systems which have been incorrectly constructed can result in overflowing pipes and uncontrolled sewage discharges from the sewerage network.
"This is a serious health hazard and a significant concern to affected residents. It is vital that we keep stormwater and sewerage networks functioning as two separate systems," Mr Guthrie says.
"The Right Pipe project will be carried out over the next one to two years as the Council works through each area, property-by-property.
"While we are confident that remedial work on incorrectly constructed drainage systems will result in improvements over time, we have to keep in mind that there is no guarantee that some problems with stormwater entering the sewerage network may still occur, especially during heavy rain events," he says.
The Council's ongoing sewerage network assessment will continue, with a focus on identifying those pipes in the poorest condition that allow groundwater to enter the network and replacing those pipes through the renewal programme.
"Taking this two-pronged approach to the issue will give us the best result in terms of reducing water entering the sewerage network during rain events," says Mr Guthrie.
Starting in Tinwald, drainage inspections will involve a Council representative checking gully traps, stormwater downpipes and soak holes to make sure the stormwater system is working to a satisfactory standard.
Prior to inspection, Council will notify property owners of the scheduled date and time of the inspection.
Following an inspection, Council will advise the property owner of the results, including whether their drainage system meets the required standards and what work, if any, is needed to get it up to standard.
For information about the Right Pipe project, property owners can visit the Council website at ashburtondc.govt.nz or call the Council Customer Services Team on 307 7700.
Learn more about the Right Pipe project