Digging up the road and putting in new sewer lines on Renall Street, Masterton. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

KAREN COLTMAN
karen.coltman@age.co.nz

Bigger, longer PVC plastic sewage pipes are going in underground in Masterton to replace shorter, smaller, earthware ones. As the Masterton population grows, the need for larger more robust sewage pipes has increased.

Masterton District Council contractors, Higgins, have dug down to 1.75m in the middle of Renall Street near the Ngaumutawa Road intersection to smash up the old sewage pipes and get the new ones in.

The old sewer network was constructed 100 years ago with 600mm lengths of earthenware pipes which have a diameter of six inches [about 150mm].

“The sewer pipes are being replaced because of their age, and because of the need to increase capacity due to housing development,” MDC spokesperson Steve Rendle said.

The new plastic sewage pipes have a diameter of 300mm, which is nearly double the previous installation.

The new sewer line is being “pulled” under the rail crossing on Renall Street, without any disruption to the railway line.

The method to get the old pipes out of the way is called ‘pipe bursting’ – a machine goes inside the old pipe and smashes it to pieces with a sharp edged, turning rod. There has been difficulty with this method at some sections because of striking hard aggregate.

“The council would like to thank road users for their patience during the work,” Rendle said.

The sewer pipe replacement will be extended across Ngaumutawa Road later in the year.