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Finally, some relief for Carterton


Carterton’s wastewater treatment plant suffered from surface flooding last week, requiring residents to limit water use. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Carterton residents no longer need to limit their water use more than necessary.

The district council asked residents on Friday to limit showers, flushing, and laundry while surface flooding at the town’s wastewater treatment plant was assessed.

After days of rain, the water was not draining from the site and a “large volume of wastewater” still remains at the Dalefield plant.

It was the second time this year the council had asked people to limit water use after significant rain.

“We experience a significant increase to our wastewater intake during times of heavy rain,” a spokesperson said.

“This happened last week, and happened in February and June.

“The increase indicates that we have faults in our wastewater reticulation system, which results in stormwater infiltrating the system.

“We needed the help from residents to limit water to avoid overloading the system and causing wastewater backflow into people’s homes.”

The spokesperson said that after February, the council bought flow meters which were set for installation in the next couple of months.

“They will show us which catchments in the reticulation have the larger inflows.”

Over the coming weeks, the council would be smoke testing across the network to identify faults.

Smoke testing involves injecting a dense, non-toxic and odourless smoke into the wastewater network, and then watching to see where the smoke escapes.

It’s normal for smoke to come out of the sewer vent pipes on roofs of homes and buildings, this doesn’t indicate a problem.

However, if smoke emerges from storm drains or rises from lawns, pavements, or the street, this indicates that there is a problem such as a cracked wastewater pipe, damaged manhole, or a cross-connection to the stormwater network.

Once network faults were listed, the council would plan for repairs and improvements. – NZLDR

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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