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Temporary solution as blunder investigated

Temporary piping at Lake Ferry, after “third party damage” caused an outage to the Wairarapa village’s wastewater system. PHOTO/SUPPLIED.

 

MARCUS ANSELM

[email protected]

Lake Ferry homeowners can use their showers and toilets once again after the latest water infrastructure blunder in South Wairarapa.

A “number 8 wire” solution using temporary piping has been rigged up by engineers to restore wastewater service to 50 residences in the Wairarapa coastal village.

South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] and water conglomerate Wellington Water [WW] blamed “third party damage” for a broken pipe, and the subsequent discharge of partially treated wastewater into the nearby wetlands on Wednesday this week.

It has forced Lake Ferry residents to restrict their wastewater use, and they’ve also been warned to stay away from the local wetlands, which had only recently been earmarked for protected Ramsar status [named after the Ramsar treaty on wetlands in 1971].

The treatment plant is situated on council land on the hills overlooking the hamlet. Work is ongoing to remove pine trees in the area.

A Wellington Water spokesperson said a temporary, overland pipeline is in place “while a permanent repair solution is developed”.

“The plant resumed operation on Thursday afternoon, meaning residents of Lake Ferry can resume regular activity.”

Warning signs were erected at beaches on Lake Ferry’s shoreline as a precaution, with engineers and subcontractors working around the clock.

The beaches have now been reopened, but the exact volume of the wastewater discharge as a result of the damage was still to be calculated.

SWDC’s Euan Stitt said an investigation was underway.

-NZLDR

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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