29 July 2019
The Central Otago District Council (CODC) will carry out routine, non-toxic smoke testing of wastewater pipes in neighbourhood streets around Alexandra and Cromwell next month (August).
Smoke testing involves pumping smoke into the wastewater network to identify any cracks, breaks or faulty connections. It also pinpoints where stormwater is getting into the wastewater network through illegal connections, such as house spouting or gully traps, which ultimately costs everyone in our community.
Central Otago District Council Water Services Manager Quentin Adams said the testing and any maintenance repair work required, was important to avoid the wastewater system being overloaded in times of heavy rainstorms.
"Overloading occurs when pumps can't work fast enough to keep up with the unexpected volume. This in turn can cause sewage overflows at pump stations. We want to identify any illegal connections now (as well as any normal maintenance issues) before we have any overloading events," said Mr Adams.
Residents will receive at least 24 hours' notice before CODC's contractor Reline NZ Ltd begins working in their street.
Mr Adams is reassuring residents not to be alarmed about smoke coming from their household drainage or the ground outside properties during the testing.
"Initially property inspections will occur then smoke will be pushed through. If you see smoke rising it is a normal part of the process. It is non-toxic and won't affect pets or plants. We appreciate your patience while we get this essential work done as quickly and efficiently as possible."
In Alexandra, the investigation will be carried out in the area between Centennial Avenue and the Clutha River, including the industrial/commercial areas. Some testing in Alexandra was completed last year and this latest testing will complete the Alexandra urban area.
For Cromwell, the area of to be tested will be the whole of the residential and commercial zones, being all properties bounded by the state highway to the west, Lake Dunstan to the east and as far south as the motor sport park.
Residents will receive a letter from CODC, with key contact details, advising when the testing will commence in their area.