Council Serious About Improving Wastewater Resources

A two year programme which has seen a large portion of the Waikato district wastewater network cleaned and inspected shows Waikato District Council is serious about improving the state of its assets.

Council now has a better understanding of its wastewater network thanks to work being done on the Wastewater Overflow Continual Improvement Programme (CIP).

Approximately 80 kilometres of wastewater pipes have been cleaned and inspected via Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in:

  • Raglan Huntly
  • Ngaruawahia
  • Meremere
  • Te Kauwhata
  • Tuakau
  • Pokeno.

Smoke testing has also been carried out in Pokeno to see if rain water gets into the wastewater network. Council has been able to use this data to assess the condition of the pipes. This information will now mean staff can prioritise pipes that pose a risk of an overflow.

Waikato District Council General Manager Ian Cathcart says this work shows that the wastewater overflow programme is incredibly important. About 80% of wastewater overflows in the Waikato district from 2014-16 were caused by blockages.

The main causes of these blockages were foreign objects such as:

  • wipes
  • clothing
  • sanitary pads
  • nappies being flushed down toilets
  • grease, oil and food scraps being poured down the kitchen sink.

Council will continue to roll out a public education campaign that aims to inform the community that they should only flush pee, poo and paper down the loo and that grease, fats and oils should be disposed in the bin instead of down the sink.

Mr Cathcart says that if the public buy-in to messages contained in the education programme it’ll be a win-win situation for the council and the community