Sewage risk outlined
Paremata residents say the inadequacies of the sewer and stormwater systems along Mana Esplanade are creating health and safety risks for road users and residents and ‘‘need to be sorted in a hurry’’.
Paremata Residents Association vice-president Russell Morrison has plenty of photographic evidence to support his assertion that flooding and manhole covers ‘‘popping’’ is not being remedied. Issues with Porirua’s ageing pipes are well-known, but he wants action taken immediately.
Photos show sewage escaping from a manhole in August and again in September, toilet paper evident around a manhole in October and water flowing along the road on a number of occasions – all during heavy rain. It is mostly occurring near the Pascoe Ave intersection.
‘‘It is becoming more apparent the last couple of times [it has rained hard] and this needs to be sorted in a hurry. Those pipes can’t cope with the surge of extra water into the system. The majority is stormwater but you do have sewage mixed in with it, and sometimes trucks shoot by and it’s sprayed on to fences and into properties.’’
Mr Morrison believes there is an issue over who must take con- trol of the sumps – Porirua City Council or New Zealand Transport Agency, as the problem is occurring on State Highway 1.
Council general manager of asset management and operations Peter Bailey admitted there was an ‘‘ownership’’ question.
‘‘This is not an unusual situation with roading but we need to make sure we know where the responsibility lies. We did a systematic drive [study of the pipes] along Mana Esplanade two years ago but you do have large events and the system just gets overloaded. We are refurbishing sewer lines in a number of places across Porirua as part of an ongoing programme and when we see a problem we try and clear it as quickly as we can.’’
Mr Bailey said there would be a report to city councillors, likely in February, on upgrading the city’s pipes.
Paper trail: The remnants, days later, of toilet paper that came up from the sewers below Mana Esplanade during heavy rain. Inset: Paremata resident Russell Morrison says this bubbling manhole is not an unusual sight during wet weather in Mana and wants the Porirua City Council to address the problems well in advance of next winter.