Flood­ing fix grad­ual

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Freak sum­mer flood­ing two weeks ago might have caused res­i­dents to de­spair at Porirua’s stormwa­ter up­grade pro­gramme but im­prove­ments are coming, says Porirua City Coun­cil.

Pukaki Gr in Wai­tan­girua and Sem­ple St in the Me­ga­Cen­tre were un­der water on the night of Fe­bru­ary 4 af­ter a on­cein-30-year rain­storm bat­tered Welling­ton.

But some of Porirua’s worst flood­ing spots are hav­ing nearly $ 700,000 spent on them this fi­nan­cial year, says Peter Bai­ley, the coun­cil’s gen­eral man­ager of as­set man­age­ment and op­er­a­tions.

The 10-year bud­get for stormwa­ter up­grades is $4 mil­lion.

Pukaki Gr’s flood­ing was caused by plas­tic bot­tles block­ing the cul-de-sac’s drains, Mr Bai­ley says. The coun­cil is in­stalling grates over many of the city’s sumps, or en­trances to drains, to stop flood­ing and pre­vent rub­bish flow­ing to the har­bour, he says. The grates will soon be in­stalled in Pukaki Gr.

How­ever, full stormwa­ter pipe and sump up­grades are lim­ited this year for ar­eas where there is a greater risk of water en­ter­ing houses and busi­nesses, Mr Bai­ley says.

Other prob­lem ar­eas will be ad­dressed in coming years.

Porirua’s stormwa­ter is­sues stem from age­ing pipes that can’t han­dle present vol­umes of water, and not enough sumps to let the water in. Up­grades will in­volve a to­tal re­design of pipe net­works based on flow vol­umes, larger pipes, and in­creased sumps, Mr Bai­ley says.

How­ever, flood­ing will never com­pletely dis­ap­pear. Stormwa­ter pipes are de­signed to cope with a one-in-10-year event, so streets would still flood in a larger event like on Fe­bru­ary 4, Mr Bai­ley says.

Also, houses built on low-ly­ing ar­eas across the city are sim­ply prone to flood­ing in ma­jor down­pours, es­pe­cially if they have lots of con­crete fill-in on their sec­tions, he says.

Ready to rock: Tawa muso Tom Hol­low hopes his new LP will help him launch a ca­reer in the United States.

Wa­ter­logged: Jaymie Baker fer­ries his sis­ter Ariel Baker out of their flooded Pukaki Grove home on Fe­bru­ary 5. The Wai­tan­girua neigh­bour­hood’s drains will be im­proved but it is not Porirua City Coun­cil’s top pri­or­ity for a stormwa­ter up­grade.

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