Mil­son street pond­ing a peren­nial pain

The Tribune (NZ) - - CONVERSATIONS - RICHARD MAYS

When­ever there’s a downpour, res­i­dents of a street in Mil­son get their very own tem­po­rary mini lake.

Last week, Flint St was again un­der­wa­ter, and when­ever sig­nif­i­cant rain falls, res­i­dent Kevin Curry, who re­lies on a mo­bil­ity scooter, can’t get out of his house un­til the wa­ter sub­sides.

Apart from block­ing ac­cess to his drive­way, Curry said the wa­ter didn’t af­fect his home di­rectly.

‘‘I’m quite high here, but it does af­fect other prop­er­ties on the street.’’

He had years of dated pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence to prove it.

‘‘This has been hap­pen­ing since I shifted here six years ago.’’

While clean­ing out the stormwa­ter drains made a slight im­prove­ment, the street still flooded - a prob­lem made worse by peo­ple driv­ing through it.

Last Wed­nes­day, Curry said a driver in a white ute backed all the way to the end of the street and then ac­cel­er­ated through the flood­wa­ters so his mate could video it on his cell­phone.

Curry wasn’t quite quick enough to take his own pho­to­graph of the in­ci­dent, but cap­tured the after­math with waves break­ing against prop­er­ties on the other side of the street.

‘‘A few years ago, the woman next door to me had her car, which was parked on the road­side, soaked in­side dur­ing a flood by waves caused by cars rac­ing through the wa­ter.’’

Curry said the wa­ter be­gan to col­lect at around mid­day last Wed­nes­day, and peaked at 1.30pm.

The city’s stormwa­ter as­set engi­neer JP (John) McCartin said coun­cil was aware of the is­sue, and a year ago, the street’s stormwa­ter pipes were ‘jet­ted’, or cleaned out.

‘‘I don’t call it a flood, I call it street pond­ing, but if it hap­pens too of­ten or hangs around for too long, it’s not ac­cept­able.’’

He said there were 10 to 15 low­ly­ing ar­eas around the city where pond­ing oc­cured due to a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors.

These in­cluded the city’s flat­ness, soil types, and ‘‘stream hy­draulics’’ - where the drain­ing wa­ter doesn’t gen­er­ate enough force in the pipes for them to self­clean.

McCartin said he’d had a first­hand look at Flint St, and thought more ex­ten­sive jet­ting of the ‘‘com­plex stormwa­ter sys­tem’’ in­volv­ing 1.5-kilo­me­tres of pipe could al­le­vi­ate the prob­lem. He promised to mon­i­tor the re­sults.

PHOTO: KEVIN CURRY/SUPPLIED

Mil­son’s Flint St is reg­u­larly flooded in heavy rain.

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