Waikato District Council report on weather and flooding

Last week’s severe weather event saw rain and wind lash the Waikato District with a large number of trees down and power lines also down in a number of areas.

While our Emergency Operation Centre didn’t activate, Council had a number of staff managing the situation for its residents.  Staff also worked with a number of contractors such as WEL Networks and neighbouring councils throughout the event.

Flooding thanks to the king tides affected Raglan, in particular Lorenzen Bay and along Wainui Road and Marine Parade. For a short while on Friday, Marine Parade was under water which isolated Kopua Camp. A number of houses on Lorenzen Bay were also flooded.

During the storm there were also concerns for the wastewater network in Raglan, with several pump stations under water on Friday.

Due to the potential for wastewater to escape from the network under these conditions, a wastewater overflow response was followed and staff and Council contractors worked hard to ensure no overflow occurred.

Over the weekend signs were put up around the Lorenzen Bay and Wainui Road pump stations advising against swimming and shellfish collection as a precaution until more detailed investigation could be done.

Staff completed this investigation earlier this week and can say that both the Lorenzen and Wainui Road pump stations were submerged for approximately 1-hour on Friday, January 5, between 2pm-3pm as a result of the king tide. In anticipation of the following king tide at 2.30am on Saturday, water crews worked through the night to ensure neither pump station was re-submerged.

The Lorenzen Bay pump station continued to work while under water. No wastewater was discharged from this pump station. The Wainui Road pump station was flooded with sea water and also suffered damage to the pump control system which cut power to the pumps.

At the time of flooding, the pump station contained 0.9m3 of wastewater. The total volume of the pump well is 9m3. The station lost power for approximately 1 hour while full with the diluted wastewater-sea water mixture and during this time staff estimate approximately 0.5m3 discharged from the manhole before the vacuum truck arrived.

Council has had advice from Waikato Public Health Service who say that only a minimal risk to public health would exist under the circumstances and that the signs can come down.

Raglan Harbour remains open.

Council thanks Raglan residents for their help and assistance during the storm and would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to be prepared for an emergency.

Check out www.civildefence.govt.nz for more information on how to stay safe in an emergency.