A sewer leak in the vicinity of the SH30 roundabout at Gateway Drive will require a complex repair job, but the issue is expected to be resolved shortly. The problem affects the sewer main where the pipeline from Gateway Drive passes under the highway and connects to the main from Hinemoa Street. This line carries close to 40% of Whakatāne township’s sewage to the nearby treatment ponds.
The leak has occurred some three metres beneath the road surface and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has asked that the repairs be made without excavating the State Highway. This will see a new line thrust under the road so that the old Gateway pipe can then be isolated and sealed-off, with an internal patch to the main.
CCTV cameras and a special trolley will be deployed inside the main pipe to install the patch. Whakatāne District Council Manager Capital Projects, Jim Finlay, says a considerable number of service providers will be involved in resolving the issue.
“In addition to Council staff and local contractors, because of the complexity of this site, we have also had to call on the expertise of specialist pipe installers Chorus and Higgins Contractors (the network manager for NZTA) to ensure that we not only make a long-term repair, but also avoid disrupting any other services,” he says. “We have put a temporary fix in place to divert the leak in the meantime and will be starting on the permanent repair next week. The job should take three to four days to complete and we’ll have sucker trucks in place while work is underway, but we don’t expect there to be any major issues.”