A project to improve the management of stormwater and erosion along the Ōhope Beach dune system is due to begin soon.

The first of a series of planned infiltration basins along the coastline will be created on land between 156 and 228 Ocean Rd. Construction is due to begin next week and will take approximately four weeks to complete, weather permitting.

The basins will manage how stormwater drains during heavy rain events by collecting stormwater and allowing it to soak away slowly, rather than being piped into the dune system, as currently.

The works are in response to a dune system that has retreated by about 25 metres over the last 15-20 years. This has reduced the buffer between the existing soakage system and the beach. During storm events this can lead to the uncontrolled discharge of stormwater through the dune and onto the beach, damaging parts of the dune system.

Once each basin is complete the existing stormwater pipes and soakage infrastructure within the dune and on the beach will be removed.

The material that is excavated will be used to repair damaged areas of the dune system and placed at the base of the dune for beach renourishment. The area that is disturbed during construction will be replanted with grass and native plants. Most beach access tracks will be unaffected during the works.

The initial project will see the four most urgent infiltration basins created. This is the first stage in a longer term project that will see more than a dozen basins created with the aim of providing a more resilient stormwater system along Ocean Rd.