The last week or two has been a big reminder that Blenheim is located on a floodplain criss-crossed by creeks and streams. The constant rain raised groundwater levels, putting the town’s sewerage and stormwater system under pressure.
With the sewer system full to overflowing, Council established its own response system, monitoring pressure points and setting up extra pumps where necessary.
A total of 10 properties experienced a sewage overflow but Council staff were on hand to clean up and disinfect each property.
Our engineers say the constant rain meant soils weren’t able to dry out and sewer pipes usually above water level were actually submerged by groundwater.
It was a big test of the town’s aging sewerage network. This network dates back to the 1930s and was already under review by Council engineers. That work assessing the sewer mains is expected to take about 18 months and the Council will then have to make decisions about beginning a renewal programme.