A major revamp of the Waipori flood pumps, the first line of
defence when the West Taieri floods, is mostly complete.
The pumps service a catchment area of more than 7000ha, about
half of which lies below the mean level of Lake Waipori.
The Waipori Pump Station consists of five pumps in two
buildings, a well chamber built in the 1980s which housed two
near-new submersible pumps (or D pumps) and the original
building, built in the 1920s, which houses three centrifugal
pumps (known as F pumps).
The submersible pumps act to keep water levels within the
drainage network within a set range, while the older pumps
act as a backup, and
provide additional pumping capacity during heavy rainfall.
Otago Regional Council director of environmental engineering
and natural hazards Gavin Palmer said three centrifugal pumps
had been replaced with two submersible pumps and the
1920s-era building around them had been reconfigured at a
cost of about $1.1 million.
''It means a significant increase in the reliability of the
station which is critical to the Taieri,'' Mr Palmer said.
The new pumps were also more easily accessible for servicing.
Flooding in June had delayed completion of the upgrade work,
which had been due to finish in August.
The flood was also an early test for the pumps which had not
been commissioned at the time.
The pumps have a capacity to discharge per day a volume of
water equivalent to a 10mm depth of water over the