$1.1m new pumps to drain the plain

The new Waipori pump station has been officially commissioned. Photo by ORC.
The new Waipori pump station has been officially commissioned. Photo by ORC.
A $1.1 million upgrade to the Waipori pump station protecting 7000ha of the Taieri Plain was officially opened yesterday.

The Otago Regional Council said the work was one of the most significant drainage scheme upgrades on the plains in many years.

Former West Taieri drainage liaison committee chairman Alistair Cameron cut the ribbon at a commissioning ceremony at the pump station, near Lake Waipori, yesterday.

Council engineering, hazards and science director Gavin Palmer said the upgrade was crucial because more than half of the pump station's catchment lay below sea level.

Dr Palmer said the previous pumps had provided great service since 1933, but were nearing the end of their serviceable life.

A flooded farmhouse on the Taieri in April 2006. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
A flooded farmhouse on the Taieri in April 2006. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Problems with the operational performance of the station were highlighted during the 2006 floods.

Investigations began immediately on finding suitable replacement pumps, and specifications were then drawn up.

The upgrade saw two new pumps designed and built in Germany for Taieri conditions.

This followed upgrades to the two other pumps at the station in 2007 and 2008.

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