Reassurances were given at a public meeting in Mosgiel last
night about the capacity of the upgraded Waipori pump
The Otago Regional Council meeting was held to update
residents about flood protection, drainage schemes and flood
Council manager engineering operations Ramon Strong, before
30 people at the Coronation Hall, said two of the four pumps
at the Waipori pump station were incomplete and inoperable
when 195mm of rain fell in eight days in an ''exceedingly
wet'' June last year.
One farmer said he could not understand pump stations being
''out of action'' in high-risk winter months. In the floods,
he lost 32ha of kale to rot.
Mr Strong said the council had intended to have all pumps
operational in June but ''our contractor was a little bit
Despite that, he said the farmer would have lost about the
same amount of crop if all four pumps had been working,
because the floodwater would have remained on his paddocks
for the same amount of time - 10 to 12 days - rotting his
The farmer said the council needed to be proactive and turn
the pumps on before the forecast rain arrived so the water
table could be lowered and provide ''leeway''. Mr Strong said
the Waipori pump station upgrade had made ''giant strides''
in pumping capacity and could handle a large downpour where
the old pump had failed.
The Waipori pump station upgrade between 2008 and 2013 had an
estimated cost of $1.74 million and an actual cost of more
than $1.945 million.
Mr Strong said submissions on the council's 2014-15 draft
annual plan, which included spending on maintaining and
developing flood and drainage schemes, were open until
Friday, May 2. More ''drop in'' sessions with council staff
were being held at the Mosgiel Library today from 10am to 2pm
and 3pm to 5.30pm.