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The upgraded station, the council's largest and most critical, was officially opened at a ceremony yesterday when former West Taieri Drainage Liaison Committee chairman Alastair Cameron cut the ribbon, watched by farmers, contractors and regional council staff and councillors.
Ratepayers on the West Taieri, which is below sea level, funded the revamp, which included the installation of two German-made pumps that remove 2100 litres of water per second and a new shed built, to help drain the area when it flooded.
ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said the new pumping station had its first test during heavy rains last June, pumping out more than 10 million cubic metres of water in two weeks and operating ''swimmingly''.
The project had taken years to come to fruition because of the cost and the need to retrofit it to the existing foundations but was needed given the old pumps were at the end of their life, he said.
''The West Taieri could not continue to function as it is today without this infrastructure.''
Most of the investment was not ''evident to the eye'' and followed the upgrade of the nearby drainage pumps.
The flood pumps kicked into action when the water level got too high for the drainage pumps to work, he said.
While most of the system was electronic, it would still need manual clearing of weeds from the intake system, although the new pumps came with a mechanical cleaning system.
''While it has a very smart brain, it will still need regular staff visits.''
Nearby farmer David Wilson, also a member of the West Taieri Drainage Liaison Committee, said given the area was below sea level the pumps made it possible to farm.
''Otherwise, it would not be viable - it would just be rushes and wetland''.
Once the new pumps were switched on during last June's heavy rain, it made a noticeable difference the level of water on his property, he said.