Tests to be done on Outram floodbank

The floodbank was constructed in the late 1880s. Photo: ORC
The floodbank was constructed in the late 1880s. Photo: ORC
An Outram floodbank built using horse and cart will have its composition tested from next week to help work out where maintenance will be needed.

Core samples will be taken from the 1.5km floodbank as part of a drilling programme that could start on Monday, depending on weather.

Otago Regional Council engineering manager Michelle Mifflin said the work would reveal information about underground geology and hydrology, the floodbank's material make-up and history. 

"This work will help inform us on the floodbank integrity and confirm maintenance and replacement programmes in the future, which could span decades ahead," she said.

Taieri flood defences have been in the spotlight in the past month after a study found a massive deluge would cause widespread failure of the network.

The Outram floodbank was built in the late-1880s, using horse and cart.

A variety of construction materials could have been used, the council said.

A mobile rig would drill 100mm-diameter holes and run cone penetration tests along the floodbank for about two weeks.

Test results would be analysed over several months.

The programme had been estimated to cost about $120,000.