Waipori pumps updated

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 contributing catchment.

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