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Dunedin stormwater maintenance questioned

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/04/2016

Three-quarters of South Dunedin's stormwater mud tanks have been found to be maintained below standard and a quarter of those were totally blocked following record rainfall and subsequent flooding last year, a report says.

The Dunedin City Council has released a study into the low-lying suburb's stormwater system following the June deluge, which led to $28 million in insurance claims.

The mud tanks, which are better known as sumps or cesspits, let heavy materials sink to the bottom and are part of the city's stormwater system built in the 1950s and `60s.

The council report says in April this year 1046 mud tanks were checked and 75 per cent were non-compliant with the contract specifications.

Of those, 26 per cent were totally blocked, 36 per cent partially blocked and more than 230 tonnes of debris was removed.

The council couldn't say how much the mud situation contributed to the flooding but it called into question assumptions about the tanks' condition during the downpour.

However, if they were as compromised as they were in April, they may have contributed to the time taken for the water to disappear.

It also said contractor Fulton Hogan's system for determining it met the contract specifications couldn't be relied on.

The city's 8000 mud tanks are managed as part of Fulton Hogan's roading contract.

The contract had now been reviewed, put out to tender earlier this month, and a new regime would be in place from July.

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