Reducing the effects of Inflow – you can help!

12/07/2019 4:07am

Like many cities, Nelson has had wastewater overflows when heavy rain hits our region.

That means wastewater overflows to land and can get into our waterways. It’s not great news for the beautiful beaches and rivers in our region that we enjoy and want to protect.

One of the main issues is called Inflow.  Inflow sources allow rainwater to enter the wastewater system directly from the surface through incorrect plumbing, cross connections (where stormwater pipes have been installed incorrectly and connected into the wastewater system or vice versa) and damaged or low-lying gully traps or manholes.

Due to inflow (and other factors), when it rains a lot, the system can’t take all the rain, and that’s when we get the overflows. 

Council is already working hard on this and has been for some time. As part of the work, we have an extensive programme of renewals and repairs underway.

However, this isn’t something that Council alone can tackle as we know that part of the problem is coming from issues on private property.

This is where you can help. There are several things on your property that you can check. Gully traps, downpipes and sumps. 

It’s quite easy to check both your gully traps and downpipes, visit the website to see how.

sumpA sump is a bit different. A sump is a stormwater feature that collects rainwater from external surfaces such as driveways and patios. The sump has to connect to the stormwater system, not the sewer/wastewater system.
The only way to test for a cross connection without calling a plumber or drain layer is to have a sniff around your sump. If there is a foul odour that is stronger than a normal organic /vegetation smell, you’ll need to call in a qualified tradesperson to investigate.

For more about this issue and how you can be part of dealing with it, check out the website, nelson.govt.nz/inflow.