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Wastewater main under State Highway 1 in Paremata repaired but still fragile

Both northbound lanes on State Highway 1 at Paremata have reopened after a wastewater main burst because of bad weather over the weekend.

The pipe, which lies between the Aotea turnoff and Paremata, burst on Saturday morning after a one-in-10-year rainfall event in the Wellington region.

The piece of infrastructure caused sewage to overflow onto Station Rd, Paremata Cres and some areas near the entrance of Paremata Primary School grounds.

Wellington Water wastewater chief adviser Steve Hutchison said in a statement this afternoon the pipe has now been repaired.

The job took longer than expected as the pipe was more difficult to fix than first thought.

Despite the repair, Wellington Water’s investigations have shown the pipe remains in a fragile condition, Hutchison said.

“Our crews will be monitoring the site in the coming days and additional work in the area will continue.”

Porirua Mayor Anita Baker said besides the burst pipe and some areas of flooding, the city’s infrastructure held up well in the weekend’s wild weather.

“We were very lucky we didn’t get hit too badly. We had major surface flooding in Dimick St and Champion St but that went straight down and that cleared.

“We did have a couple of other sewer manholes pop their lids over near Penryn Drive but the main one is the sewer on State Highway 1.”

Baker said she was relieved there was no flooding in properties.

She asked the public to help out in the clean-up effort around the city.

“We can’t get around the whole city in one day with the street cleaners and clean the drains so if there is something outside your house [and it has leaves and stuff] just help us out a little bit.”

Meanwhile, in Wellington City, Takarau Gorge Rd between Johnsonville and Mākara Beach is closed.

The council advised on social media this afternoon it will likely remain closed for a few more days while temporary repair work is undertaken.

The council has 15 engineers evaluating damage to roads and assessing slips. Staff and contractors are clearing what they can.

Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians have been told to be aware of slippery road surfaces due to mud and debris.

Wastewater main under State Highway 1 in Paremata repaired but still fragile

An Interislander ferry. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The 37 Interislander passengers and two dogs who needed emergency accommodation on Saturday night all left on a sailing yesterday morning.

Some of them spent the night on camp stretchers after their ferry was turned back en route to Picton because of bad weather.

The council is also helping with accommodation and food for some residents in Newlands who were evacuated due to slips.

In Lower Hutt, the weekend’s extreme rainfall has caused untreated sewage from the Hinemoa St and Malone Rd pumping stations to flow into Waiwhetū Stream.

Hutt City Council advised the discharges were only for a brief period, but people should stay away from the stream.

Signs have been put up advising people against entering the water or collecting food from the affected reaches of the stream.

Water sampling is under way to determine when the stream will be safe to use.

Across the region, Waka Kotahi regional manager Mark Owen said the road network has bounced back.

“We did have a number of issues across the road network and the crews will still be out doing a final tidy up but generally things are back to normal.”

Owen asked people to take care on the roads, as hazards such as debris remained.

“There could be excess surface water around and even after the rain has stopped sometimes slips do continue to come down so just want to advise people travelling across the network particularly those heading away on school holidays to take extra care.”

He said they plan for these events but when there are multiple hits across the network it becomes difficult.

“We do know that a number of people were stuck on State Highway 2 for a number of hours so we apologise for that, it’s just the nature of it.”

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