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What we're doing

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What we're doing

In 2016, Council launched the DrainWise Wastewater Discharge Reduction Plan [PDF, 1.6 MB]

The DrainWise team is working hard to reduce wastewater overflows onto private properties and into our city rivers.

The DrainWise programme consists of a number of projects and tasks. 

Remember, reducing wastewater discharges requires your help too. Please check our ‘help us, help you’ page for information on how you can help. Help us, help you

Stormwater network upgrades renewals

The capital budget in the 2018-28 LTP for stormwater upgrades is $10.9m and stormwater renewals is $3.5m.  

Council will spend $14.4m over the next 10-years on stormwater network upgrades and renewals.

Our Stormwater network upgrades and renewals spend for the 2018/19 financial year alone has been estimated at $1.9m.

Read about the stormwater upgrade for Kaiti

Wastewater network upgrades & renewals

The capital budget in the 2018-28 LTP for wastewater upgrades is $1.6m and wastewater renewals is $15.7m.

Council will spend a total value of $17.2m over the next 10-years on wastewater network upgrades and renewals.

Multiple capital projects make up our cost for the 2018/19 financial year ($2.7m). This work's underway, is on budget, and expected to be completed on time.

Stormwater public network extensions (public drains on private land)

The capital budget for these public drains on private land is $6m between 2018 and 2028.

What is ‘public drains on private land’?
Council investigations show that broken / absent private property drainage, gutters etc, has one of the highest impacts on the performance of the public wastewater network. What we’re doing is applying extensions and improvements to the public stormwater network to make it easier for private property owners to connect into the public stormwater network, and to enable surface waters to drain away.

This work includes processes like identifying depressions and overland flowpaths, improving GIS tools, and undertaking ground-truthing of flooding/ponding, policy work and other operational matters.

We identified 20 potential sub-catchments for suitable projects to be investigated in the 2018/19 financial year. Through these investigations we have found 8 public pipe on private property to construct, all to be constructed in 2019. Some have already been built.

The main risk to completing this work is that success is linked to the willingness of private property owners to allow Council to construct public infrastructure on private property (with associated easements). However, this risk decreasing through careful planning and implementation of engagement with the community, making sure the right messaging is provided.

This map is an update on the status of projects identified within the sub-catchment investigations.  These investigations have been carried out in areas known or modelled to have potential inflow and infiltration issues (‘focus areas’)



Photos of construction carried out on the Matthews Road - Paraone Road 

Property inspections

The Inflow and Infiltration operational budget ($2.9M , at an average of $260k per year) will in part be used for work related to property inspections.

If you see the DrainWise truck and team in your neighbourhood, they will be doing property inspections to:

Check and repair your gully traps (minor fixes)

Provide advice and minor assistance with spouting issues

Confirm the presence, absence, and adequacy of public infrastructure

Validate and ground truth the finding from our digital modelling

Property inspections also include smoke testing your stormwater and wastewater pipelines or inspecting them with CCTV to help identify issues. All data is recorded on tablets, and downloaded into the Council assets database.

Our primary focus area is the Kaiti catchment as this shows the biggest amount of flooding in heavy rain events, followed by Whataupoko and then Elgin/CBD.

Here's an example of what the team inspects for - this video shows downpipes to unsealed gully traps. All that's needed is 2 properties like this in a street to overwhelm our wastewater system.

Compliance & enforcement

This compliance and enforcement planning work (including associated funding and timing considerations) is ongoing, and is likely to be completed in 2019.

  • This work will entail options and processes designed to make it easier and financially feasible for property owners to fix infrastructure issues on their own property.
  • We hope to roll out implementation in 2020.


Education and awareness campaign

A variety of strategies have been adopted to increase awareness and promote education of the DrainWise programme. The campaign focusses on engaging the public to take personal responsibility and be a part of the solution to the wastewater discharge problem and drainage issues in Gisborne Tairāwhiti. Visit our ‘education resources’ page to see this work.
Education and resources

Out in the field

Flooding on this property in September 2015 shows how much stormwater can get through a gully trap when it's not sealed. If your gully trap only needs minor repairs, our team can come and fix those for you free of charge. If it’s badly damaged or needs major repairs, a licensed plumber or drain layer can help you. 

 An example of a flooded property draining into an unsealed gully trap. 

Panapa and his family suffered sewage overflowing out of their gully trap and onto their property where his mokopuna played. When the sewage system has too much RAIN in it, it blocks the system and sewage as a result comes out at the lowest point which was Panapa’s house. 

We’ve now fixed this problem for Panapa and his family and wastewater no longer overflows onto their property.   

More information

For specific details about the work we’re doing, please find more information in the documents.You can find these by simply entering the report into the keyword field of our online meetings reports search(external link);

Assets Infrastructure Agenda – [PDF, 122 KB]June 2019

Wastewater Management COMBINED [PDF, 25 MB] – May 2019

DrainWise Progress Report [PDF, 865 KB]– May 2019