‘Panel’ of plumbers to do work

Progress in the pipeline. . . The construction of a new stormwater main and the replacement of the existing water and wastewater mains in the Elizabeth Street catchment, in Gore, is part way through. One of the next steps is for plumbers to be employed to separate the wastewater and stormwater pipelines on 66 properties. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

The Gore District Council is putting together a “panel” of plumbers to do up to $520,000 of work on Elizabeth St properties later this year.

Stormwater and wastewater drainage needed separating on 61 private properties, Three Waters asset manager Matt Bayliss said in a report tabled at a council meeting last month.

A further five properties still required investigation.

The work was essential to maximise the benefits of a new stormwater reticulation system under construction in the area and to “alleviate downstream capacity issues in the wastewater network”, Mr Bayliss said.

“Approximately 40% of Gore and 25% of Mataura’s stormwater and wastewater from private properties run into a single pipe in the road.

“This combined public system cannot cope with a significant influx of stormwater.

“Separating stormwater and wastewater drainage will reduce and eventually eliminate overflows of wastewater. It will also alleviate pressure and improve the performance of our wastewater treatment plants,” he said.

“To ensure this is achieved, on 8 February, 2022, the council resolved to fully fund the private property separation works for the Elizabeth St project.”

The estimated cost was $430,000-$520,000.

“We don’t think that a traditional procurement process where we engage one large contractor to do the work is the best approach, so we’re proposing to set up a panel of local plumbing contractors.

“We’re thinking between three and five contractors.”

Property owners would be consulted before any work took place, Mr Bayliss said.

If a property owner did not consent to the work, their pipes would no longer be compliant and they would likely have to bear the cost of any separation work in the future.

Mayor Tracy Hicks said Cr Nick Grant was not comfortable with the proposed 12-month warranty on the works.

“I’d be happier if it was at least a five year warranty,” Mayor Hicks said on Cr Grant’s behalf.

“Twelve months is too short for the money we’re investing in this project on behalf of ratepayers as a territorial authority.”

Mr Bayliss said a 12-month warranty was standard and to lengthen that would likely bump up the cost.

“You pay a higher price for that because the contractor needs to price the risk with a longer defects liability period.”

Work was expected to begin in the second half of this year and would take about a year to complete.