More work... Three Waters mana ger Matt Bayliss discusses the progress of the Wigan St wastewater pipeline renewal with Wilson Contractors drain layer Steffan Ashbrook last year. In the process of the repairs it was discovered the water main was in poor condition and also likely to fail. PHOTO:FILE

Unexpected costs continue to surface in the wake of last February’s flooding.

Emergency work was carried out by the Gore District Council on the Wigan St wastewater pipeline after sections of the road collapsed above it during the flood.

A sample of the Wigan St water main was taken for testing at the same time.

A report tabled at the council meeting last Tuesday by Three Waters asset manager Matthew Bayliss contained the test results completed by WSP graduate engineer Lachlan Donaldson.

Mr Donaldson said the water main was “in very poor condition” and had been at risk of failing for four years.

The results also revealed the pipe was made of asbestos concrete and installed in the mid-1940s.

Council records had described the pipe as a 1970 cast-iron type.

In his report, Mr Bayliss noted that “[asbestos cement] mains are renowned for failing either during or shortly after nearby construction works are completed”.

Asbestos cement fibres could be peeled from the soft internal surface, the test results stated.

However, this was not a problem, he said.

“Asbestos is only a health concern if [it] is dry and inhaled.”

“Asbestos cement water mains are very common throughout New Zealand.”

Mr Donaldson suggested the council take action.

“It is recommended that this water main is programmed for renewal without delay unless occasional failures can be tolerated.”

However, the water main was not considered an urgent issue, Mr Bayliss said.

“It could be renewed as a separate project in .. the next five to 10 years.”

Mr Bayliss recommended that replacement be carried out alongside the renewal of an 800m section of the wastewater pipeline which would begin this year.

It was estimated the water main replacement would cost $500,000.

Councillors voted to do this if proposal prices allowed.

The council received $2,707,720 of Government funding after signing a memorandum of understanding last year, committing it to participate in the first stage of the Three Waters reform of storm water, waste water and drinking water standards.

It allocated $1,891,000 to renewing the Wigan St wastewater main.

A possible date for the work to begin is August 2. Construction would finish by March 31, 2022, the government-imposed deadline for spending the funds.